In the middle of the week an email arrived offering a mini-workshop based around the work of Helen Levitt and starting in the exhibition running at The Photographers’ Gallery. The workshop organised by Polly from The Department of Street Photography.
The day didn’t get off to a great start as rain was forecast all morning in London. At Farnborough station it was just a light drizzle while I waited for my train.
Before I went on the workshop I did some extra research on Helen Levitt and her work. This is her 1948 movie ‘In the street’ put to music on YouTube.
These are my two books on her work.
Helen Levitt Exhibition
The Photographer’s Gallery is South of Oxford Street on Ramillies Street.
The exhibition was spread over two floors of the gallery with black and white images exclusively on the upper floor.
With the help of Posy and everyone in the group we looked at selected images. I found this aspect of the workshop particularly helpful as I had only ever seen these images in isolation.
This image (on the right) was cropped from from one of the images in the contact print showing hw she concentrated to image on what she considered to be important.
This image caught my eye as no parent today would let their kids be out playing war games alone on the streets, never mind climbing to the top of door ways and fighting – definitely simpler times!
Visit the exhibition before it leaves in February 2022 and buy the books to see her work, I have only included these five images as a taste of what you are missing.
Workshop from Exhibition to the South Bank
It was only a short walk to the top of Carnaby Street.
The statue on the bench enjoying the sunshine.
I looked for light and found this patch near one of the shops.
This image was my favourite of the day as the sunshine was so bright that this lady had to shield her eyes as she walked down the street.
This image deserved some extra editing and after receiving suggestions from Polly I re-sized to a 3×2 format.
The Square was very busy with a lot of separate demonstrations all grouped together in one corner. Instead I moved away from the crowd and watched a small group of people with two photographers posing in the Square. There were these two PR ladies the group.
South Bank Street Food
The mini-workshop ended once we were over the Jubilee Bridge. We all paused to compare our favourite images and then had lunch sitting on the steps.
Leake Street Tunnel
I walked back from the South Bank and headed down York Street. This was the first visit to the tunnel on a Saturday and I didn’t know what to expect.
Once inside the tunnel I noticed street artists working along the walls, groups of photographers and the Vaults Club looked busy despite the time being early afternoon.
The art by Olivier looked as good as the Instagram posts that I had seen as it created.
This mural was obscured by a parked car.
This being Halloween weekend the theme for some of the murals was clear!
At the far end of the tunnel everyone was busy and the air was filled with the smell of spray paint.
The group of photographers had split up and as I watched this tableau unfolded.
The artist closet to the entrance was equally busy and agreed to pose with her hood up painting (On Instagram @mirac_art).