Weegee (Arthur Fellig); Street photographer

Weegee (Arthur Fellig); Street photographer

Weegee (Arthur Fellig) is best known as a news and crime photographer working in New York in the 1950’s. MOMA’s summary of his photographic life revealed a few interesting things about his approach.

He sold his images to tabloid newspapers from 1935 through the 1940s, and published his first book, Naked City in 1945, followed by Weegee’s People in 1946. Naked City was a commercial success and guaranteed his income. At this point he began taking portraits of celebrities and figures in the entertainment industry. He used a variety of trick lenses to distort and manipulate these images, and often exposed or exagerrated the imperfections of his subjects. He experimented with infrared film and flash to make exposures in darkness, particularly of people in darkened movie theaters. Weegee used a 4×5 Speed Graphic press camera and flash exclusively throughout his career;

What do I take away from this photographer?

Like many of his time he was an experimenter and experimentation did not die in the 1950’s. I need to experiment more either with lenses or framing or something else and now is the time to do it in my degree with smaller pieces of work.

It’s that use of flash again; you need it sometimes to take photographs but it does give a startled look. I will definitely use my flash more and without and compare look of the images.

It’s that use of wide angle that is needed to capture the scene. I will experiment with my 24mm lens and buy a wide-angle zoom to experiment with. This is also needed in closed spaces like people’s home which is where I seem to spend a lot of time taking images.