Saul Leiter: Early Color

Saul Leiter: Early Color

This is a reissue of Early Color of 2006, which was a huge success, which presented Leiter’s remarkable color work in book form for the first time to the public.

Watch on Vimeo:

Leiter moved to New York in 1946 to become a painter, yet through his friendship with Richard Pousette-Dart, he quickly recognized the creative potential of photography. Leiter continued to paint, exhibiting with Philip Guston and Willem de Kooning, but the camera remained his ever-present means of recording life in the metropolis. None of Leiter’s contemporaries, with the partial exception of Helen Levitt, assembled a comparable body of work: subtle, often abstract compositions of lyrical, eloquent color.

“The images in Saul Leiter: Early Color, were taken between 1948 and 1960. By using expired Kodachrome film, Leiter experimented with rich hues, developing anomalies and varying techniques, of which the results are evident within this book. There is also a painterly quality to the work, and a resolute composition that sets Leiter’s images apart from photographers such as William Eggleston and Stephen Shore.” (Kyla Woods for Musée Magazine).

“Leiter’s sensibility… place him outside the visceral confrontations with urban anxiety associated with photographers such as Robert Frank or William Klein,” wrote Martin Harrison, editor and author of Saul Leiter: Early Color, “Instead, for him, the camera provided an alternate way of seeing, of framing events and interpreting reality. He sought out moments of quiet humanity in the Manhattan maelstrom, forging a unique urban pastoral from the most unlikely of circumstances.”

His last exhibition Retrospective ( is still ongoing; here is the catalog:

“As a book for a retrospective, Saul Leiter shines. The book presents the photographer’s work probably in the best possible way, with many examples of photography and essays, all very readable and informative. […] Highley recommended.” (Joerg Colberg,

More info about the new edition of Early Color on Steidl website.

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Steidl (May, 2019)
Language: English
Preface by: Martin Harrison

Designed by: Martin Harrison
Size: 7.8 x 7.8 inches
ISBN-13: 978-3865211392 

Saul Leiter (December 3, 1923 – November 26, 2013) was an American photographer and painter whose early work in the 1940s and 1950s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as the New York school of photography.

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account