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Monday, 11 August 2014 00:00

Ludlow Street Featured

For my most recent colourising piece I chose this photo by the Danish American photographer and social reformer Jacob Riis. Riis moved to the USA in 1870 and after a very hard start where he was destitut he started work as a carpenter before finally working for a newspaper. At the time photography was very much in its infancy with both lenses and emulsions being very slow and therefore not suitable to photograph in the dark slums. In 1887 however Riis discovered that flash photography had been invented via the use of flash powder.

Riis instantly realised the potential for flash photography and he with friends and colleagues Dr. John Nagle, Henry Piffard and Richard Hoe Lawrence set about photographing the slums and their inhabitants with the first photo being published in 1888.

This photo is from around that time and shows one of four pedlars who lived in the cellar of 11 Ludlow Street, rear, in New York.

You can view the original and my coloured version below.

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