Ruth Orkin

I love street photography - capturing the moment, a glance, a split second in the life of someone - frozen in time. As much as it's not what I choose to do myself, I have my own tastes in photography that maybe don't quite match what I shoot myself. But I believe that they all share the same purpose: to inspire and guide me in doing what I do.

So it is, that I'd like to introduce you to Ruth Orkin's work. Ruth was a member of New York's Photo League. Perhaps her most famous image is that of the 'American Girl in Italy'. Whilst there on a holiday with one of her friends, they decided to make photographs of what it was like for a single woman traveling around.

I do love street photography. It's a very different form of photography from Landscape work. I find that although there is perhaps less of an aesthetic in the work, there is often more of a story involved, and I find that I look at street photographs in a much more different way than I do landscapes. I think I often feel transported back in time and find it really interesting to see the interaction between subjects. I often marvel at the timing in making the right shot (although for me, Henri Cartier Bresson's work is less engaging).

I often wonder, who were these people? What were their lives like? I love how photography can document something, freeze it in time.

Anyway, Ruth's work is really worth checking out and I see there is an excellent web site about her work which will give you plenty to enjoy.

Currently, there are no publications available about her work and I've had to rely on buying used copies. In particular, I bought 'Above And Beyond' by Ruth. It's a small, slim paper back, but the images in it are really excellent. It was unfortunately, a bit expensive, but when I get 'into something', I usually seem to find that money just doesn't matter that much...  (ahem). I'm just very curious as to why there has been nothing published about her in book form for some time?