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June 2, 2016

35 Striking Color Photos That Show What New York City Was Like in the 1970s and 1980s

Robert Herman has been a street photographer since his days as an NYU film student back in the late '70s. Using his father's Nikon F and a 50mm lens, he began by exploring the city as a means to connect with the people in his neighborhood and learn the craft of making images.

Many of them were made in Soho, Little Italy, Tribeca, Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side, depict the vibrant life and energy that defined New York in the '70s and '80s—gritty, loud, marked by colorful graffiti, as dangerous as it was thrilling.
Through the lens of my camera, my vulnerability met theirs at the moment of exposure: a photograph of someone whose heart is open to a stranger's camera says more about a New Yorker than I ever can in say in words." - Robert Herman.
What makes these photographs exceptional is Herman's openness to happenstance. He has the ability to recognize his subjects against a particular backdrop, a storefront window, a sign in the background, or even the body language of a passerby, and to frame it in a revealing way... It is this confluence of time, place, keen photographic vision, and a fiercely personal engagement to subject that makes these images so special.

(Photos © Robert Herman)


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