Leaving PhotoPlus last week, I realized I was photographing none other than the famous Louis Mendes, the celebrated throwback "street corner" photographer. His profession is a holdover from another time (and, chiefly, other places). Louis, who lives in Harlem, makes his living selling spur-of-the-moment portraits to passers-by. He uses a Graflex Speed Graphic that's as old as he is (both born in 1940) and instant film, otherwise unidentified.
Of course we had to do it. Both Gordon and I took portraits of Louis, too, but a better portrait than either of ours was taken by Tom Judd, so here's that one:
Louis Mendes, Photographer, by Tom Judd
(used with permission)
And here's Louis's "one shot" portrait of myself and Gordon:
Fun. Nice to encounter Louis, and I hope he had a good show too, "coals to Newcastle" and all.
(Thanks to Tom)
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Featured Comments from:
Bill Mitchell (partial comment): "That's a top-rangefinder Graphic, not introduced until the 1960s."
Mike replies: Tom's portrait shows a different camera than the one Louis was using when we met him this year, the one he said was from 1940. Here's my snap of him from last week, HDR'd a little more than usual to show the camera better:
(Click to see larger)
Will: "As a New Yorker, I cross paths with Louis between four and eight times a year, at least half of the time within a block of B&H. I always enjoy seeing him and admiring his Speed Graphic and his personal style."