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Female Street Photographers On Their Art: 'It's About Being In The Present'

Elena Alexandra, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, 2019. Photograph: Elena Alexandra ...

In a recent book, women from an often male-dominated discipline talk about their work and their inspiration

The Guardian: In 2019, New York photographer Barbara Jane Levine was walking in midtown Manhattan when she saw a snap-worthy opportunity: a woman with unusually retro red hair, standing at the corner of 5th Avenue and 43rd Street. “The woman had a perfect upswept hairdo, similar to the way my grandmother wore her hair with hairspray and bobby pins,” recalls the photographer. ‘Reclaiming women’s bodies from shame’: a photographic illumination of ageing Levine took the photo and in a matter of seconds, the woman was gone. “It’s an image of a fleeting moment, which I observe with no other intent other than to memorialize the scene,” said Levine, who calls the photo Red Upsweep. It’s on the cover of a book called Women Street Photographers, which came out earlier this month with Prestel Publishing. It showcases 100 female photographers who shoot on the streets, pounding the pavement for their best shots, from Paris to Pakistan and beyond. Edited by Gulnara Samoilova, who founded the Women Street Photographers website and Instagram account, it showcases women who captured some of the most memorable fleeting moments in time. “I like to think street photography brings the people together,” said Samoilova. “The more work I see, the more I realize we are only at the beginning of a journey into the female gaze. The more men and women see the world through women’s eyes, the more humanizing and relatable we become to one another, despite our differences.”

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