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Naked City

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  217 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Weegee was among the first to fully realize the camera’s unique power to capture split-second drama and exaggerated emotion. But his profound influence on other photographers, most famously on Diane Arbus, derives not only from his sensational subject matter and his use of the blinding, close-up flash, but also from his eagerness to photograph the city at all hours, at all ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published March 21st 1985 by Da Capo Press (first published November 30th 1944)
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Christopher E
This particular edition ISBN 13: 9780306812040/ISBN 10: 0306812045
Da Capo Press should be avoided if at all possible.

This particular edition is printed on matte paper stock and thus almost all of the images are illegible. I cannot say what the originals looked like but the images /in this edition look as though they were produced on a photocopy machine. Whatever subtle hues in the original photographers are washed out of this printing in splotches of black and white. Avoid this edition.
Weegee's Naked City is, of course, New York City and this photo essay of the city is a must for anyone interested in the history of this great city. Written in 1945 it mostly covers the early forties, the war years, and includes now famous photos such as the beach shot at Coney Island (see below), opening night at the Met and bobbysoxers at a Sinatra concert.

Weegee (Usher Fellig) also includes a chapter of advice for those who would choose photography as a profession as well as brief chapters on
I would imagine that for the times these were great photos and as historical record they probably deserve better than two stars. However, the prose, written by Fellig (Weegee) himself is sketchy and juvenile and the photos are pedestrian. I assume he's the forerunner of photojournalism, but today he'd be paparazzi at best, an amateur ambulance chaser is more accurate. Plus, the advice he gives for aspiring photographers is extremely dated and is mostly common sense. It's hard to say I read this ...more
There is some overlap with Weegee's World in this collection or visa-versa. The usual lineup of Weegee fare includes fires, murders, children playing, discrimination in Harlem, class hierarchy, lovers in Coney Island, and other scenes from a New York City long gone. Pictures like this are essential for anyone trying to understand the dark underbelly of NYC in the early 20th century.

An amazing collection of photos of nocturnal New York City during the 1930's and 1940's taken by renowned photographer Arthur "Weegee" Fellig. If you like historic b&w photos of life (and death!) in New York City this book is a must own. You can see much of WeeGee's work on this website:
Weegee devoted his life to the seedy side of life and photography. He also was a bit of a self-centered asshole; but he didn't hide anything, so he was the type asshole you could respect and even enjoy. Very cool reading about how he'd scoop other photographers and often be getting done shooting as cops arrived at a crime-scene.
Jenny Sellars
I looked at this book, not read it obviously. Weegee was the best. Wish I could go back in time to experience NYC as he knew it.
Unique, insightful glimpse of light and darkness, life and death captured through the lens of a genius!
Harry Pray IV
Amazing Photographer. He created images long ago that hold up to today's artistic standards/tastes.
A journey has to be taken with Weegee for both his photos and words.
Andrea J.
A man whose work I admire.
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