To live in New York in 1940’s is to have been in the right place at the right time. To be holding camera made it even righter.
Just take the example of Coney Island native, Harold Feinstein. He started taking photographs at the tender age of 15 in 1946.
At 17 he joined the legendary Photo League and become a pioneer of New York street photography. Edward Steichen was an early supporter of his work, while his good friend W. Eugene Smith said of him
He is one of the very few photographers I have known, or have been influenced by, with the ability to reveal the familiar to me in a beautifully new, in a strong and honest way.
Never a true word was written. Feinstein’s work stands the test of time and has that easy charm that comes of being able to empathize with your subjects.
There’s nothing flashy or showy in his pictures and for that reason like Helen Levitt in later periods he is able to capture the singular spirit of New York City and its inhabitants.