After spending 35 years producing and directing documentary films for public television and educational distribution Claude Beller focused his creative talents to photography. Inspired by photographers such as Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Richard Sandler and Garry Winogrand Claude began shooting in the streets and subway of New York City. His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and was recently chosen as one of 10 photographers to win the “Feature Shoot” International Street Photography Awards. 


917 364-5526

147 West 79th Street, Apt. 11B New York, NY  10024

Artist Statement

Aslong as I can remember I was drawn to the streets of New York City with its variety and richness of people and places.  So I naturally gravitated into the genre of the “street”. I was inspired by photographers such as Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Richard Sandler and GarryWinogrand.

When I walk the streets and come across a subject or situation that inspires me to take the photo I look for the vantage point and compose the shot in a very short period of time.  This can be challenging and many times I miss it  but when I “get the shot” I have this momentary feeling of excitement.  It makes all the hours of walking and looking worth the effort.

The subjects I shoot have a special quality that sets them apart. It could be the face itself which may reveal pain,  joy or loneliness,  the style of clothes, a tattoo or their environment.   I look for people caught up in their own thoughts, the juxtaposition of diverse faces in the streets, an authenticity of expression, or a truthful moment that conveys to the viewer an honesty of character and life situation.  One of the things I like about photography is that it portrays the range of human conditions and I can have an emotional connection or empathic feeling with and for my subjects.  

My photos are shot in black & white.  I feel that the nuances of tonality strengthen and support the subject in the photo, the composition,  and the mood. I also feel it conveys a more formal and serious look with an intensity that creates emotion.   

I try and get out each day even for an hour or so to observe what is around me and look for those moments that capture the soul of New York.

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