" The commonplace is so often overlooked - but it's the most important documentation of circumstance" Colin O`Brien.
For more than fifty years Lennie Neumann has been photographing life in The United States, South Africa, England and France.
Black and white is his colour of choice and reflects the way that he sees the world. “
Being a photographer who photographs candidly, all he needs is a small rangefinder camera, a short focal length lens and a few rolls of Tri-X film and to be at the right place to let the stories unfold in front of him.
These images are some of his personal favorites taken from 1970 till the present using either a Leica CL, M3, M6 or M8, using 35, 40 and 50 mm. Summicrons and Kodak Tri X film.
Lennie has had numerous exhibitions including the Leica City Store ( London ), Cape Town Art Centre, New England School of Photography, Pigeon Stone Project, Texas Photographic Society, The Idler Gallery, Notting Hill with Sir Timothy Akroyed, and The Dreamspace Gallery in Shoreditch for "Mosaic" a charity founded by HRH the Prince of Wales.
My friend Leonard Neumann is one of those increasing rarities in today’s world of photography in that he photographs with his feet as well as his eyes. Like a boxer in a ring it is the footwork combined with the punch that wins the fight. One of the great attributes in his photographers bag, is his great sense of humour, and it shines through in his images. The first time we met and walked the thronging streets of Notting Hill carnival together, we chatted all things photography, from it’s history, of it’s great practitioners, and of it’s it’s practice, on this we agreed that you don’t make photographs at home staring at a screen, you have to be out there in the sun, the rain and the wind, ‘foot slogging’, wondering what the hell you are doing and why are you doing it until maybe, just maybe that wonderful moment appears around the corner, that moment when humanity, light and background coincide. It only takes 1/125th of a second to send a photographer in to ecstasy. Lennie has a natural geniality and the characters he meets and photographs on the streets of whatever city he is in seem as captivated with him as he is with them, it is the ‘common touch’ and is an enviable quality. If I had to summarize my friend Lennie and his photographs in a single word it would be ‘charming”
George Coles 09.05.16
I was lucky enough to meet Leonard (Lennie) Neumann a year or so ago. We very quickly established a bond over photography, and in particular, street photography, which by the way is a term Lennie dislikes. Like it or not, Lennie is a street photographer.... he goes into the streets with his camera, and through perseverance and guile, photographs what happens in front of him, what he sees. His technique for capturing these moments is known only to him, but it appears to work. These moments, decisive or otherwise, are what photography does so well, and in the hands of Lennie, they tell wonderful stories. There is evidence in Lennies work of some of his heroes, which is not to say that his photographs are in any way derivative, infact I hope Lennie takes it as a huge compliment, but one can’t help thinking of Tony Ray-Jones or Gary Winograd when looking at his images. Lennie brings to his pictures a great feel for composition, an understanding of light, an empathetic and compassionate viewpoint and a sense of humour all of his own. Lennie has the eye of a visitor or a traveller, seeing things for the first time. There is no doubting Lennies skill and understanding of his craft, his ability to see the moment, but possibly more important than that is his talent as an observer of the ordinary.
Andrew Shaylor. 09.05.16