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Charles H.Traub’s Lunchtime
Photography Charles H.Traub, courtesy of Damiani

Get up-close and uncomfortable on the streets of New York

This photographer captured lunch-goers on the streets in a series of portraits that detail just how fleeting a New York minute is

Everyone loves a moment in the spotlight, even if it is just the stunning glare of a camera flash bulb. “If you stay in one place long enough, everybody passes by. And, truth be known, everybody wants to be photographed,” said photographer Charles H. Traub, who, as far back as the late-70s, began to recognise such human desire via the streets of New York (and various European cities when he could).

Between 1977 and 1980, Traub captured lunch-goers with his Rolleiflex SL66; off-guard, hesitant, smiling, shocked and/or amused – including people like actor William Holden and photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Lartigue – resulting in a series of honest and telling portraits. He explained: “I started photographing the passing parade of the street, because I knew that if one asked, people were delighted to be noticed, to be recognised, to be, if you will, preserved by the camera’s witness.” Now, published in his new book Lunchtimeamongst the hustle and bustle of the city streets, Traub shares a glimpse into what a real New York minute feels like.

Lunchtime – courtesy of Damiani – is available now