Bill Rauhauser, Detroit Photography Legend
Legendary Detroit photographer Bill Rauhauser got some well-deserved attention in this week’s Metro Times courtesy of an article from Travis Wright. Rauhauser has been taking pictures in the city for 60 years, and as the byline says in the article, he’s not done yet. His signature move of taking only one shot in the moment, not five or six let alone two, is iconic in a day and age where the digital SLR and Adobe Photoshop have shifted the way photographers capture a moment.
“You have exciting new technology, what with digital cameras and Photoshop and all of that, which is fine, and when you’re older there will be even more advancements in technology, which is OK if you want to do that sort of thing. I’m not telling you how to make art, but the basic rules of photography will always apply, … and what the camera shoots will always be true. The true negative never lies about what was shot; only the photographer can lie.”
Within the article and an embedded image gallery are many of Rauhauser’s photos that show a wide-range of imagery characteristic of the city in years past. From his days spent sitting in Kresge Court observing women smoking cigarettes to capturing the antics of young Wayne State students, there is such an extensive sampling of imagery that gives us such a vivid look at Detroit’s past.
With sixty years of documentation in Detroit, we have such a historically significant collection of visuals in his work to provide insight as we look at a new future. What cues can Rauhauser’s work give us on the future of our city?