Hans Richard Griebe went to London to attend the London School of English in Oxford Street in August 1954 to take part in a short course on ‘Colloquial English.’ He brought two cameras with him: a 35 mm Exakta with a standard and a telephoto lens and a medium format Rolleiflex.
His album Camera Abroad (Exakta Geht fremd) offers an extraordinary record of a London emerging from the rigors of the 1940s and looking for the New Year in the manner of Harold MacMillan’s ‘You’ve Never Had It So Good. Furthermore, it upsets notions of a grey, wet, foggy London Town in the early 1950s. This vibrant, stylish city has been around only a few years and has many of the Festival of Britain’s features intact on the South Bank.
Like all great photographers, he had an ‘eye’ for women and the atmosphere of London and its people. Hans-Richard captured the elegant style of clothing that was popular that Indian summer through his enchantment with London’s women. The sequences of women might seem disturbing – he followed them along busy streets – but he had no problem asking them if he could photograph them.