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Born to Greek immigrant parents in the American South, Constantine Manos first started photographing in South Carolina, documenting the segregated state as the nascent civil rights movement gathered steam. He went on to shoot his career-making project on the remote villages of Greece’s myriad islands – all of this work made in black and white. Then, after publishing his book Greek Portfolio, he moved to New York and undertook numerous commercial projects.
“The money was good, but I was in a bit of a rut. I needed to do something that was my own… That’s when I began traveling around the USA photographing Americans of all walks of life – in color.” Manos wilfully reinvented his style, starting to use Kodachrome film, and building the extensive body of work that would become his best-known book, American Color. This image, from the second instalment of that project, reflects the photographer’s newfound love of the medium. “It was a radical change for me, and it was certainly a conscious effort,” reflects Manos. “I think the result is a celebratory picture of America. I made those pictures whenever I had time, and I think that’s the best way to make a body of work – not having an editor waiting for you, just doing it on your own – using your own money and time.”