Leiter has made an enormous contribution in the area of color photography. His distinctively subdued color and abstracted forms often have a painterly quality that stands out amongst his contemporaries.
“Leiter’s sensibility placed him outside the visceral confrontations with urban anxiety associated with photographers such as Robert Frank or William Klein. Instead, for him the camera provided an alternate way of seeing, of framing events and interpreting reality. He sought out moments of quiet humanity in the Manhatten maelstrom, forging a unique urban pastoral from the most unlikely of circumstances.”
“Mr. Leiter was a photographer less of people than of perception itself. His painter’s instincts served him well in his emphasis on surface, spatial ambiguity and a lush, carefully calibrated palette. But the abstract allure of his work doesn’t rely on soft focus, a persistent, often irritating photographic ploy, or the stark isolation of details, in the manner of Aaron Siskind or early Harry Callahan. Instead, Mr. Leiter captured the passing illusions of everyday life with a precision that might almost seem scientific, if it weren’t so poetically resonant and visually layered.” Robert Smith : Art critic : 2005.