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At 95, photographer Bill Rauhauser is something of a legend in the Detroit arts community. He’s spent more than 60 years taking beautiful street images that reflect the vibrancy and history of the city’s past. In January, Rauhauser was named the 2014 Kresge Eminent Artist, an honor that comes with a $50,000 prize. Later this year, Kresge will publish a monograph of Rauhauser’s career.

 Rauhauser started taking photos in high school with a plastic camera he ordered from a magazine for 39 cents. He later traded a stamp collection for a 35-mm camera. Rauhauser started his career as an engineer and only thought of photography as a hobby until he saw a Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art on a visit to New York. “His work was so fascinating and so strong. I just fell in love with it,” he said. “That made me think it could be an art form.”

Rauhauser spent 30 years teaching photography at the College for Creative Studies, which gave him the ability to spend more time on his craft. Getting a great photo, he said, requires a combination of being at the right place, shooting at the right time, having a broad cultural awareness, and a bit of luck. “Photography was something that was in my blood. I was able to use the extra time and inspiration to walk the streets of Detroit at the time and build up a large body of work while it was still a really beautiful city,” he said.

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