Meet The High Society Ladies Of Fifth Avenue [PICTURES]

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In his portrait series “Women on Fifth Avenue,” photographer Leland Bobbé turns his zoom lens on the society ladies of Manhattan’s poshest shopping street.

Dyed, painted, and surgically enhanced, the women he captured in his photos are at once glamorous and tragic.

Bobbé shared some highlights from the collection with Business Insider, and told us about how he came up with the idea and how the public has reacted. You can see more of his work at his website and on Facebook.

'Women on Fifth Avenue' was inspired by Harry Callahan's black and white photo series of people on the streets of Chicago in the 40s.

Fifth Avenue is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world: the average annual rent for stores there in 2012 was $2,500/square foot.

It's home to some of the world's most luxurious stores, from Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys to Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.

Bobbé's photo series took around six months to shoot.

The photographer said he searched for subjects on Fifth Avenue a few afternoons a week.

The women in the pictures did not know they were being photographed.

Bobbé shot his subjects using a long lens, and only snapped three or four pictures of each woman.

He specifically looked for older women who were well-dressed and put together, he said.

Did he ever shoot a man for the series?

Just one — because only one looked the part, said Bobbé.

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