Weegee wrote a number of books from 1946 onwards and is best known for as being a crime reporter in New York. Ever humble he called himself “weegee The Famous” which was the wet stamp he used on his prints. Weegee experimented with a whole range of novelty lenses and filters to experiment with a while range of visual effects. In the online exhibition “Weegee’s World: Life, Death, and the Human Drama” at the International Center of Photography (ICP) the distortions of Weegee are described in the following passage:
There were three basic methods Weegee used to create these distortions. Weegee’s first experiments were made by placing a textured or curved glass or other translucent material between the enlarger lends and the photographic paper. This effect would alter the image of the negative to varying degrees depending on the density pattern, or texture of the material he used. He also tried manipulating or mutilating copy negatives by placing them in boiling water, or melting them with an open flame. The third method he employed involved making multiple exposures from the same or various negatives. Given his darkroom talent, he sometimes combined these techniques. Weegee later added a system by which he would affix a kaleidoscope to the end of the camera lens, or use it to replace the camera lens, letting the refractive designs multiply what the camera would have recorded as a single image. From this period until his death, Weegee concentrated on what he alternately called his “distortions,” “caricatures,” “creative photography,” or most often, his “art.