Explore and Research –
Street Photographer – Markus Hartel (Graphic Designer)
Began – Markus Hartel has been passionate ever since he was a kid, when he used to take his family photos with the camera his grandma used to lend him. He bought his very own one at the age of 10 and continued upgrading to better gear ever since. However, his passion grew bigger from the day he landed in New York City (originally from Germany), he saw life happening all around him and all he wanted to do is capture the moment.
Photographic Style – Hartel is all about the rawness of a photo, he doesn’t want to sell/capture a pretty photograph, but he wants the reality and the truth – a beautiful picture can still be captured like this. Unlike most he also takes pictures with film apart from digital. Hartel finds his subject by keeping his mind free and lets his mind walk 20 feet ahead of him, he says that he captures his subjects by either staying in the place for a while and when the people are too involved in what they are doing he shoots or he is so determined about his subject that he captures instantly being quicker than his aim.
Technique – He doesn’t keep a particular theme in mind because that would block
His artistic views.
Spends hours looking at photography studying what is right and what
Inspiration: Henri Cartier Bresson
Quote: “I only want the viewer to get an unpolished view of my vision.” (Hartel, 2005)
Reference: Markus Hartel a(r)t work. (2017). Interview with a street photographer. [online] Available at: http://www.markushartel.com/blog/about-me/interview-with-a-street-photographer [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].
Facebook.com. (2017). Security Check Required. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/Markus-Hartel-Photography-148437221853591/ [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].
His works’ analysis:
Solitude. When someone has their first glance at this photograph that’s what they can think of, they can see a lonely boy, he looks sad and seems like he is longing for something.
Focal Point: The main focus of this photo is the boy’s face. His forehead is pressing onto the window of the train and isn’t sitting in line with the other passengers in his row, also they are facing the other way therefore this makes him pop out even more.
The background which is showing the other commuters, doesn’t play a very important role to this photo, however to contrary myself, the fact that we are seeing it full of people shows how being surrounded by people doesn’t mean one can’t be lonely. Also, the woman in the background sympathizes with the boy as she seems to be tired.
Contrast: This can be seen in the difference between the other people’s jacket in the Background (which all seem to be older than him) and the boy’s jacket – his is a lighter colour compared to everyone else’s which seem to be black.
A graffiti and some scratches are visible on the window of the train indicating a sense of abandons, even though this is a vehicle which is being used everyday and this is a relation to the boy because even though he seems to be taken care of by the look of his clothes doesn’t necessarily mean he is.
The drops of the word zoom on the train and the scratch line are both leading lines –leading us to the boy’s face.
I’d have to say the rule of thirds was done quite well, as the woman’s face is in line with the upper horizontal line, the boy’s face is in line with the lower horizontal line. The lady standing next to him is in line with the right vertical line, and in line with the left vertical line is the boy’s hand. I think this works well as the boy is almost centred but not quite, this avoided having a lot of negative space.
The first thing our eyes are bound to look at, are on the bright orange umbrellas. They stand out in comparison with the greyish tones in the background. The umbrellas here lead us to the man which are holding it, which I believe, they are positive space, they can be like a secondary subject to the photo.
The photographer here decided to cut out the faces of the man carrying the umbrellas, and he didn’t do this because he is a bad photographer, we see two suited man which we know nothing about however by cutting out their face, we can give an identity to them just by their gestures:
Open Blazer – Representing that he has nothing to hide, he is not afraid to let people in, and let them discover him.
No tie: Free
His umbrella pointing forward (Expressive Lines) – Ambitious, self-confident
Walking in front – A leader
Closed Blazer – The other man is holding the jacket closed, thus showing he is a reserved person.
With tie: Something is suffocating him, holding him tight.
His umbrella pointing backwards (Expressive Lines) – Afraid to take that extra step, hold back.
Walking behind – A follower
Also, the colour of the umbrellas may signify that these men may have a creative side, even though they look like serious business man.
Background: The background of this photo is all negative space – space which doesn’t include any information in the photograph however this works well as it doesn’t distract the viewer from the subject.
Leading Lines: The vertical lines of the pavement and the coral red line on the street (which this is the only other vibrant colour to the photo). They are directing the way the men are walking towards.
Focus: The focus here was taken on the umbrellas and the men and the background have a fuzzy focus.
Rule of thirds: I think the rule of third was done right as both the right vertical line is on the man standing behind and the left vertical line is on the man in the front, and the horizontal lines meet the vertical lines at the right points: on the umbrella and on the footsteps. Additionally the negative space isn’t an eyesore here.
This is a shot which I don’t believe just anyone could have taken, since he is taking a photo of another picture, however he made it look much more powerful.
First thing is that he didn’t just choose a random newspaper, this was well thought of – the newspaper contains a child with a dark skin colour and even though we are in the 21st Century we cannot hide that most people are still very racist and consider ‘black people’ as the bad people.
People with dark skin colour in Europe and America are still not treated as the citizens or the light coloured people – they have a lot of limitations, hence what the chain is representing, that they are held down and cannot be free.
Some people don’t have the heart to look at this photo since the person behind the chain is a child, we feel sad for her and want to empathize with her. The photograph makes us think that even though she is young, she is already limited to what she can do. Also, the child in the newspaper didn’t pose for the photo but it’s a close up of her trying to drink.
One can point out on the smile the child has on her face – showing the innocent minds of young children. She is yet to find out what life really offers.
Something I can criticize but he didn’t have much option to do otherwise is the title being very visible and the other typography on the paper as people will want to read what it says.
The chain – The main subject in this photograph is the chain which is very powerful as the photo without it would have been nothing. The chain is rusty and this is representing that this stereotype has been in minds for ages.
Focus: This photo has some depth of field as only a part of the chain is focused, and he chose to focus on the part where it is on the child’s face, which guides the viewer to her face.
It is very well composed and the angle he used is a low-angle which might indicate that the photographer wants to give more power to the child.