Legs and Crutches

a man on crutches standing next to a bunch of mannequins legs (Markus Hartel street photography)

I think this is the first street photo I asked permission for, ever – I saw the scene and thought to myself “how surreal is that”, but kept on walking.
Within half a block I kept looking back about three times – until it hit me “I have to photograph this little scene”. Finally I managed to get my thoughts straight and turned around, but I wasn’t sure if I could get a shot. My instinct told me to adjust the shutter speed of the Leica, just in case – so I did.
The guy noticed me as I walked back towards him, and I didn’t think he wanted his picture taken. in order not to ruin the shot I asked him “do you mind if I take a picture – this scene seems surreal” pointing at the upside-down mannequin legs. “no problem” he responded, and I started to frame.

In this case -sort of close-up- I had a problem seeing the edges of the 28mm Voigtlander finder and fiddled around a bit in order to get him in the frame (mind you, the 28 Voigt lines are much easier to see than the 28mm viewfinder lines in my Leica’s .72 viewfinder).
During the procedure, he noticed that he is of some sort of interest and moved to the left – I moved back and took a 2nd shot. What you see here is the first attempt.

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16 Replies to “Legs and Crutches”

  1. no more words to describe your talent … your instinct and luck. the result you got on develop the film… just great.
    Did you ever consider something further than web? say .. a BOOK?

  2. another great shot Markus, I love the composition, the tones and the fact the guy does’nt realise he is in the shot, quite superb, as ever..

  3. I really like the shot but I would probably have stepped back a bit to show the manikins butts… but the man’s expression and pose really make up for it, if not even more interesting. Gewisse Zufälle sind lustig… I think manikins make great subjects and I always seem to run into interesting compositions. I have posted several.

  4. the word is the main msg of the shot . not just from the manekins but also from their hidden relationship with the men’s disability. great shot.

  5. To me this picture is REAL rather han ‘surreal’.
    I’m pleased you felt to ask in this instance – it yielded a great result. A mix of the approaches gives a very decent feel to an assignment/objective overall.. better than always just snatched candids from waistlevel.
    This is one of the more memorable shots from your recent output.

  6. a real tribute to you that you haven’t had to ask this long. in my little experience i’ve found that sometimes you have to ask. sometimes you have to ask, but you will loose the real shot, therefore you have to think of a better way.
    go markus, go.

  7. I came across your wonderful site via the photobloggies and I’ve been marveling at your work. Simply amazing photographs you have.

  8. this site and its photos has inspired me to submit pix from my home turf, namely the sometimes meanstreats of Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada and it’s contrasting supernatural beauty and landscapes; anyone interested?

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