New York City-based graphic designer Markus Hartel has a passion for street photography. On one of his last strolls through the city, he captured some scenes on the busy streets with the New Russar+ Lens. Read on to learn about his experience photographing with the Russar+ and get insider info on how it is to be a street photographer in the Big Apple.
Name: Markus Hartel
Profession: Graphic Designer
City: Newburgh, NY
Camera: Leica M240, Hexar RF
Please introduce yourself to the Lomography Community.
I have always been the creative kid in the family, and my grandma used to give me her camera, when she wanted to be included in family photos. Later on, I aspired to be a graphic designer and chose to apprentice to become a typesetter in a print shop. Today, everything is coming back full circle and I enjoy letterpress printing.
How did you become a street photographer in New York? What aspects do you like most about it?
I have photographed as long as I can remember, but coming to New York City in 2003 struck a nerve with me, and the diversity and hustle in the street inspired me to photograph strangers in the street. I started a photo blog with my photos and my work got published all over the world over the past 12 years.
What are perfect conditions for shooting on the street? Do you have special places in New York where you can always expect great pictures?
I always love when the sun is low and almost never shoot in the open sun, unless I’m using a fill flash.
On your last stroll through the city you took the New Russar+ with you. How do you like this ultra-wide-angle lens? Which camera did you use with it?
I used it mostly on a digital Leica M240... shooting ultra wide is a lot of fun, but also comes with ist own challenges, as there is so much extraneous information in the frame, which requires me to get a lot closer than usual – I’m normally shooting a 28mm or 35mm lens.
Can you tell us a bit more about the pictures you took?
I have tried to get a decent variety of different environments, where of course it’s incredibly hard to get that “killer“ shot within a few days. I have used a fill flash in almost all of the people pictures.
Please share your favorite Russar+ shot and the story behind it.
I like discovering random moments, like the TV on the couch, as I was walking through my new neighborhood in Newburgh at midnight, as stuff like this disappears rather quickly. The car is also a pretty cool moment in time, as they just towed it away this morning.
Do you have any advice or suggestions for new or future Russar+ users?
Get closer than you might think is necessary, a wide lens like the Russar+ definitely shows a lot of extra elements in the frame, but I’d always embrace its quirkiness.
Learn more about Markus Hartel and his work on his website.
Lomography thanks the artist for the interview and use of his images.