Photography by Hernst Haas

Photographic Reading

The photograph captures a bustling urban night scene, animated by movement and artificial light.

1) Detailed Image Analysis:
The image captures the motion of city life with human figures moving so quickly that they are blurred and indistinct. In the center of the image, a plume of steam rises from a street vent, a distinctive feature of metropolises like New York. Artificial lights provide bright spots against the night background, with predominant tones of yellow and white contrasting with the darker areas of the street and buildings.

2) Interpretation of the Message:
The message could relate to the hustle and anonymity of modern city life, where people are often just passing figures. The rising steam may symbolize the relentless energy and activity of the metropolis, which continues regardless of the presence or identity of the passersby.

3) Technical Choices:
3a) Light: The artificial lighting, with different light sources, creates a dynamic and contrasted environment. The light reflects on the steam and on the wet surfaces of the road, amplifying the effect of movement and chaos.

3b) Image Planes: The main plane is occupied by the moving figures and the steam, with a parked car providing a fixed point of contrast. In the background, the lights and urban details provide context without distracting from the main subject.

3c) Tones: The tonal range goes from deep blacks to bright highlights, creating strong contrast that emphasizes the dynamism and texture of the steam.

3d) Framing: The framing is tight, focusing on the action and the steam, suggesting a scene extracted from the continuous flow of the city’s movement.

3e) Point of View: The photographer appears to have taken the photo from street level, placing the observer directly in the scene, almost walking among the passersby.

3f) Subjects: The steam is the main subject due to its visual impact, while the people are secondary subjects conveying the sense of motion and activity.

3g) Compositional Structure: The composition is dynamic, with the movement of the people creating blurred lines and the steam providing a vertical element. There is no evident symmetry, but a balance given by the alternation of movement and stillness.

3h) Dynamism: The key element is movement, rendered through the blurring of the passersby and the ascending steam. This creates an almost dreamlike image, reflecting the vital energy and continuous transformation of the city.