Otto Steinert – “A Pedestrian's Foot”
From reading “The Photographer’s Eye”, John Szarkowski, I chose the photograph “A pedestrian walking” , 1951. Steinert was the founding member of Fotoform, it made photographic experiments and sought to draw attention to the creative possibilities of photography which had been extinguished by Nazi cultural policy. They had a strong emphasis on abstract form derived from patterns found in nature and from darkroom manipulation.
The framing and composition of this photograph turns the everyday objects, tree, footpath, road and a person, into abstract shapes. The very constructed view adds to this isolation of static forms on the left of the composition. The incomplete view of the tree and the road, the hard circle of the iron grate and the heavy concrete footpath emphasis the static nature of the left hand-side of the image. The introduction of a pedestrian walking into the frame. I feel the pedestrian is more disappearing into his environment than moving through it. The highly polished shoe is left stationary on the ground rooting the image to the right hand side. For this reason I feel the pedestrian is struggling to fit into this urban context.