November 14, 2016
Thank you to photographers worldwide for submitting incredibly imaginative and eye-catching shots for the #McCurryStreetChallenge Instagram competition! The third round of submissions were truly difficult to judge. But we have made a decision and we are thrilled to announce our final winning photo…
Standing Tall, Plan or Fall by Ezra Hertzel leaves the viewer questioning which way is up and which way is down. It caught the attention of Michener curators for its creative play with perspective and the framing of both subject and environment.
I first showed interest in photography when I started an artist based t-shirt company called Know Graffiti Design. This led me to the streets of Philadelphia and New York City to take pictures of graffiti and the cityscape. Once I realized I actually enjoyed taking photos more then the business, I worked at developing an eye for light and shadow. I primarily learned about the importance of light by taking pictures of flowers and nature. About two years ago I moved to Philadelphia and applied what I learned to the street and haven’t looked back.
My parents are a huge inspiration to me, as they taught me how important it is to create. With them as role models I have tried many art forms and found my love for photography. The easiest way for me to connect with the world around me is through my lens. The unique walks of life in Philadelphia will always be one of my main motivations, as I aspire to capture their essence.
Extreme contrast is my favorite thing to shoot which I create by using light and shadow. Shadow is used to neutralize the background of my images causing my subject to pop. I use light like a map around the city which helps me to pick subjects. Trees and other bazaar shadows help to break down people or objects into pieces to highlight a particular feature. This helps to focus the eye making the image about the person and not the situation they are in.
If I could tour anywhere in the world with my camera I would love to visit Cuba.Taking pictures there would be reminiscent of living in the 50s. I would have a window into an era of class and elegance unmatched to all else.
A huge thank you to all supporters of the Unguarded, Untold, Iconic: Afghanistan Through the Lens of Steve McCurry exhibition and the #McCurryStreetChallenge. We encourage everyone to continue posting their street photography online and keep tagging us – we’d love to see them! We are astounded at the talent that surrounds us and look forward to seeing more of your photos!