High-Contrast Compositions: Photography by Ezra Hertzel

A photo of several figures on a New York streetUntitled

Ezra Hertzel is a photographer who works frequently with urban subject matter, photographing people and architecture with a flair for the dramatic. Ezra’s photography often incorporates heavy shadows and high-contrast compositions, balancing grit and intense character. 

A photo of the sun breaking over a mountainUntitled


I really like the photos in Ezra’s NYC Street series. These pieces tend to focus on a central human figure. The central figure is rarely the only human figure in the picture frame, however, and it’s interesting to see how Ezra is able to single out an individual through composition, enforcing a sense of isolation or individualism while addressing a space that is still crowded and busy. 


The deep, heavy shadows in these works give them a kind of otherworldly feeling -- it’s difficult to tell what time of day it is in most of these photographs, and I suspect that there is intention behind this aesthetic choice. The heavy shadows also help enforce the feeling of isolation and depth created through the focus on individual figures.

A photo of an NYPD officer directing trafficUntitled

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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