Markus Fischer - at the Tracks

Meet Markus Fischer

The 1st Swiss photographer for Art for Understanding

You might meet Markus Fischer on a lively street corner in Zürich or in a train somewhere in Switzerland taking pictures. He always has his Fuji X100 at hand to be ready to capture the perfect moment anytime. I met him in his small cozy hometown to talk to him about the upcoming two art for understanding exhibitions and got to ask him a couple of questions.

Marcus is a family man. He loves spending time with his three young sons. Despite spending most of his time at work or with his family, he always finds a few moments to dedicate to one of his favorite hobbies – street photography.

What he likes most about street photography, in particular, is, that it’s a way to document reality, to keep an extract of everyday life on the streets for eternity. Especially the fact that it’s not staged appeals to him. He’s fascinated that his pictures serve as a contemporary document and that in twenty or even ten years from now, one would start noticing the differences and progress that have occurred since the picture was taken. One could discover these differences in the changes in fashion style or advanced public transportation etc.

How he works

There are different ways street photographers proceed when they are shooting on the streets. Marcus’ favorite way is to find a bench at an interesting street corner. He likes to check out the location first and get a feeling for it before he pushes the release of his camera.

However, for him, not every day is a good day to take pictures. The fact that it’s his bobby makes it possible, that he can go out and shoot when he’s in the mood to do so. Everybody experiences days when they are feeling a lack of inspiration and don’t even want to take out their camera. Especially when it comes to street photography, it’s important to be confident and convinced enough. It always needs a certain courage to go out and take pictures of strangers in the streets because you never know how they will react when they notice it.

Markus Fischer

Cultural Differences in Photography

When I got to ask him whether or not he thinks there are differences in the way photographers work in different countries, he gave me an interesting answer. As a street photographer, he’s in direct contact with the population and his work is thus directly affected by the way they react to him taking pictures. He’s noticed that most Swiss people don’t show a strong reaction to him taking pictures. Most of them just pass by and keep on following their daily schedule without even stopping or saying a word. I believe that many people would agree with him when he says that it takes a lot to make a Swiss person interfere in a situation in the public. Swiss people are rather reserved.

This brings me to the conclusion that the respective culture the photographer is operating in affects his work a lot. In Marcus’ case, people don’t pay any particular interest to him on the streets, while elsewhere a photographer could also be faced with either a positive or a negative reaction of the population. This will directly affect the way he or she works. Some photographers might adapt by becoming less visible while working while others might be accustomed to people starting to pose for them when they notice that they are being taken pictures of. Let’s see how it’s like for street photographers in Costa Rica!

His Camera

Markus uses a Fuji X100T and is very content with this camera. It makes his life more comfortable while taking high-quality photos. He can save a lot of time because he doesn’t have to bring many different lenses and a lot of equipment when shooting somewhere. It’s the perfect camera for his street photography excursions. With it he can easily edit his pictures on his smartphone and directly post them on flicker.

His Inspiration and Dreams

Of course, Marcus is inspired by great street photography pioneers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, but the people who inspire him most are his friends.

If he won the lottery, he’d travel the world. His favorite place to go to would be somewhere out in the nature up north. That’s because that’s where he’d love to take pictures.

Check out his work on Instagram

2 replies
  1. Tab
    Tab says:

    Marcus reminds me when I was waiting at an intersection in Cambodia to take a street photo. You see, in Seam Reap some intersections don’t have traffic lights and cars from all four directions move simultaneously, but there is no collision.I was waiting for the perfect moment when four cars would cris-cross each other. Well, I had to wait a bit longer because cars don’t wait for me when I wait for the perfect exposure. I wonder how Marcus would have handled it.

    Swiss people are reserved! Well you may alter the equation. BTW, the flickr page is withdrawn, it says.


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