Mr. Kramer, King of Hardware

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This photo of Mr. Kramer is one that really uses leading lines in order to draw a viewer’s eye right to the focus: the adorable and dutiful Mr. Kramer. The lines of the shelves stretching toward the back are angled toward Mr. Kramer, situated in the center of the composition. The background is cluttered, but blurred and Kramer remains in focus. I felt the blurring effect also contributed to a sense of action and movement in the photograph. The way Kramer’s arms are arranged make me believe he is in the process of walking (or shuffling) down the isle. His red cap, which becomes sort of “signature” throughout the photo essay also grabs my eye. It is amazing to me that Mr. Kramer is responsible for dealing with the overwhelming amount of boxes and supplies in the background, and in fact, knows where everything is. After seeing this image and reading about Mr, Kramer’s meticulous attention and dedication to the hardware store, I was surprised to learn that he lives in a group home for people with developmental disabilities. Because he was portrayed as being so knowledgeable and punctual at the hardware store, and looked to be completely physically capable (despite being elderly), I am confused as to why he is living in such a home. Perhaps he is a savant of sorts? Or maybe living at a home for people with developmental disabilities is an alternative to living at a home for the elderly.

Finally, this photo essay appealed to me overall because I have a soft spot for little old men, especially ones from Brooklyn (like my own Grampy was).

-KL

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