Heinz Hajek-Halke


Heinz Hajek-Halke (1898–1983) was a German experimental photographer.
Hajek-Halke began with his first photo experiments in 1924, and was hired one year later by the news agency Presse-Photo (where he worked together with Willy Ruge). He also briefly cooperated with Yva (Else Neuländer). In 1933 Hajek-Halke was required by Goebbel’s Propaganda Ministry to fake documentaries. He escaped, however, the grip of the Nazi party and moved as Heinz Halke to Lake Constance. There, he created scientific image series in the field of small animal biology. These were macro shots, which he made with an extremely large format camera. He also explored techniques of chemical and light manipulation in distortions and enlargements of his small subjects.
In 1937, Hajek-Halke travelled to Brazil where he produced, amongst others, a documentary about a snake farm. After his return to Germany, in 1939, he was conscripted by the German army and worked as an aerial and company photographer for the Dornier aircraft enterprises in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance. After a short time as a French prisoner of war, Hajek-Halke started his own snake farm and made a living selling the snake venom to the pharmaceutical industry.

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