Walking around Ludwigshafen center, I passed by the offices of the Rheinpfalz, the local newspaper. I saw this man reading the daily paper and it struck me as quaint. There was a time when many more people would have been stopping by to take a look and depending on the daily paper for news. Also, the angle struck me – while you can clearly tell this is a man, he is headless, with the paper covering his head. It stuck me in the moment.
I have often thought about doing a series of pictures of people distracted by their mobiles. As someone who is also often enveloped on whatever is happening on that small screen, I find the paradox fascinating – we are more connected than ever, yet because of that more disconnected than ever. I was walking on the High Line – a wonderful and innovate park in Manhattan – and saw these two girls. I thought it was interesting that they were both fully enveloped int heir phones, yet both facing each other while doing this. Social antisocial interactions. It was clear to me that mobiles have clearly changed people and those who have grown up always knowing smartphones and access everywhere are different from those who remember a time when we weren’t always connected.
This is in the top 5 of my favorite photographs I have taken. While playing tourist in Lübeck, Germany, thinking I was done with photos for the day, I turned around to see this woman standing there in the light of the setting sun. She seemed out of place. There was the typical hustle and bustle of a summer evening in a small city, she was still. Most sought out places not in direct sunlight, she was facing the sunset. Most were in light summer clothes, she had a long coat on. Originally I had a sense of loneliness watching her, but others have commented that maybe she was happily reflecting on something, or just enjoying the sunset. In any case, I find this picture to be very moving.
Train stations, bus stops, waiting rooms, lines in the store, airports. We spend a lot of time waiting. Sometimes I welcome the pause, but mostly I am just impatient wanting to move on and get the task at hand done or get to my destination. I wonder how much time I have spent waiting in line?
As I have mentioned previously, I think about stories a lot. I wonder what benches the stories on the boardwalk tell. The vacationers, the lovers, the criminals, the storms. When people are sitting on benches I wonder what their story is. In this case, I was walking around Atlantic City with my telephoto lens trying to take pictures that were not typical. I spotted this person sitting on the bench and the look on her face caught me. I still can’t tell if it is peaceful or distraught.