Small Picture vs. Large Picture

Beyond Distraction

Why take in the sights when you can be staring at your mobile phone? That should have been the title of this post, for the epidemic of small screen fixation has by now reached astronomical levels. The day I took this photo, I had to literally move out of the way because a young woman went right through the space I was occupying a mere fraction of a second before, while her eyes were glued to her mobile’s tiny screen. Don’t think she ever saw me, or cared for the shadow that jumped out of her way so she could barrel through without a concern in the world. And as to the gentleman in the photo above, I stood next to him with my camera for nearly ten minutes, never to see him raise his eyes from his phone, or care for a second to anything that was going on around him, which obviously was plenty enough.

So what to make of this collective obfuscation that has enveloped our society? From a photographer’s point of view, it kind of makes our lives a little easier, as no one even notices you unless you appear digitally within their screens. But even this is a double-edged sword, so to speak, because as it becomes easier to photograph the phone zombies out there, the activities in which they engage while we click away are becoming a lot more boring. For too many people, the big picture has lost too much ground to the small picture. Life around them seems to have become too boring, specially when compared to the constant refresh of their mobile screens. People just don’t go away with the click of a button, and conversations will always require more words than texting. That small screen sure sounds a lot more convenient, not to mention less time consuming. The problem is that you just can’t fit enough of life into one of those tiny screens, and no matter what you do, those small screen will never love you back for that matter. It glows without shining a light on you, and for a price.  A temporary necessity transformed into a constant one. A window to all but what surrounds you.  And there’s always a lot going on around us.


The Lost Art Of Conversation

Remember when friends used to go to coffee houses for conversation?  Leica M9, APO-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPH.
Remember when friends used to go to coffee houses for conversation? Leica M9, APO-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPH.

This photograph pretty much speaks for itself, but it really makes you think of those years-gone-by when friends would actually talk when sitting at an outdoor cafe.  How times change.  Not that texting is not a form of conversation, but rather that the “here and now” has kind of given way to the “now, but over there.”  While I walked around the area taking photographs, these ladies never raised their heads to talk to each other.  I guess being there was enough, but that is precisely why I love photography so much: you never take your attention away from what’s around you.  In a sense, everything talks to you in some way, and you never stop paying attention to it.  You see, you listen, and you constantly feel.  It is a visual conversation without distractions.  At least that’s something that the Internet won’t be able to change any time soon.