Sunday, September 17, 2006
The evil eye in Times Square
Walk the streets of any major city and you're bound to run into some folks who might charitably be classified as living on the fringe. Walk the streets of New York and that truth is amplified somewhat. Not that there's anything (Seinfeldianly) wrong with that, of course. Running into folks from all across the human spectrum is what makes the urban environment as rich and frenetic as it is. I wouldn't change a thing.
So as I walked through Times Square on my way back to the hotel following my interview at the NASDAQ, I crossed paths with this individual. Now, I wasn't about to get into a protracted theological discussion with him. On a quieter day, I might have. But I was rushing back to the conference. Still, I didn't want to forget this moment: he looked so forlorn, standing in the middle of the sidewalk while masses of pedestrians did their utmost to avoid him - even turning their heads so they wouldn't catch his eye.
I wanted to ask his permission to shoot him. But the street corner was just too busy, and I didn't want to ruin the spontaneous nature of the moment. I just wanted to snap and run. I know, it was chicken and immoral of me, and I still feel somewhat guilty for throwing caution to the wind. I lifted the camera, prefocused on a nearby element so as not to draw his attention, then shifted my composition toward him and tripped the shutter. Just as I did, he spotted me and his gaze changed. As you can see, he didn't seem to be very pleased with my invasion of his privacy.
Your turn: Would you have taken the shot? Why/why not? What story does this image tell?