This picture is not Instagram material. It requires the viewer to actively participate, to take note of the background and read it, to then apply the background to the characters in the foreground and tie it together. To have the ability to appreciate subtle irony, and be willing and able to appreciate an image that lacks glamour of any kind. There are three characters in this image, one invisible but very much a part, and the two women that are immediately apparent. New York City is a place that gives a street photographer ample opportunities to exploit these little narratives that appear and disappear in life, these split second nuances so easy to miss but that tell a story that, while transitory and almost too subtle to be perceived nonetheless display a daily reality that’s truthful but unfortunately hard to define. This isn’t a picture for everyone, lacking as it does the shadowplay, the photographic pyrotechnics, the techniques often employed by very capable people who make beautiful pictures that say nothing special, and, technical triumphs aside, leave a moment after I remove my gaze.
But here….all three of these characters resonate with me and those that I carry with me, past and present. The woman on the left has given up. The one on the right still has hope. The man in the middle is the one we all seek. But he is older, my father’s age, and represents an invisible minority, a rare find to be treasured should you have the good fortune to stumble across him one day. The women are unaware of his presence, he is so quiet and still, unobtrusive and humble. He’s the one we didn’t notice, and the one we missed seeing altogether.