Street Photograph of the Day | The Bowery | Manhattan, NY

E-M5 – OLYMPUS M.17mm F1.8 – f/8 – 1/750 – ISO 800

After taking one bad photo after another for the entire afternoon, I saw her down the street while walking toward the train. The light was fading. My instinct told me that something was happening, that there was a photo forming. (When you shoot street long enough you begin to have an sensitivity about these things) I approached carefully.

Questions appeared, one after another, like an archipelago in the fog: Was she thinking? Was she in pain? Did her rent check bounce? Did she just hear that her father had died? Should I take this photo? I did not want to disturb her, but I knew the moment would be gone in a fraction of a second, so I quietly snapped single frame. That second she snapped out of it, not because I disturbed her – she did not even notice me – but simply because ‘it’ was over. The moment had vanished as quickly as it had appeared.

I was reminded of a quote from The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
By T.S. Eliot:

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.