Hot Time, Cell Phones in the City

Street photography isn’t my thing.  Funny to say that after posting loads of NYC city street photos the last week but I mean being a true street photographer is not my genre.  Photographing people unaware hasn’t really appealed to me and I felt awkward or intrusive. But in an hours time walking down Fifth Avenue I took 165 photos of people on their cell phones.  A lot of them while crossing the street without looking.  It wasn’t a plan and I made a little movie of the photos but the end result was monotonous and boring.  Even though I got it down to a minute thirty three seconds it was a snoozer.  You can determine if the ones I have chosen to illustrate my experience produce boredom in the viewer.

In a couple of the photos you can see three or four people on phones at once.

This is not going to be an ongoing effort to capture people using technology in public.  The good thing is it allowed me to get more comfortable on the sidewalk photographing people.  Of course, it wasn’t a fair playing field as they were definitely distracted and ignoring me which is how I was able to lift the camera to my eye and take their picture.




How have cell phones affected the way we live?  Our human interaction?

There are posters around the city that say HEADS UP showing a guy on his cell phone and a vehicle turning into the crosswalk.
cell phone subway

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Cell phone central park zoo


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21 thoughts on “Hot Time, Cell Phones in the City

  1. Love, love, love these photos. Each one tell a story some of them absolutely wonderful. Not your field, I think it just became one. Was not bored at all.


  2. I wonder what would happen if . . . for one entire day . . . all the cell towers stopped functioning. It might be an interesting premise for a novel . . . or a movie.

  3. Isn’t it amazing how widespread cellphones have become? Once “smartphones” came onto the scene, everything changed. I can’t help but wonder what the landscape will look like in 10 or 20 years.

  4. The real question is, why is that one man wearing a tshirt while everyone else is wearing winter coats?

  5. I loved how none of the people realized you were taking their picture. It doesn’t affect the way I live. I do have a cell phone, but Hesh informed me that of the 700 allowed minutes we have on our phones a month, we use 47 minutes. I hate the trusty ole land line let alone a cell phone.

  6. These photos are great. Big cities, small towns…. this is what you see.
    While we are more “connected” I think we are all missing out on a lot. A couple of years ago I was in a funeral procession. A young lady crossed the street right in the middle ( I slammed on my brakes and just barely avoided a tragedy) She also had an ipod and earphones and was not even aware of the danger. I just sat there with my heart racing watching her cross the street. When I got to the cemetery, several people who were following me commented on the close call and how everyone behind me was also put on a collision course.
    There are enough distractions everyday…. phones worry me.

  7. I’m old! I lived in a time when we got by perfectly well without all this media hype! Not even an answering machine. I really think the world was a happier place then. I have a cell phone, though, that I carry ONLY for emergencies. I NEVER even have it on. I hope someday that the world goes back to the way it was. I miss it!

  8. “…back of my ear feelin’ dirt and gritty…” 😉

    At work, any spare moment people have is spent head’s down looking at their phone. As I wait for and ride the elevator totally aware, I see how many opportunities so many people miss. Sad that their lives are flying by them without them really noticing…

  9. Great pictures. It seems that we are so addicted to our mobile phones and other technical devices that we do not know what to do with our hands without holding them.
    Regards from Zagreb

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