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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> powerful and sad commentary on our digital lives
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09/17/2019 11:22:46 AM · #1
Here
09/17/2019 11:43:18 AM · #2
Got rid of my landline six months ago and I still don't own a cellphone.
It's amazing watching groups together at restaurants and bars at how frequently they check their phones even though there's a conversation happening in front of them. Or watching parents ignore their kids with the digital babysitter. The same happens at the park.

The photos themselves are kind of ridiculous. I'd rather see poignant commentary of people sitting in a park, or a bus, or ...., with no one looking up.
09/17/2019 02:40:41 PM · #3
I think this is genius, frankly. It is indeed a very sad commentary on the state of interpersonal communication.
09/17/2019 03:07:57 PM · #4
My internet service provider has messed my life up so badly for the last month that a part of me wishes I could remove all the technology and go back to the way things were when I was young. Unfortunately that's not possible, especially not when digital photography is such a big part of my life.

I try not to use my cellphone when I'm in company, but over the last month I've constantly been checking my notifications for messages from my service provider - broken promises that they'll get me out of the mess they've created, but it's only getting worse. Just today I started the process of cutting my ties with them though, so once that's done I plan to ignore my cellphone as much as possible.
09/17/2019 04:05:46 PM · #5
Originally posted by Venser:

Got rid of my landline six months ago and I still don't own a cellphone.

Wow. I am not blind to the downsides and potential pitfalls of owning a cell phone, but I there are certain positives that I enjoy too much to give it up my phone completely (like staying connected to family that are outside of my geographic area). Don't get me wrong, if no cell phone (or land line) is your choice, you have my full respect for making it work. For me, the right balance is working on knowing when to turn it off/leave it be and when to pick it up.
09/17/2019 04:44:44 PM · #6
Originally posted by markwiley:

(like staying connected to family that are outside of my geographic area).

I use email for that.
For emergencies family and friends call my wife's phone. Otherwise I'm a hard person to get a hold of, and I like it that way.
09/17/2019 04:47:59 PM · #7
Originally posted by markwiley:

<snip>For me, the right balance is working on knowing when to turn it off/leave it be and when to pick it up.

And it isn't really that hard. My life is interesting enough that I don't need to stare at a three inch screen to occupy myself.
09/17/2019 05:01:54 PM · #8
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Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.
-- Fran Lebowitz
09/17/2019 05:37:09 PM · #9
Still using my old flip-top phone set to Silent-All. In other words, I'm not part of the digital community. I might consider buying a Samsung Note 8 one of these days.
09/17/2019 07:49:29 PM · #10
And here we all are discussing it in an internet forum. The irony should not be lost on us.
09/17/2019 08:18:48 PM · #11
Originally posted by kirbic:

And here we all are discussing it in an internet forum. The irony should not be lost on us.

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09/17/2019 08:38:33 PM · #12
Originally posted by Venser:

The photos themselves are kind of ridiculous. I'd rather see poignant commentary of people sitting in a park, or a bus, or ...., with no one looking up.

I agree, it is a gimmick that quickly gets old, once you realize that all photos are staged. The reality is sadder, people do not pretend to ignore each other, they really do ))
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Message edited by author 2019-09-17 20:51:56.
09/18/2019 02:06:56 AM · #13
I really don't see a problem, instead of reading paper newspapers or watching TV, they do something on the phones. Probably being more social than when doing these old-fashioned things, the social interaction while watching TV is not particularly great! And they might eat less as their hands are occupied :)

I think also that without knowing what they actually do on these phones these photos make little sense to me. Would you react the same if they held books instead of smart phones?
09/18/2019 04:02:21 AM · #14
The difference is that you don't carry your newspaper or TV with you 24/7.

I've even overheard people having extremely private cellphone conversations at the top of their voice in public toilets. If they do that, I hate to think what germs are lurking on those phones.
09/18/2019 03:38:39 PM · #15
Originally posted by LevT:

I agree, it is a gimmick that quickly gets old, once you realize that all photos are staged.

As I understand it, the photographer encountered scenes with devices in use, asked people to hold the pose, removed the devices, and shot. Is that "staging"? I suppose it is in a way, but... Of course, we only have his word for it...

Originally posted by Eric Pickersgill:

US photographer Eric Pickersgill has created “Removed,” a series of photos to remind us of how strange that pose actually is. In each portrait, electronic devices have been “edited out” (removed before the photo was taken, from people who’d been using them) so that people stare at their hands, or the empty space between their hands, often ignoring beautiful surroundings or opportunities for human connection. The results are a bit sad and eerie—and a reminder, perhaps, to put our phones away.

09/18/2019 03:56:48 PM · #16
Originally posted by Bear_Music:


As I understand it, the photographer encountered scenes with devices in use, asked people to hold the pose, removed the devices, and shot. Is that "staging"? I suppose it is in a way, but... Of course, we only have his word for it...


Exactly. Although you have to wonder about the bedroom shoot...

Message edited by author 2019-09-18 15:57:51.
09/18/2019 04:12:23 PM · #17
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

As I understand it, the photographer encountered scenes with devices in use, asked people to hold the pose, removed the devices, and shot. Is that "staging"? I suppose it is in a way, but... Of course, we only have his word for it...

I think you could make this argument if these were all scenes the photographer happened upon, essentially asked the subjects to "freeze", removed the devices, and took the shot. However, for me, it is the first image that contradicts this scenario. I don't think he happened upon the couple in bed. I would think that he would have to have staged that one. And, if he staged it, I then have to wonder if all were complete set-ups. Either way they convey a message, but the tone seems different if they were all contrived scenes or they were natural scenes that were paused to remove the devices.
09/18/2019 05:27:32 PM · #18
Originally posted by markwiley:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

As I understand it, the photographer encountered scenes with devices in use, asked people to hold the pose, removed the devices, and shot. Is that "staging"? I suppose it is in a way, but... Of course, we only have his word for it...

I think you could make this argument if these were all scenes the photographer happened upon, essentially asked the subjects to "freeze", removed the devices, and took the shot. However, for me, it is the first image that contradicts this scenario. I don't think he happened upon the couple in bed. I would think that he would have to have staged that one. And, if he staged it, I then have to wonder if all were complete set-ups. Either way they convey a message, but the tone seems different if they were all contrived scenes or they were natural scenes that were paused to remove the devices.


To me, removing the devices is entirely the point, whether or not the images was staged. I think we're meant to see his silly it is to be so close to people yet oblivious of them. Having the devices in their hands would subconsciously justify their poses.
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