Walker Evans’ Subway Portraits

I believe Walker Evans’ subway portraits was an interesting view on the urban environment of New York City of that time. His style of photography, in today’s words are known as “off-guards”. Off-guards are great for photographers, because it allows them to capture their subject in a natural (practically vulnerable) state. His method of capturing the photos in my opinion were unorthodox. Usually people would like to be asked for consent to have pictures taken of them. The idea of someone taking random pictures of yourself is sure to stir up some sort of discomfort, especially in today’s society where privacy is much more of a concern. However, I believe Evans’ project rendered him helpless to any other options of picture taking. In his photos, you can see hard working, sad, tired, and sometimes emotionless faces. Not expecting to have a photo taken, none have a “picture perfect” pose or smile. These facial expressions are very similar to the faces of those on New York City trains today. The people of yesterday and today, in NYC are “working people”. The train riders in these photos, are citizens of the “city that never sleeps” . Its shown in their faces and posture. Walker Evans has done an outstanding job in capturing these photos

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