30 July, 2005 • Express Train
R Train ~ Manhattan bound ~ 9:35am - Click for next Image

Photography © Travis Rusephotoblogs.orglisted

R Train ~ Manhattan bound ~ 9:35am

A mother looking out for her sleepy daughter during the morning rush hour. As summer time hits full stride there have been many more kids on the trains in the morning, a direct result of parents taking kids to summer camps through out the borough. This young girl was barely awake. I guess her age didn't qualify her for an offered seat.

It's been very interesting reading the comments the last couple of days. Thanks Doris for stirring things up. I’m finding the experience of this photoblog always surprising. It's so unusual to be working on a story and showing that work a the same time it's being created. It's quite a challenge. The one thing I try to not think about is what kind of response the images will get from you, the viewer. Don't take it personally but it's just better to pretend you're not there. I've found it dangerous when editing to think about what would get a response from the viewer. At the same time though I'm not impervious to comments. Which is what I think Doris was talking about. If I am trying to tell a story then you can have an impact on that story. You can in a way be the assistant director. What am I not telling you that might be interesting? What's working, what's not working? I can only get that from your dialogue. That is the challenge to you, if you’re interested. You can add as much importance to the experience of these images as the images themselves. Maybe it's because you used to take that train everyday and now live in Japan, maybe because the scene feels like what you see everyday in a Kansas wheat field. Maybe it's because you never imagined that people could look so happy underground. Or maybe it's a million other reasons. It’s a great challenge for me to make these images. I appreciate the feedback; it really does help me focus this story. Who knows where it's going. Maybe nowhere. (Actually it's definitely going to be hung on a wall in a Texas gallery in Feb 06, if you're in the area).

I'm so happy that people from all over are looking at this site. I'm thrilled that the 2000 or so of you that come back daily find it interesting enough to keep it up. And I really appreciate your critiques. Who knows where this photoblog thing will lead us. It has certainly changed my perception on the process of reporting a story.

p.s. required viewing. "Heart Of Darkness" this is a documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now. The last scene Coppola talks about the future of filmmaking. He speaks about the power of cheap cameras and new technology making it possible for the next great film to come from some completely unknown in the middle of nowhere. I think he was talking about photoblogs.


  1. Dear Farmers Wife

    I know that you'll be looking at this. Try to see any of Danny Lyon's photographs, particularily his book "I Like to Eat Right on the Dirt", Martin Parr's book "Think of England" or even Sally Mann's early family portraits, and any William Eggleston for photographers who shoot the comon and familiar. Otherwise I have said enough for a few days, I'll give someone else the space. Thanks Travis for elaborating on the discourse and encouraging us all to dive in and mix it up.

  2. Thanks so much for the homework...required viewing and suggested reading. I too will just watch for awhile....hate to hog the conversation.

    This photo makes me a little sad.

  3. One more for Farmers Wife. I shall have to hone my ironic skills a little better is Doris is in fact Newton... it was ajoke but I'm glad that it stirred things up a little as that was the point.

  4. No stiring here - this is a great shot and without your words you can see she is struggling to stay awake. Another excellent candid capture.

  5. Your photos creep me out man. If I saw you taking a picture of me or some little girl on a subway I would probably punch you in your camera, which would mash up in your eye, and maybe blind you.

    Make some friends and ask them if they'll let you thake their picture.


  6. Wow, I'm glad I live in peacful New York City and not the violent/angry city of Toronto.

  7. You keep taking these photographs Travis. They are great. NYC needs to be photographed. It's part of the city's identity and memory. You are a very talented chronicler. These photos will be very valuable to the people of nyc in 20 years or 30 years. There are details in them we won't even be able to see until then. They are also very valuable to me in the moment, as I was born in nyc and haven't lived there in a while. I come back every day to see what home looks like now. Don't stop until YOU feel it's time. You cannot control the meaning of your work once you release it into the world. You are only responsible for making the work.

    I was once discouraged from pursuing a photographic project in nyc. I was going to photograph bums on the bowery and interview the ones who it was possible to speak with, about where they came from and how they got there. I listened to that discouraging voice and didn't do the project. I wish I had done it now. With all the changes going on in that neighborhood, those pictures of that time would have been very valuable today. One of the most interesting things about photographs is time. As time passes, the things we all cling to as fashionable and desirable and interesting and important tend to change also. Photographs can reveal those changes better than any other visual artform.

    Since nostalgia is also such a huge part of the fabric of nyc culture, photographs are also a huge part of the city's memory and identity. New York is all about speed. Things change quickly there, and often in big and startling ways. Photography is profoundly important. In many ways. Keep on doing the work. People fear powerful reflections of themselves. They also LOVE them. Your job is to take the pictures and display them.

    One last thought. A friend of mine once said that photographs and paintings and music, indeed all art, are simply mirrors that reflect the viewers' consciousness and identity. When we make art, we make mirrors for others' to see themselves in. To worry about what they see or how they react to it is irrelevant. Keep doing the work. Let the meaning be created in the eyes of the beholders.

    My 2 cents. Love the work Travis. Absolutely love it.

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Photography © Travis Rusephotoblogs.orglisted