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New York's waiting area by CatchMe-22 New York's waiting area by CatchMe-22
New York's waiting area by CatchMe-22 (print image)

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Laksa plays the Senegalese Kora and doesn't speak much English. When I asked him why he came to New York he simply said "I like America. It's nice." with a sheepish smile.

So we hung out in the subway and let the Kora do the talking. The sound of the Kora was quite something -- intense and entrancing, one can hear West Africa's proud heritage in its sound and Laksa's singing. His voice was a fascinating blend of silky smoothness and a distant nostalgia that permeated the subway with a sense of longing.

The train pulls into the station and drowns out the music, but Laksa doesn't stop. A few commuters dropped quarters and dollar notes into his case and he simply nodded gracefully without being distracted.

The train leaves the station, and Laksa and his Kora emerged from the noise again like wet sand under the tide. Every 5 minutes another train would pull in, pick up the commuters then pull away again, each time drowning out the music but Laksa seemed unbothered by it.

5 trains later Laksa finished his song. He turned to me with a smile, "I'm tired." he said, "Thank you for listening."

I told him the pleasure was all mine.





*Full view*
New York, New York
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmambasnake:
mambasnake Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
time goes by, doesn't it?
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
doesn't stop for anyone.. but our own mortality is what makes life so special
Reply
:icongothghostgirl:
Gothghostgirl Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Gawwwwd I love this picture :+favlove:
Reply
:iconsunshine911:
sunshine911 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
featured here: [link] :heart:
Reply
:iconmundenoner:
MundenOner Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
Can really feel the mood there! good job :)
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
thank u!
Reply
:iconmoustafa-amer:
Moustafa-Amer Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2009   Interface Designer
Beautiful scene , nice shot
Reply
:iconcurtixs:
CurtiXs Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009   Interface Designer
amazing! :love: :D
Reply
:icondelitescence:
delitescence Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2009   Photographer
Very nice work. I like the way you actually put the main focus on the surrounding and combined the two contrasts: 'calmness' and ' pace':
The subway is rushing by while one lone musician plays unperturbetly his Senegalese Kora.

I enjoy your photographs a lot. Especially because (even without the annotations) they tell stories - (and I knw no better way to describe this) they have a heart :)

Keep up your love for photography.
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2009
Thank u so much for ur comment. Yes the contrast of motion and tranquility is exactly what I was after here, glad u got it... and I do try to tell stories with my photographs. The way I give them their hearts is by talking and getting to know the subjects, even if I will never see them again on my journey.

Again, appreciate ur support... really means a lot :aww:
Reply
:iconheart-soul1:
heArt-soul1 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2009
subways are some of my favorite places to listen to music. take pictures. play music. sing. and anything else really.\
thank you for capturing it on film as well, its a good thing to appreciate
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009
yeah they're special places... the isolation, the alien environment and the unique lighting gives it a rather surreal atmosphere :)
Reply
:iconicyyyyy:
icyyyyy Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2009
i don't know what to say...just, indescribably beautiful
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2009
thank u so much... i always thought it was beautifully sad too :)
Reply
:iconjay-2:
Jay-2 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Featured :floating: [link] :floating:
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009
:aww: thank u so much! I'm honoured :)
Reply
:iconjay-2:
Jay-2 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
my pleasure :D
Reply
:iconmelancholy-minds:
Melancholy-Minds Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2008
You meet some very interesting people...
I love this shot... I can't say exactly why... but I just love it.
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2008
thank u... so do I. There are so many amazingly interesting people in the world... one just has to open their eyes to see how special they are :)
Reply
:iconmaldoror248:
maldoror248 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2008
it's a fantastic photo. just perfect and with a wonderful background story
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2008
thank u so much :) I enjoy writing the stories to accompany the photograph :) I think it's less lonely this way :D
Reply
:iconfineart-photography:
fineart-photography Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2008
I really like this photograph.
Can I add it to our collections ?

*kazakchoc
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2008
sure thing... i'll be honoured to! I'm actually part of the club but just been to busy to submit anything to u guys :)
Reply
:iconfineart-photography:
fineart-photography Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2008
That's done !

*kazakchoc
Reply
:iconkohanaluvr:
kohanaluvr Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2008
Great choice of colors, angle and moment :-) I love how the movement in the background doesn't influence the foreground and the man seems to be very calm in contrast to the background...:thumsbup:
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2008
thank u so much :)I like contrasting motion and stillness :) Glad u liked it!
Reply
:iconlinkhero55:
linkhero55 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2008
cool. I like this one with or withought the story but that makes it much more interesting.faved.
Reply
:iconxshasha-chan:
xShasha-Chan Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great story again.
The word 'melancholy' pops up. But that's probably because I like the word..

Great picture too <3!
Reply
:iconmehmetalivarol:
mehmetalivarol Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2008
nice photo, great shot:)
Reply
:iconslater-ska:
Slater-SKA Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2008
i just love it, you're the best. <3
Reply
:icongreerhart:
GreerHart Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2008
Reminds me alot of the subways we have in Glasgow
Reply
:iconblancakalos:
blancakalos Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2008
:clap: your pictures always tell emotional stories life :aww:
Reply
:iconmaniacbob:
Maniacbob Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008
I love how you include a story with your pictures. It adds a level of depth to them and makes you really pay attention to them and remember them and these people who would be so easy to miss amongst everything else that happens. Its really a way to look at life that most people miss in normal life. That you take the time to not only immortalize them on film but to take the time to understand these people and learn who they are and to convey that. I love these pictures.
And thats not to forget that the pictures alone look fantastic
I like the way the light reflects off of everything it just looks so neat. Not too mention that instrument looks so ridiculously cool.
Theres also something so fitting and catching about the "Waiting Area" sign that stands out crisp against the blurred background of the train that in some way I cant understand, for me anyways, really sums up the whole picture and the whole story too.
Another fantastic addition
Good job and thanks so much
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2008
thank u so much for the comment... I strive to establish a connection with all of my subject and portray that in my photographs, and the story is a way to help the viewers to see the emotional reality behind the photographs.. People often ask me what is a good place to take photographs, and the real answer is that beauty is everywhere if you're willing to really open your eyes and see it, let it be in a dirty subway or beautiful sandy beach.

And i'm so glad u find the connection of the "waiting area" sign... New York is like a huuuuge waiting area for so many artists, actors and musicians... they're all waiting for their big break to the big times, including this fella here :)

Again thank u for the detailed comment... i really appreciate it!
Reply
:iconimpulsives:
impulsives Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2008
I totally agree with both of you.

I'm still in live with your art and New York is still magic. When will I go back there? My magic bag gets empty, I have to fill it

I don't know if what I say is in a correct english or not but anyway I don't care ^^

thank you for your amaaazing pictures and one day, I swear, I'll be as good as you. Hum... barely as good as you ok?
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
Best of luck! Keep trying and I'm sure u'll be heaps better than me ;)
Reply
:iconimpulsives:
impulsives Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2008
shit I meant "in love with your art" not "in live" but well "in live" is good too =D
Reply
:icontabeaborchardt:
TabeaBorchardt Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Professional Photographer
Nice capture - like the other NY'ers! It's nice that you try to bring the situation of the image directly to us - the watcher. I've nearly heard his music!
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2008
I wish I had a camrecorder to bring u the music too! :D
Reply
:icontabeaborchardt:
TabeaBorchardt Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2008  Professional Photographer
Maybe next time :) Allthough you don't really need it. The images and your descriptions speak for themselfs :)
Reply
:iconangelhalfie:
AngelHalfie Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008
I love how you include the story behind the picture. It really shows how much your subjects mean to you in the shooting process...he looks like a really great guy who I'd like to hang with in the station, too :)
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008
photographs without emotional connection is no more than an illustration. I love connecting with my subjects, and strive to let the viewers feel that connection too to understand my joy in taking photographs :aww:
Reply
:iconnebulous-echo:
nebulous-echo Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
A great photo and a great story. I would love to see you go back there and take more shots like this without a person in the frame as well, because those would be equally interesting.
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008
u know what, I was thinking that myself! It would be an interesting conceptual series :aww:
Reply
:iconannaklava:
AnnaKlava Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
things*
Reply
:iconannaklava:
AnnaKlava Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
That's so kind of you! These are one of the thing I like about NY, these people coming to the subway playing music. So enjoyable!
Reply
:iconcatchme-22:
CatchMe-22 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008
yeah there's such an amazing subculture in the subways (no puns intended lol) thank u very much!
Reply
:iconannaklava:
AnnaKlava Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
no problem! NYC is my home town.
Reply
:iconj0rosa:
j0rosa Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
You're very kind and a good listener :hug:
Reply
:icontzaca:
tzaca Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008
A very beautiful picture!!!
Reply
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Details

Submitted on
October 12, 2008
Image Size
3.7 MB
Resolution
3474×3060
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
6,176
Favourites
240 (who?)
Comments
59

Camera Data

Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
Shutter Speed
1/30 second
Aperture
F/6.3
Focal Length
17 mm
ISO Speed
800
Date Taken
Aug 13, 2008, 3:17:11 PM