April 22, 2014

Tunnel Vision

Photograph by Brian Yen

"In the last ten years, mobile data, smartphones, and social networks have forever changed our existence," writes Brian Yen, who submitted this picture of an Ocean Park Hong Kong tram to the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. "Although this woman stood at the center of a jam-packed train, the warm glow from her phone told the strangers around her that she wasn't really there. She managed to slip away for a short moment, a node flickering on the social web, roaming the Earth, free as a butterfly. Our existence is no longer stuck to the physical here—we're free to run away, and run we will."

This photo was submitted to the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

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21 comments
lavy l.
lavy l.

Photo is nice and perfect timing .. also what i liked the most is the description of the photo.

Chris Corbett
Chris Corbett

This is a great photograph that truly does showcase our society's ability to shut out the surrounding world and enter a digital one simply by checking a cell phone.  What makes this specifically interesting comes from a point another reader made when they pointed out this train actually is an attraction that simulates a submarine ride.  The fact of the matter is we can become so wrapped up in technology that we turn to it and often miss remarkable moments in the world around us.  This photo shows that while people may be considered more social and connected than ever with the help of technology, it also can detach us from traditional human connections and the world around us.  

Sandra Hickman
Sandra Hickman

Great photo. People being observed by camera without noticing.

Janice H.
Janice H.

I just keep wondering what is more interesting than the very thing going on in the..... "RIGHT NOW."       She seems totally apart from the rest of the people as exemplified by the faint blue aura around the girl.        So many things to think of in this Photo, many layers of thought.              So many millions of people alone and apart from the crowd!              Photo provides much" food for thought".

Christopher DeRosa
Christopher DeRosa

Maybe it needs mentioning, but maybe it doesn't, but this 'train' is actually an attraction that shows a simulated submarine ride while the train itself goes through a tunnel to the other end of the park. What fascinates me is the woman's lack of desire to enjoy the imagery provided while experiencing the attraction. It's like sitting in line for a Disneyland ride and then texting the whole time you are on it. 

Murray Sye
Murray Sye

Hey Brian -- really great photo. As mentioned by earlier comments, the girl, I'm assuming by coincidence, stands out and I love the blue hue.
Let me know if I can use this in my blog w/credit -- whitespace.on.ca
Murray

Tessa Chilala
Tessa Chilala

Amazing how in this jam packed image, the girl almost stands alone…. great shot, congrats 

pamela letstalkaboutcorsica
pamela letstalkaboutcorsica

Stunning shot, although I would tend to think we are tempted to 'run away' as you put it, somewhat too often - life itself is being in the moment, we should remember this too, time doesn't forget and pushes onwards, relentlessly. Exactly, she's there without being there, the glow remains.

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

The contrast of light is so definate, and makes the shot. Then the crowded tram makes for a really good clear picture, framing  it all in place. Cell phones now, do allow one to' slip away'  for a while! So do computers, thoughts, and other things too. The young woman is oblivious to the crowds around her, we know that, and I count her lucky, because she is!  j.e.s.......

Daniel Miladinovich
Daniel Miladinovich

"She managed to slip away for a short moment, a node flickering on the social web, roaming the Earth, free as a butterfly. Our existence is no longer stuck to the physical here—we're free to run away, and run we will." 

This is a fantastic description for today's life.  

Angel Fitzsimmons
Angel Fitzsimmons

This shot exemplifies how our world has changed with technology.  Eerie and very fascinating.

Tiago Booz
Tiago Booz

"Our existence is no longer stuck to the physical here..." that's so true, nowadays, people are even more "out there" than in physical here.

Thanks for the great shot Bryan! ;)

Farshad Tasaodian
Farshad Tasaodian

There's a strange feeling in this shot, though it is warm at the same time! Nice shot! Thank you Brian.

Bev Hennager
Bev Hennager

Lives jammed together but so separate.  

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