May 22, 2024
Big Shot
New York
One Hour Photo

The world from an iPhone, as seen on the way to work

By Adrian Mihai

The commute from my home, in Jackson Heights, Queens, to work, in New York’s East Village, takes about an hour. Ever since I got an iPhone, I’ve been shooting pictures along the way.

Once on the subway, I edit them. I see myself as something between a kid playing Nintendo and an adult reading a good book.

What I like most about shooting while commuting is the variety. People have different flavors. You can always tell the difference between a morning face and an evening face.

At first I was afraid that, by concentrating on shooting, I was detaching myself too much from reality. But then I realized that, on the contrary, I see more this way, because I unleash my imagination, and let my eye be captivated by these unexpected details I would have overlooked otherwise.

I’m drawn to the details.

The iPhone allows you to penetrate someone’s personal space without them knowing. You walk opposite them. You are looking into your phone. They don’t know you’re shooting.

The iPhone doesn’t have a flash. In low light conditions on the subway, the trick is to take pictures at the stops, or to be very still.

This way of working allows creativity, room to breathe. Editing, you also feel much closer to the picture, because you are editing with your finger.

Now I have a collection of nearly 700 pictures, and I’m considering doing what the monks do with their mandalas — posting them all for 24 hours, and then deleting them. It would be a lesson in non-attachment. Each time I see that commercial that asks: “What?s your carbon footprint?” I wonder: “What?s my digital footprint?”

See more of Adrian Mihai’s iPhone photos in his Facebook account.

3 comments about “One Hour Photo”

  1. Twitter Trackbacks for Big World Magazine » One Hour Photo [] on says:

    [...] Big World Magazine » One Hour Photo – view page – cached Because there’s more to life than life on the block. [...]

  2. ishot: Adrian Mihai and his New York Slices « City Snaphots says:

    [...] he’s not a self-proclaimed “artist”), but he’s been making news left and right.  That’s because Adrian memorializes things that New Yorkers look at every day but [...]

  3. Sara says:

    good story - I didn’t know you were so literary! Now I just wish I had an iphone so that I could take some cool pictures, haha.

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