Sydney April 2013

this is the sound of silence

When out taking candid photos, I like to find the interesting but mostly settle for the mundane. Here, a couple sharing tea. In the middle of a popular shopping arcade in the middle of a capital city. And yet no-one else is around. In fact, in this particular moment in time, does the woman even really exist? This is the sound of silence…

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“The Sound of Silence” lyrics written in February 1964 by Paul Simon in the aftermath of the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

This is the sound of silence.


43 thoughts on “This is the sound of silence.

  1. He is so completely lost in his own world.. Which for me is one of the best minutes during the day, when they visit me.
    You honestly capture the most beautiful moments in every day life. I’m so lucky to be part of this community to be able to enjoy them.
    *happy owl sends warmest wishes to you*

  2. Naked in a way, and serene. Silent. Beautiful shot as always, and I love that song by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Those two were on my grammophone every day in my youth. I didn’t know the circumstances under which he wrote it though. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you very much. There can be so much emotion and meaning in seemingly mundane events. But moments are fleeting and we often don’t see it. That’s the power of photography.

  3. kuujinbo says:

    Nice to have you back! 🙂 Saw the post in my reader and immediately recognized it as yours from the photo’s signature – before scrolling down to see the post title, summary, and your avatar. 🙂

  4. I love the way the woman is blurred and the man is the main focus of the picture, and the fact you can’t see her face adds to her lack of existence. Is it perhaps the way he see her in his mind!? Excellent picture! 🙂

    I tried to make a comment last night, and there was something very strange going on, it wouldn’t let me make the comment – kept telling me to log in!! I found a few other blogs where I had the same problem too, a very frustrating evening last night! There’s always something strange going on with WordPress! 😀

    • Hi Suzy, something went strange with the design/formatting of my entire blog in the last 24 hours and maybe that was the problem. I found your message in my spam folder and that is very unusual too!

      Thank you kindly for the comment. A moment frozen in time – real or not – I don’t know.


  5. Hello Dragon my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again! Welcome back and great shot! Does the woman exists… what woman? Must be a ghost :p

  6. Anne says:

    You have indeed captured the interesting. Funny, my first thought was that he must be fascinating on some level – why else would such a put together woman be interested in him? She is more alive to me the he is but just like her I have entered that age where women start to become invisible. Very aptly named.

    • I think we all feel invisible at some time or another. Sometimes by choice and other times despite our strongest protestation. Same with loneliness.

      Thank you very much for your comment. Much appreciated.

      • Anne says:

        She is achingly lonely here but you chose to also make her invisible. The benefit of invisibility is that she can actively observe and weigh her options. For a woman who can not possibly manage to do anything as civilized as sip her tea it seems to me she is on the verge of a scream. Only she can decide what to do with that energy. It is my fantasy that you have captured her moment of clarity .

        • Your interpretation of this moment is interesting and I see your viewpoint. Maybe she is at boiling point, about being invisible, about to scream, and about to get up and walk away.

        • Anne says:

          We, of course, will never know and again the beauty if invisibility is the opportunity to work it out unnoticed. Where you wonder if she really even exists I say she is perhaps evaluating what value this relationship has. At the very least I sense a depth of silence from her not him. I also believe that this moment that you captured speaks volumes about this couple and is anything but subtle or mundane. What is really,really striking to me your focus – on only him. It does confirm my belief that at a certain point women become invisible and she did even to your trained eye yet I wonder where you felt the silence came from.

        • I like the isolationist effect of the wide aperture and from the discussion, it has really had an effect on this photo. In processing I deliberately reduced the lighting in all areas except the man to bring home the point that at this moment, he is alone and in a world of silence, from his wife and from the world. I would have done the same if their positions were reversed. Processing was done with the verse of the song in mind. Your interpretation has got me thinking a lot more about this photo. Thank you.

  7. I know This song and I sang it many times but never stop thinking about The whole meaning Of its words..Thanks for sharing This and WRITE The text 👍👍❤😍😍

  8. to remain in him says:

    I like the sorry picture tells: Indirect look, years of life behind – everything happened. And now it’s not a smile, it’s giving a thoughts in a pause.

  9. Arbib says:

    This really captures a moment I can relate to.
    After many years of marriage, it seems that each partner has more of these “Times of Silence”. Or perhaps a moment of reflection from past choices.

  10. 🙂 my theme for tomorrow is “withered”, but also ego, so I think this would fit just fine. Have I told you recently how much I appreciate you? 🙂

  11. Pingback: Black & White Sunday: Withered | Lost in Translation

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