Travelers stuck in limbo – a long lay over, a delayed flight, unfortunate events. Mike Garza was one of those travelers back in February at Chicago O’hare International Airport. Some travelers sleep (clearly). Others, like Mike, grab their camera and take some shots of what they find. It’s a great way to pass the time. It’s a good way to practice your street photography (it’s not technically on the street, but the principals are the same). And I’m jealous of the fact that I hadn’t thought of it first. I travel as often as my bank account allows. And I tend to stray away from flights with layovers. I might actually book one next time so that I can follow in Mike’s footsteps.
Mike took a bunch of photos at O’hare, and you can view a handful of them on Flickr. But this one, The Waiting IS the Hardest Part, stands out from the rest. It’s emotive – it captures a moment in in these people’s lives, and you almost understand their story. I love it when a photo tells a story. The story for this one is brief – but it’s interesting, and I feel we can all relate. Either we’ve been in these people’s shoes, or we’ve witnessed such a situation first hand. The photo also takes full advantage of the huge plate glass windows you’ll find in an airport terminal – ample amounts of natural light, which is in this case a side light. This should would not have as much of an impact if the highlights were not present on the girls jawbone, the top edge of her thigh, her upper arm or the hairline of both girls. Side lighting gives us depth, and this is a classic example of the benefits of natural light.
Now I had earmarked this photo months ago to feature here on Shutter Photo – I have several, it’s a long list. But this one seemed to be even more pertinent now, as I think about the thousands of travelers that are unfortunately stuck because of the eruption of Eyafjallajökull Volcano in Iceland. The story told by this photo is very relevant…and so I feel this photo has more impact now than it might have back then. While this isn’t directly related with the eruption, we are reminded that some of the most notable and best photos are of simple moments like this, and we remember them because of what they stand for.
Mike’s photostream is filled with moments like this, moments in which we can all relate. I would encourage you to check out his work.