Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Traffic Cops in Transition

Out in the middle of the energy of New York City traffic, standing by their lonesome are the traffic cops. They are brightly attired and are an island in a sea of buses, taxis and limos (as well as people). Most of these characters, I have noticed, tend to be a calming influence to those around. Many of them stand coolly with style and composure. They are in control and provide direction. Although, others do seem to let the job get to them and you can see a tense expression as they do their job.

The three pictures below show a transition of three cops, starting with a 1) relaxed casual cop, 2) a zoned out cop, and 3) a stressed cop. All dealing with the difficulties of the job in different ways.

1) The Casual Traffic Cop - I spotted this guy with his hands in his pockets, a rare break for someone whose hands are his business. Looks like he might have caught me shooting him (this being my second shot), although maybe not since I shot from the hip on this one. It is one of my favorite "portraits", although I almost never take pictures which are not candid (and this was candid). He owns this job.

2) The Nonchalant Traffic Cop - The work can also perhaps allow some time for thought. This guy stood nonchalantly at the large intersection where Broadway meets Park Row, directing traffic towards the Brooklyn Bridge. His mind is elsewhere and that works for him.

3) The Stressed Traffic Cop - This guy hates his job and hasn't figured out a way to deal with it. He will not likely make it long term doing this work.

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