A quote that really stood out to me from this talk was when Traub talked about something his mentor said, “the only nature I’m really interested in is my own”. In some ways I really agree with this statement and in other ways I don’t. I think that learning about yourself and really getting to know yourself is very important. That sounds sort of cheesy but its true! Knowing what is important to you and how you may react in certain situations is super important. However, I also think that knowing how other people work, learning about the differences between people and appreciating the diversity of this is also crucial. If all you know about is your own nature, you’re probably going to have trouble navigating the world. I personally think that learning about other peoples natures and what makes them tick is one of the most interesting and valuable things a person can do.
I also really enjoyed looking at all of the photos that Traub took during the 1970s and 1980s on the streets of New York and Chicago. First of all they were really fun to look at just because of the differences in fashion! People dressed differently then, and I loved seeing some of the older women’s outfits. They looked so beautifully dressed up for walking the streets! How men and women styled their hair was also different. So many more mustaches in the 70s and 80s! Traub said that one of his favorite parts of taking these pictures is imagining who these people are in their everyday lives. I feel as if its hard not to do that when you see these pictures. Instantly I started wondering who these people were, what they did for a living, who their family was. I think that’s one of the wonderful things about photography and art in general. These pictures show just a tiny snapshot of a person’s life. The viewer then, is able to use their imagination. But at the same time, the person in the photograph posed the way they did for a reason. You are seeing the facial expression or view of them that they were okay with showing in that moment. So while these picture sometimes show a certain vulnerability, I also feel like, most of the time, because these are not random snapshots, the vulnerability we see is partly because that person was okay with showing that vulnerability. I think that is a way that Traub’s photos are so unique, because they are not snapshots. What we see nowadays, with things like Humans of New York, is different because its not as professionally done. Also, the story that goes along with the picture is almost more important than the picture with Humans of New York. With Traub, there is no story that goes along with photograph; there is only the photo. Traub said, “ordinary people are more interesting”. I agree with this and I think that his photographs prove this. These photos are of ordinary people going about their day. And the photos are beautiful.