Tourist attractions in New York became crowded again after the number of visitors plunged last year. After the travel ban ended on November 8, tourists from the UK and European Schengen Area returned to the city. To cross the East River through the famous Brooklyn Bridge, one must be patient, as the place is full of people randomly stopping to take pictures.
Smartphones are everywhere – held in the air, on selfie sticks, even at ground level as some people try to photograph from below. Most people do not enjoy the place, as they are too occupied with finding the right spots and poses for the perfect picture. Despite that, after only one glimpse on social media, it becomes clear that all images taken at the Brooklyn Bridge look quite similar. And usually, people do not take just one image but a ton of them.
“Availability of cheap storage and network digital data distribution transformed the ontology of photography as a medium itself. Photographs are becoming a data stream, to which we can dive into from time to time,” wrote Joanna Zylinska in her book Nonhuman Photography.
Such an approach to mobile photography may be based on Neil Postman’s metaphor that our world reminds us of a kaleidoscope – images emerge and immediately disappear without providing any context.
Yet, these snapshots from travels do not always get lost in the abundance of visual content. Some people seem to share them with family, print them, and even use them for marketing purposes on social media.
People taking pictures on Brooklyn Bridge. November 21, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Steffi Kurnia Sugiarto always travels with her teddy bear so of course, she brought him to Brooklyn Bridge once she arrived to New York. “She takes him everywhere,” Steffi’s mum (on left side of the photo) said. “He has even been in Paris with her, whereas I’ve never been there,” she continued with laughter. November 18, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Friends Osiel Velasco from Canada and Victor Hugo Celis from Mexico met up half-way from where each of them live: in New York. As they walked across Brooklyn Bridge, they took few pictures and selfies together. “It’s like when you’re watching a movie and you see these famous places, especially in New York. And you can tell your friends and family: I’ve been there,” Osiel commented on why he is taking these images. “It’s not for social media, I don’t even have Instagram. First, I was taking just random pictures but now, I try to learn more about photography. It turned into a hobby.” November 30, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Woman taking a photo of her friend from the ground level of Brooklyn Bridge so that her friend fits into the picture with the bridge in the background. November 30, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Leinad Elenes and Fhaabricio Sainz are dancers from Mexico visiting New York. “I take pictures on all the famous places when I travel,” Leinad said after Fhaabricio took pictures of her in a few dance poses on Brooklyn Bridge. “I post it on Instagram but honestly, I don’t really know why. I just do it.” November 24, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
People taking pictures of themselves with Manhattan’s skyline on Brooklyn Bridge. November 21, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Man taking picture while carring a stroller through Brooklyn Bridge. Woman looking at him just took a break from her own photoshoot on the bridge. November 24, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Roel taking picture of Olesya at Brooklyn Bridge, while they visited New York from Los Angeles. “I take pictures for memories, I like to look back on them. These famous places have also great energy, it’s just wow. And I usually post them on social media. I even print out some of them,” Olesya said. November 11, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
People taking a group photo on Brooklyn Bridge at the entrance on its Manhattan’s side. November 27, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Emanuel and Stephan, from France, took a selfie on Brooklyn Bridge to remember their trip to New York. “We take hundreds of pictures for memories and once a year, we pick around 70 or 80 of them and print them out in an year book,” Emanuel said. “Sometimes, we even write short captions to some of the images. For example, how we felt on that place. Recetly, I’ve bought Emanuel a travel diary,” he said and Emanuel nodded: “Yes, I have been journaling daily on this trip so I remember these moments.” November 21, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Brian and Diana came from Philadelphia to spend a day in New York and could not miss visiting Brooklyn Bridge. They took pictures there. “I mean, it is New York. There is the skyline, World Trade Center and obviously Brooklyn Bridge,” Brian said why he wanted to photograph the place. “We keep these photos as memories in our Google Drive. And ocasionally, we post them on Instagram. It is mostly for family and friedns, but hey, I met Diana on Instagram so it works this way too.” November 21, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová
Man taking picture of Brooklyn Bridge from the entrance on its Manhattan’s side. November 21, 2021. Photo by Nikol Mudrová