Andre Kertész spent the better part of his life taking photographs, many of which were of people reading. A book of photographs, On Reading, was published in 1971.
Just as Kertész’s photographs show people totally absorbed in the reading process, so, too, does the image of the reader to the left. The reader’s gaze into the book reminds viewers how engaging such a solitary activity can be. An added element to the photo—a pencil—makes one wonder why the subject is using it to read.
The surroundings—a park in Paris—have story of their own. The trash receptacle, which is a plastic bag inserted into a large metal ring came about as a result of the War on Terror. After Sept. 11, Paris eliminated traditional trashcans because if a bomb were dropped into one, you wouldn’t be able to see it. Plastic bags such as the one you see in the photo are transparent so that if anything suspicious is dropped into the bag, people will be able to see it.
Andre Kertész is one of the photographers covered in my new book 101 Quick and Easy Ideas Taken from Master Photographers of the Twentieth Century. Check it out (or preorder it) by clicking on the link to the right. The book comes out next month.