The Messenger

This was taken outside my office building after getting back from an afternoon photo walk. The light was incredible, the messenger’s gesture was perfect and I pressed the shutter release just when the UPS guy peaked out from behind the truck. That little addition took this from simple image of a bike messenger to photo with a meaningful message. I wasn’t sure I caught the UPS guy in action but when the preview came up in the viewfinder, there he was. I smiled and went back to my desk.

This image represents a changing of the guards, a contrast of old and new. The messenger has been delivering packages for many years in one of the most vertically challenging cities in the world, San Francisco. While the UPS truck driver is the new kid on the block and is taking over where the older messenger left off. Just the shear size of the big brown truck visually overwhelms the messenger. The messenger tired but he still has some deliveries left to complete and he’s going to keep going until his job is done.

It’s rare that I capture a moment with such clarity but that’s exactly what I always set out to do when I go on a photo walk. I was really in tune with my vision at the moment, probably the result of having been on a photo walk for an half hour. Being able to quickly get yourself back into that zone, when your vision seems so clear, is one of the best reasons to photograph on a regular basis. It does take a lot practice with the camera to be able to recognize moments like this when they present themselves. When your vision become so clear from being in the zone, you can make real connections. Maybe when Henri Cartier-Bresson talked about “That Moment” this is what he was talking about.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/90, f/5.6, ISO 200


About the author

Terry Schmidbauer: