Street photographers have always inspired me but I never thought it would be possible to take photos of strangers in public because I want to remain inconspicuous. All this changed when I got an iPhone with an 8 megapixel camera, good enough resolution to make a decent sized print. I quickly found that I could take photographs of people on the street and on buses without them noticing. (Everyone is on the phone in public so that we no longer think about it.) It was an astounding moment, and within two weeks, I had found my voice as a photographer.
    My photography shows a person’s the inner spirit. No photograph captures the amplitude of who a person is, but the camera captures something of who they are at the moment of the photo. When people board a bus, they temporarily suspend (until they arrive at the destination stop) what they are doing, making the bus a perfect place to capture them as they are.

    Around this time, I also began experimenting with how color in the photograph changes the viewer’s perception of the people in the photograph. The colors of the objects in the photograph compete for the viewer’s attention. When the color is removed from a photograph, the emotional response to the image is often very different. This can easily be seen when a photo is converted from color to black and white. I soon began removing completely any colors except for the subject of the photograph. This did two important things. It focused the center of attention of the photograph onto the person in the photograph. It also changed the photo from being a slice of reality to being, like black and white photographs, an alternate version of our world.

    I took over ten thousand photographs of people in the streets and on the buses of San Francisco during 2012. The range of people captured in these photos—young and old, and from all races and backgrounds: poor and rich, black, Asian, Latin and white—shows that San Francisco (and the U.S.) is one of the melting pots of the world.