|Or take your breath away...or both
As surprising as this may sound, the bus system here in NYC is based on an honor code. Here's how it works. You buy your ticket at an automated kiosk at the bus stop. The ticket is really just a receipt that indicates you have paid the fare for the bus that stops there. You wait for the bus to arrive, get on, sit down and off you go. No checking of tickets, either as you board, as you get off or anywhere in between.
At least that's how it always worked for me.
I happened to be on a bus last Sunday going across town and was just thinking to myself about how crazy it is that I have never been asked to show my ticket to any official. I mean, I'm pretty sure there are at least a few people on every bus that haven't bought their tickets.. But I just chalk it up to the fact that there are always those who will take advantage of an honor system.
So last Sunday after I had boarded and sat down, we pulled up at a bus stop, the doors opened, and I swear I thought the bus was under attack. A swarm of big men all dressed in black with very serious expressions surged onto the bus. It was like we were in the middle of a SWAT team operation. They starting asking each passenger individually to show his/her ticket. Within 30 seconds three people were hauled off the bus, the doors closed and the bus then continued on its not-so-merry way.
I have to admit, it was a sobering moment and had an enormous impact on me. I will never forget the sight of all these ominous-looking men overtaking the inside of that bus. But the impact of that day goes farther than that. If I ever had a twinkle of an idea to hop on a bus without a ticket (I haven't, but if I had), that twinkle just got extinguished.
While that live bus situation had a very strong impact on me, the same can be true while simply looking at a photograph. Just like I will never forget that bus ride, I bet there are photographs that will stay with you forever. Compassion, rage, queasiness, hilarity, all of these emotions and more can be brought to life by a single image. Photographs can ignite revolutions, bring tears of joy and everything in between.
Talk about impact!
I'm proud to present my photographers' images that either literally say, "Impact," or create it. Have look and see if you agree: