I had taken a trip on a banana boat to Central America, and was traveling overland on a bus from Tegucigalpa in Honduras to Guatemala City. We stopped to pick up this girl. In halting Spanish, I asked the driver if I could get off the bus first to take a picture, and then pointed my finger at my camera and then at the girl’s face. She smiled and nodded yes. What I like about this image is the fundamental lie – and the fundamental truth – inherent in the paradox of photography: if it’s not in the frame, it’s not there. The girl here looks suspended in some rural Mayan setting. If the bus had been in the frame, it would have created an entirely different emotional response. Yet even knowing that there’s a yellow bus right behind the photographer doesn’t change the specific impact of this picture, even for me. Point of view is critical, really all that matters in photography.
back to top