How an Everyday Moment Turned into an Extraordinary Photo

This picture, from the front page of the New York Times last Saturday, caught my eye for several reasons—the bright red of the handbag, the juxtaposition of the Muslim woman in the black veil and the blonde woman with her apple, the wary expression on the blonde woman’s face. Then I noticed the photo was taken by Hazel Thompson, one of the people we named as a “hero of photography” in the May/June issue of American Photo. Intrigued, I emailed Thompson and asked her to tell me how she came to mak

This picture, from the front page of the New York Times last Saturday, caught my eye for several reasons—the bright red of the handbag, the juxtaposition of the Muslim woman in the black veil and the blonde woman with her apple, the wary expression on the blonde woman's face. Then I noticed the photo was taken by Hazel Thompson, one of the people we named as a "hero of photography" in the May/June issue of American Photo. Intrigued, I emailed Thompson and asked her to tell me how she came to make the picture. I know from experience that it is hard to get any photo on a subway train, let alone an image as telling as this.