The face of despair – ‘Oh Joy!’

July 18, 2008

Let me explain – because of course I don’t enjoy the misfortune of others.

In some respects the advent of new technology has been a backward step for photographers, for the simple reason that it is so boring and dull to look at. Politicians, and company results press conferences, have always presented a challenge to the creative photographer because they are often visually unexciting. But trying to find a hint of expression, when the financial markets head south these days, is a nightmare, because the computer screen has taken over the traditional trading floor.

Which is why it was such a pleasure to see Brendan McDermid’s photographs last week, of the floors of the New York Stock Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange, where traditional looking traders displayed traditional reactions, in a traditional setting.

Yes, new technology does have some advantages. No, there is no pleasure in seeing financial markets crash. But it’s just great to see a financial story illustrated with genuine emotion, and something that we, as human beings, can identify with.

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Above – Traders work in the Oil Futures pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange in New York

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Above – A trader works in the Oil Futures pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange in New York

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Above – Traders work in the Oil Futures pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange in New York

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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

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