‘It shows the relentless pace of contemporary life’: Misha Vallejo Prut’s best phone picture

<span>Today, 2014, shot on iPhone 5.</span><span>Photograph: Misha Vallejo Prut</span>
Today, 2014, shot on iPhone 5.Photograph: Misha Vallejo Prut

Misha Vallejo Prut had just finished a class at the London College of Communication where he was studying for an MA in photojournalism and documentary photography, and headed to a nearby cafe. It was 2014 and he was using an iPhone 5. “The degree of pixelation in the image shows the inexorable march of time since I took this,” says says Vallejo Prut, who is now based in Quito, Ecuador.

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“Even so, I think the essence of that moment, the serendipitous intersection of lives within the shared space of the city, continues to echo the relentless pace of contemporary life.”

The juxtaposition of different characters was created by reflections in a window, he says. “The elderly man’s direct engagement with the lens becomes a compelling anchor and stands in stark contrast to the younger individuals absorbed in their phones.

“The subjects create an interplay between overwhelming complexity and a serene focal point, with the man’s gaze emerging as a singular, grounding force – a quiet oasis within the visual tumult.”

As his three subjects “materialised and dissipated within the blink of an eye,” Vallejo Prut didn’t speak to them, but he’s happy for them to remain anonymous.

“It invites viewers to project their own interpretations of the story before them,” he says.