Eric Pickersgill Removes Smartphones From Photos to Show Our Extreme Device Addiction

Oct 14, 2015 4 comments

American photographer Eric Pickersgill’s new photo series titled “Removed” shows people in everyday life absorbed with their digital devices, but with one minor adjustment — the devices themselves are missing.

The sad photo project was inspired by an observation Pickersgill made one morning while sitting in a local café:

Family sitting next to me at Illium café in Troy, NY is so disconnected from one another. Not much talking. Father and two daughters have their own phones out. Mom doesn’t have one or chooses to leave it put away. She stares out the window, sad and alone in the company of her closest family. Dad looks up every so often to announce some obscure piece of info he found online. Twice he goes on about a large fish that was caught. No one replies. I am saddened by the use of technology for interaction in exchange for not interacting. This has never happened before and I doubt we have scratched the surface of the social impact of this new experience. Mom has her phone out now.


At first the pictures appear to be digitally altered. But the surreal effect is not the result of post-production. Pickersgill actually removed the devices from his subjects’ grip after asking them to hold their stare and posture, before taking the shot. The resulting images exaggerate the effect.












via Design Boom and Collective Evolution

Similar photo series:



  1. This is the brave new world of which I want no part of, and since I refuse to be enslaved to such devices, I am effectively left out! :-)

  2. "You DON'T have a facebook account?" People are shocked by this.

    When I was a kid sometime in 1978 or 79 I sent my first email using a mainframe computer. I thought it was cool. I had a home computer in the 80s. I used dial-up BBS before the internet. I found the internet fascinating.

    I absolutely loath social media and the damage it has done.

    1. That's like loathing telephones for all the damage they've done. Don't blame the messenger or the media. For every piece of damage done, there has been something wonderful.

  3. No phones?!? These photos must be from the deepest most torturous part of hell. Horrifying!


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