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Photographer Eric Pickersgill removes mobile phones from images

  • Eric Pickersgill, from North Carolina, decided to illustrate how dependent people have become on mobile phones 
  • Photographer asked subjects to pose with their mobile phones and then removed them to take the image 
  • Series, called Removed, shows people posing in every day settings with imaginary mobile phones  

By Jo Tweedy For Mailonline

Published: 08:29 EST, 13 October 2015 | Updated: 09:11 EST, 13 October 2015

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A photographer has offered a glimpse of just how dependent modern society has become on mobile phones...by asking his subjects to pose with them before omitting the devices from the photograph.

North Carolina photographer Eric Pickersgill, 29, embarked upon the photographic project, entitled Removed, after watching a family breakfast in a New York cafe and observing that all but the mother was using a phone.

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A familiar scene? A couple pose in bed as if they were using their mobile phones. The artist behind the photoseries, Eric Pickersgill, says he was inspired to create the images after seeing just how addicted people are to their mobile phones

A familiar scene? A couple pose in bed as if they were using their mobile phones. The artist behind the photoseries, Eric Pickersgill, says he was inspired to create the images after seeing just how addicted people are to their mobile phones

The series, called Removed, asked people to pose as they would with their mobile phones, then Pickersgill would physically remove the devices in order to capture the image

The series, called Removed, asked people to pose as they would with their mobile phones, then Pickersgill would physically remove the devices in order to capture the image

Is the digital revolution changing behaviour? This image shows three young boys pretending to play video games on handheld devices

Is the digital revolution changing behaviour? This image shows three young boys pretending to play video games on handheld devices

Together apart: Pickersgill asked his subjects to pretend they were holding a mobile phone including this couple on their wedding day

Together apart: Pickersgill asked his subjects to pretend they were holding a mobile phone including this couple on their wedding day

He admits he too was guilty of the same thing and would frequently turn his back on his wife to look at his 'cold, illuminated' phone. 

Pickersgill asked his subjects to pose while looking at their devices and then removed the phones to capture the images. 

The resulting photographs, say Pickersgill, shine a mirror up to just how addicted we've become to mobile phones and document how behaviour has changed because of their presence in our daily life.

The black-and-white images show everyday scenes; a couple lying back-to-back in bed, a mother and her daughter sat on the sofa, a family around a dining table. 

While they're all in close proximity to each other, they appear to be connecting only with their imaginary phones. 

On his website, Pickersgill writes: 'The joining of people to devices has been rapid and unalterable. 

'Despite the obvious benefits that these advances in technology have contributed to society, the social and physical implications are slowly revealing themselves.' 

There's close physical contact between this couple but no actual communication

There's close physical contact between this couple but no actual communication

What do I have to do to get your attention? A couple lounge on the sofa, but the woman only has eyes for her phone

What do I have to do to get your attention? A couple lounge on the sofa, but the woman only has eyes for her phone

Digital devices: A woman acts out looking at her phone while her daughter has her own device to distract her 

Digital devices: A woman acts out looking at her phone while her daughter has her own device to distract her 

Two children look bored as their parents look at the phones while gathered around their family dining table

Two children look bored as their parents look at the phones while gathered around their family dining table

So much to say...but only to friends on social media. Does this shot illustrate how online lives can be more exciting than real ones? 

So much to say...but only to friends on social media. Does this shot illustrate how online lives can be more exciting than real ones? 

The images convey how social media often dominates our spare time, with this man posing with an imaginary phone while having a cigarette
Missing something? A woman pretends to capture a selfie

The images convey how social media often dominates our spare time, with this man posing with an imaginary phone while having a cigarette. Right, a woman pretends to capture a selfie

Covering multiple demographics, the photographer shows just how far-reaching obsessions with technological devices are.

There's a man carrying turf while driving a tractor...and looking at his hand, while a couple on a speed boat smile down at their phones without appearing to share a word.  

Parental guilt (or not) is also highlighted in an image that shows two young boys looking bored as their parents appear to be scrolling through their phones while gathered around a family dining table.

The married photographer said he was spurred on to create the photoseries after watching people go about their daily lives with their phones often seemingly glued to their side. 

He explains: 'The photographs represent reenactments of scenes that I experience daily. We have learned to read the expression of the body while someone is consuming a device and when those signifiers are activated it is as if the device can be seen taking physical form without the object being present. 

Not just a problem for the young: The photographer shoots subjects from every generation 
A couple relax on a motor boat...and look straight at their mobiles

Not just a problem for the young: The photographer asked every generation to be part of his project

Dangerous distraction: Pickersgill captures a woman who's pretending to look at her phone while driving from differing angles
Eyes on the road: This female driver acts out how she might look using her mobile phone while driving

Dangerous distraction: Pickersgill captures a woman who's pretending to look at her phone while driving from differing angles

An ice-cream seller is photographed showing how she might pass the time

An ice-cream seller is photographed showing how she might pass the time

Just checking! A moped rider stops to look at her phone
A tractor driving carrying turf appears to be able to use his phone AND drive

Just checking! A moped rider stops to look at her phone while a tractor driving carrying turf appears to be able to use his phone AND drive

To see the full video, click here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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