Covid-19 at 5th & Broadway

This series was created today in downtown Los Angeles. I wanted to make portraits of people who were still making their way out of their homes/shelters during the “stay at home” order.

As a photographer, staying home all day is crushing creatively—so I drive around the city in my car (a form of self-quarantining) and look for creative ways to document the pandemic engulfing the world and in particular, my city of 10 million people. 

These images were made using one frame from a mirrorless digital Hasselblad camera X1D—one image only because people seemed to be in a hurry, like they didn’t want to stop and chat, like they had serious things on their mind—like all of us really. I told them I’m making photos as a way to historically capture what is happening. Everyone, except for a few who raced by me, agreed that that was important and gave me a spilt second of their time to capture them in this incredible moment—becoming part of a time capsule of sorts. 

Barbara Davidson is a Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy-awarded photographer currently working on her Guggenheim fellowship, traveling by car across the U.S. making portraits of gunshot survivors using an 8×0 film camera. Davidson is based in Los Angeles and can be followed on IG: @photospice.

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