Budapest has three train stations that, between them, can take you to Vienna, Warsaw, Zurich, Berlin and Bucharest (to name but a few). Nyugati Pályaudvar is Hungary’s busiest station, with its peaked glass facade bookended by ornate domed buildings. Inside, cafes and commuters jostle for space, but nearby lies a closed-up line, almost derelict.
Tamás Andok had been searching on foot with his camera for an entire day for “peculiar, intimate, poetic moments of city life”, and was on his way home. In fact, he’d put his camera away when he came across this man. It was an early October evening, and Andok remembers it being rather chilly.
“The figure didn’t reflect this at all; he was sitting idly, in summer clothes, emanating such loneliness,” he says. “I’d been walking this route home for a while, and I’d never seen anybody sitting there. Maybe that was why he caught my attention. In this hidden corner, in the midst of the crushing buildings, in the depths of the city labyrinth, here he was. I took this shot with my iPhone 5s, from a bridge.”
The resulting image became part of his street photography series about Budapest, titled A Stray Ghost and Other Stories.
“I hope it emanates the delightfully gloomy, strange mood that people in big cities can feel at twilight,” Andok says. “You can barely make out his face. He is only the contours of an unknown figure, now a vague memory.”