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Author Topic: Hard life  (Read 3047 times)
martin-images
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« on: July 13, 2011, 11:59:48 AM »
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Taken with my Leica compact, comments appreciated

Martin

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RSL
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 03:54:03 PM »
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Very nice, Martin. The mid-tones appear to be right on the money. An interesting face.
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martin-images
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 03:57:44 PM »
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Thanks
Was not sure about the crop, the old guy could not raise his head straight, bless him, at least he got a warm cup of tea from me

Martin
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EduPerez
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 01:17:06 AM »
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Very nice, I like it very much. I would probably have cropped it larger, just a matter or tastes.

It's a pity you can barely see his eyes, by the way; what was the stylist thinking!?
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martin-images
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 02:31:33 AM »
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Very nice, I like it very much. I would probably have cropped it larger, just a matter or tastes.

It's a pity you can barely see his eyes, by the way; what was the stylist thinking!?

LOL I dont think this man would have a stylist, it was a grab shot

Thank you

Martin
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 07:50:54 AM »
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I like the layout of the shot and I like the way you have worked the image in B&W, nice work - but, I don't know if I am comfortable with the subject matter, or the idea of us photographers pushing expensive cameras into the faces of the poor or unfortunate in society. He is obviously struggling with his lot in life and to me image subjects like this, are a little unsettling. But I also realise that some of what we are meant to think are the better street photographs from days gone by, are of similar subjects such as street urchins, or the destitute laid in the gutter or even the blind beggar women with an appropriate sign saying BLIND hanging around her neck etc.

So yes it is good, but not an image I would want to take, although I also realise that once again I am probably out of step with the rest of the planet on this.

Photobloke
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PeterAit
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 09:08:55 AM »
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Very nice, the tonality is lovely. I might have cropped a bit off the top so there's not so much hat in the image.
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Peter
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2011, 11:29:07 AM »
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I like the layout of the shot and I like the way you have worked the image in B&W, nice work - but, I don't know if I am comfortable with the subject matter, or the idea of us photographers pushing expensive cameras into the faces of the poor or unfortunate in society. He is obviously struggling with his lot in life and to me image subjects like this, are a little unsettling. But I also realise that some of what we are meant to think are the better street photographs from days gone by, are of similar subjects such as street urchins, or the destitute laid in the gutter or even the blind beggar women with an appropriate sign saying BLIND hanging around her neck etc.

So yes it is good, but not an image I would want to take, although I also realise that once again I am probably out of step with the rest of the planet on this.Photobloke

Hate to tell you, your solitude ain't!

Rob C
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martin-images
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2011, 03:45:07 PM »
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I like the layout of the shot and I like the way you have worked the image in B&W, nice work - but, I don't know if I am comfortable with the subject matter, or the idea of us photographers pushing expensive cameras into the faces of the poor or unfortunate in society. He is obviously struggling with his lot in life and to me image subjects like this, are a little unsettling. But I also realise that some of what we are meant to think are the better street photographs from days gone by, are of similar subjects such as street urchins, or the destitute laid in the gutter or even the blind beggar women with an appropriate sign saying BLIND hanging around her neck etc.

So yes it is good, but not an image I would want to take, although I also realise that once again I am probably out of step with the rest of the planet on this.

Photobloke

Image like this show us, the fortunate ones, another side of life and keeps our heads from under the sand, I talked to this person, bought him a cup of tea and made him quite happy for 1/2 hour, you are entitled to your opinion, I think you are a little out of step   Smiley

Thank you
Martin
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louoates
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 04:02:17 PM »
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I like the hair over the eyes. There are too many of these kind of shots with perfect eye contact. The hair-in-eyes add a sense of tension. It also serves as a protective "shield" against the world seeing his situation or at least him seeing the more normal world himself.
Whenever I see a photo that engages me at this level I rejoice. When I first looked at it him wanted to reach out and brush those hairs out of the way to see him more clearly. I'm glad you didn't Photoshop them out.
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RSL
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2011, 04:11:21 PM »
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Martin, I'm with you all the way. On another thread I described the guy, a bit younger than this one but in the same situation, who asked me to take his picture and then, when I gave him a copy a couple weeks later, cried and said, "That's the first time anybody's taken my picture in twenty years."

Showing the condition of unfortunates like this to the world is worthwhile. It used to be that these poor souls could be committed to an institution where they received food, comfort, and necessary medication. Then our government nannies decided that was wrong. Now outcasts like this wander the streets, sleep in doorways, have one meal a day in a soup kitchen if they're lucky, and panhandle. Because I made pictures of them and gave them copies I came to know several of them well enough to understand that most of them are mentally ill, and need to be taken in instead of cast out.

Here's an example. For years, summer and winter, this poor woman sat all day long somewhere on the streets of Colorado Springs just like this with her pack. Local merchants helped to feed her. What she needed was to be in a place where she was out of the elements and able to have regular meals. I can show you even worse examples, but this one always haunts me.
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 04:47:10 PM »
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Image like this show us, the fortunate ones, another side of life and keeps our heads from under the sand, I talked to this person, bought him a cup of tea and made him quite happy for 1/2 hour, you are entitled to your opinion, I think you are a little out of step   Smiley

Thank you
Martin


Martin, don't patronise. We are all just too bloody aware of the realities of life out there. If you enjoy what you do, great, but don't seek to wash it in the name of some 'greater good' because it don't clean. It's you bag, cool. I and some others feel it's intrusive, cruel and, at best, a sad sport. That cup of tea buys you no forgiveness; worse, it puts a price on what you consider fair game. As I've written before in this context, try to catch the movie Hard Target.

Rob C
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martin-images
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 05:12:46 PM »
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Martin, don't patronise. We are all just too bloody aware of the realities of life out there. If you enjoy what you do, great, but don't seek to wash it in the name of some 'greater good' because it don't clean. It's you bag, cool. I and some others feel it's intrusive, cruel and, at best, a sad sport. That cup of tea buys you no forgiveness; worse, it puts a price on what you consider fair game. As I've written before in this context, try to catch the movie Hard Target.

Rob C

Did not realize you policed the forum and lectured here, get your head out of the sand and DO not lecture me ever again

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 05:25:12 PM »
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... It used to be that these poor souls could be committed to an institution where they received food, comfort, and necessary medication. Then our government nannies decided that was wrong. Now outcasts like this wander the streets, sleep in doorways,...

Hmmm... a couple of questions: when "it used to be", who committed those poor souls to institutions? Which "government nannies" decided exactly what?

As far as I know, those poor souls wander the streets these days because of, among other things, hospitals, in pursuit of more profitable patients, prematurely release them straight into the streets. Hospitals, in pursuit of profit, not the government.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 05:26:06 PM »
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... and DO not lecture me ever again

Or... what?
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Slobodan

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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2011, 06:43:45 PM »
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I studied psychology at university in the early 70s and there was a strong push for community care of psychiatric patients. The push was brilliantly demonstrated in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

In Australia it was further kicked along by the deaths of 24 patients receiving Deep Sleep Therapy at Chelmsford Private Hospital. The introduction of modern antipsychotic drugs has helped this move to the community even more. Australian governments have taken it up because it is popular and it saves money.

Unfortunately one of the side effects of this move is that there are more people with psychiatric problems on the street and in prison.

This is a complex medical problem where neither the hospital or community system is perfect. Luckily in Australia there has been a injection of funds into mental health problems just recently.

Cheers,

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michswiss
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2011, 07:52:46 PM »
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I like the layout of the shot and I like the way you have worked the image in B&W, nice work - but, I don't know if I am comfortable with the subject matter, or the idea of us photographers pushing expensive cameras into the faces of the poor or unfortunate in society. He is obviously struggling with his lot in life and to me image subjects like this, are a little unsettling. But I also realise that some of what we are meant to think are the better street photographs from days gone by, are of similar subjects such as street urchins, or the destitute laid in the gutter or even the blind beggar women with an appropriate sign saying BLIND hanging around her neck etc.

So yes it is good, but not an image I would want to take, although I also realise that once again I am probably out of step with the rest of the planet on this.

Photobloke

Photobloke,

You are not out of step.  The assumption highlighted above isn't uniformly true.  Sure, there are the street urchin shots and images of poor, struggling people.  But what those shots normally have and this one doesn't is visual context and setting.

What we have here is simply a head shot of a person we assume, led by the caption and story of the photographer, is poor and destitute.  I really wouldn't call it street.

As to the shot itself, if I had his confidence after the conversation and cup of tea, I would have worked the scene, gotten some torso shots, feet and hands tell great stories, full body.  I assume he was sitting, so working the chair or stoop into the image might have added as well.  Basically anything that builds the story of his condition in a respectful way.  Something that allows the viewer to create their own narrative without the aid of titles or explanation.

There was another photographer that was relatively recently (past couple of years) recognised for his body of work taking street portraits of all sorts of people in every walk of life.  If I remember correctly, he was extremely reticent to have his work shown despite many, many attempts by friends and supporters to curate an exhibition.  I'll see if I can find a link or two.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 08:00:37 PM by michswiss » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2011, 08:40:20 PM »
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Hmmm... a couple of questions: when "it used to be", who committed those poor souls to institutions? Which "government nannies" decided exactly what?

Actually the decisions were made by judges -- the kind of nannies that real nannies objected to then but now want to decide just about everything.

Quote
As far as I know, those poor souls wander the streets these days because of, among other things, hospitals, in pursuit of more profitable patients, prematurely release them straight into the streets. Hospitals, in pursuit of profit, not the government.

Considering what our government has done to the medical profession, if the hospitals don't pursue some kind of profit we soon won't have any hospitals.
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RSL
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2011, 08:42:07 PM »
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Photobloke,

You are not out of step.  The assumption highlighted above isn't uniformly true.  Sure, there are the street urchin shots and images of poor, struggling people.  But what those shots normally have and this one doesn't is visual context and setting.

What we have here is simply a head shot of a person we assume, led by the caption and story of the photographer, is poor and destitute.  I really wouldn't call it street.

As to the shot itself, if I had his confidence after the conversation and cup of tea, I would have worked the scene, gotten some torso shots, feet and hands tell great stories, full body.  I assume he was sitting, so working the chair or stoop into the image might have added as well.  Basically anything that builds the story of his condition in a respectful way.  Something that allows the viewer to create their own narrative without the aid of titles or explanation.

There was another photographer that was relatively recently (past couple of years) recognised for his body of work taking street portraits of all sorts of people in every walk of life.  If I remember correctly, he was extremely reticent to have his work shown despite many, many attempts by friends and supporters to curate an exhibition.  I'll see if I can find a link or two.

Hear, hear, Jennifer. You said it very well.
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2011, 03:31:36 AM »
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I think that the image is a portrait taken with a show of respect to the subject.  It does a good job of conveying the subjects situation to me very clearly.  I would not have spent a lot of time taking multiple shots from different angles....of his hands and chair etc because I would feel like I was taking advantage of him.  But, that is simply my feeling and opinion.  In no way do I cast this opinion and feelings onto others and demand that they agree.  The only way I believe to be truly fair to everyone is for us all to put everything into a pot and to divide it all equally.  And everything includes mental capacity, feelings, money, food, health, material things, love, physical capacity etc.  And, since that can not be accomplished, I have to accept that someone is always in a different situation than me.  So, I try to show everyone the same respect regardless of their social, mental, or physical situation...including the people that post on photography forums.
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