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Author Topic: Austerity?  (Read 5444 times)
Mcthecat
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« on: June 11, 2012, 07:40:47 PM »
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A shot of a demonstration in London last year when over half a million people turned up to demonstrate against "austerity" cuts and the loss of three quarters of a million jobs. I love this shot as it demonstrates the rich and wealthy at home in their luxery apartments to the left and right, happy in the knowledge that the financial crisis they created wont loose them or their family their jobs or money but will devestate them who march down the hill. Some rich dudes are in front scampering home before the demo. I call it "dont look back in anger" and i was the only photogrpher on this street when this happened. Lucky me! Ive got better. I have a similar shot of one of Londons weathiest schools with the kids with a banner spread over the road marching in support.

Mick
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 07:47:18 PM by Mcthecat » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 02:18:44 AM »
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A shot of a demonstration in London last year when over half a million people turned up to demonstrate against "austerity" cuts and the loss of three quarters of a million jobs. I love this shot as it demonstrates the rich and wealthy at home in their luxery apartments to the left and right, happy in the knowledge that the financial crisis they created wont loose them or their family their jobs or money but will devestate them who march down the hill. Some rich dudes are in front scampering home before the demo. I call it "dont look back in anger" and i was the only photogrpher on this street when this happened. Lucky me! Ive got better. I have a similar shot of one of Londons weathiest schools with the kids with a banner spread over the road marching in support.

Mick


Come on, Mick, that's a helluva negatively simplistic attitude towards society. It's also why the 'left' seeks to bring the vote to a younger and younger generation: the younger you are the more credulous, too, especially about offers of something for nothing or, better, at another's expense. Life don't work like that for long.

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 02:47:45 AM »
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Well done Mick. Taking images of protests are something I do regularly and this does convey a message. I find it a good substitute for street photography. A lot of press photographers and TV companies usually turn up at the protests but not much of their coverage gets to the public. Don't be disheartened by the the previous poster's right wing tendencies. I find it a rewarding type of photography which is ever changing from protest to protest and it DOES have a place in our society. Smiley
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 03:53:07 AM by stamper » Logged

Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 02:53:55 AM »
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Mick - I can understand the sentiment you are trying to convey - but this picture doesn't do it for me I'm afraid.  The buildings on the left could be offices not homes of the rich and wealthy, and the 'rich dudes' in front just look like a couple of ordinary people to my eyes.  I can see how the atmosphere would have been quite electric to you who were there, it's just the picture does not communicate what you are trying to say.  Now if you had some pin-striped bankers in front and a Rolls Royce parked by the kerb - that would be communicating something.

Rob C has a point - but it's a political one and should not detract from the message you are trying to convey in your picture.

Jim
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 03:54:37 AM »
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Mick - I can understand the sentiment you are trying to convey - but this picture doesn't do it for me I'm afraid.  The buildings on the left could be offices not homes of the rich and wealthy, and the 'rich dudes' in front just look like a couple of ordinary people to my eyes.  I can see how the atmosphere would have been quite electric to you who were there, it's just the picture does not communicate what you are trying to say.  Now if you had some pin-striped bankers in front and a Rolls Royce parked by the kerb - that would be communicating something.

Rob C has a point - but it's a political one and should not detract from the message you are trying to convey in your picture.Jim



Absolutely right, Jim; however, the OP is making a written political statement too, and I feel that requires balance. Odd how stamper is happy to support a left-leaning one but, curiously, not willing to permit the counterpoint be made.

But then, that is politics. I wonder how he feels about the current (not to mention recently-but-one past) UK's opposition leader's personal and parental wealth... oh well, who gives a shit? Maybe that explains the junk food discussed elseswhere; its the mindset that's killed much of Britain's industrial heritage.

But getting back to the picture: yes, a demonstration; no, not a sign of weathy people in fear. How unusual to wish to see anyone in fear... A shame, really, because left to itself without the rhetoric, it makes an interesting photograph.

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 04:09:27 AM »
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Rob it would have been helpful if in your original post there was even the slightest mention of photography.... something that this site is apparently dedicated to? Instead you chose a political put down. It was obvious when the thread was originated that a political comment would be forthcoming but I also expected some photographic critique. The image does have a message but to different people with different political orientations it means different things. I don't know how the impact of austerity is in Mallorca but for many in the UK it is devastating whilst at the same time some continue to profit out of the crisis. I have taken many thousands of images of protests in Scotland in the past nine years and it is difficult to put the message into one frame and convey a message that everyone understands. Everyone of course chooses their side of of the problem and you made yours clear from the backwaters of sunny Mallorca. Sad

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Absolutely right, Jim; however, the OP is making a written political statement too, and I feel that requires balance. Odd how stamper is happy to support a left-leaning one but, curiously, not willing to permit the counterpoint be made.

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No sign of censorship from my good self?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 04:11:36 AM by stamper » Logged

Mcthecat
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 04:29:33 AM »
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Thanks guys. The area it was taken in is in the City of London, heart of the countries banking industry which i guess is why it was picked. Good point about the Rolls Royce's Jim, actually your whole point is a good one. The cars had all been moved for the demo but you make an excellent point. The one that's better is in the same vein but what makes it really work much better than this one is that its a whole school of extremely wealthy teenagers from a very privilaged school in London with a banner, stating they are against the cuts, marching down the road supporting the demo which runs counter to what you'd think, rich kids for the cuts but they were against them. I love such places, they are indeed electric, the atomosphere was great and there was no trouble from the people there although a few from a differant group kicked off later away from the demo. You meet the widest range of people to of all kinds of groups. Very friendly and ill be going again when it starts up later this year. With the camera and hopefully much better stuff.

I was there as my county is loosing %40 of its funding and its already a poor area. I dont want anyone to live in fear and i dont mind wealth as long as its earned honestly and fairly to all. Im really politically neutral and now pick and choose what i think is right and whats wrong rarther than sticking to any one party.  I just want those who took the money from my area to be held accountable for what they did and pay up for their mistakes be they of whatever political shade. But that again is political and this is a photographic forum so ill stop.

Oh nearly forgot, hope lifes great up in Glasgow Stamper, great city.

Mick
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 04:35:21 AM by Mcthecat » Logged
Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 05:09:24 AM »
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Mick photography has been used as a political tool for a very long time.  I guess Rob was just looking at the political statement side of the message you wrote, rather than the one you tried to photograph.  Photographs have had immense political effect in the past and have been responsible for such things as escalating wars no less.  To work like this the message has to be simple and obvious, but not too contrived because otherwise the viewers will suspect they are being led.

On the political question, personally in general I do have sympathy for those against such severe austerity cuts, but there are a lot of vested interests involved.
For example a few months ago we were at a drinks party where several teachers were also guests.  They were rather smugly talking about how the new pension deals would not really affect them because they were too near retirement.  These were guys around 53 who are only a few years older than I am.  They would be able to retire at around 58 on full pensions and were really looking forward to it and could not see how a teacher was possibly expected to work past 60 because it is so stressful.  I have only minimal personal pension plans and these days as a photographer I find it hard to pay the essential bills let alone save for retirement.  My guess is that I will continue to work until well past 70 and the thought of my taxes going to fund the retirement of people in their 50's does rankle a bit.  A lot of the protests are about public sector workers who are well paid being able to retire at 60 on good pensions, live into their 90's, and to hell with the idea that we cannot afford to fund that kind of luxury.  I do also appreciate that a lot of public sector workers are not highly paid and do mundane, unrewarding work.

Regarding your point about the children of the rich supporting the protests - as Rob says it is well known that educated youngsters can tend to have a socialist leaning.  That is until self-interest kicks in and they reap the reward of their education.  The older I get the more disenchanted I become at 'Middle England' and narrow minded selfish attitudes.

Now I sound like grumpy old Rob Smiley  Perhaps It's the incessant damned rain we are getting in the UK.  The hosepipe ban is lifted, but there is so much rain we don't need them anyway!  Is the sun shining in Mallorca?

Jim
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 05:19:42 AM »
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A political photography causing political discussion seems to be mission accomplished to me.

-h
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 05:37:10 AM »
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A political photography causing political discussion seems to be mission accomplished to me.

-h

I'd disagree... the discussion was prompted by the text, not the image.

The image doesn't carry that torch at all.
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michswiss
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 06:00:42 AM »
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I'd disagree... the discussion was prompted by the text, not the image.

The image doesn't carry that torch at all.

Yeah I was going to say something similar.  The photo adds nothing to your description.  It's completely superfluous and almost as if you are describing a completely different scene.

The interesting aspect of the shot is the sense of how an organised and happy crowd can move in normally commercial and somewhat confined spaces.  I'd say there's too much negative space at the bottom of the image.  You needed to be closer to allow for more emotional engagement on the part of the viewer.  Something that draws our focus.  Keep shooting protests.  Get into the crowds and try and talk with people on all sides of the event, including the police if you get the chance.  Then shoot.
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stamper
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 06:10:52 AM »
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Good points. My favoured lens on a Nikon D700 is an old 80- 200 constant f/2.8. No stabilisation. It is an internal focusing lens so on a rainy  day I can put a lens hood on the lens with a rain cover taped to it and there isn't any movement on the lens when focusing which keeps the cover in place. In my experience close ups of protesters works best but you then don't see the context in which the image was taken. In the poster's image he was trying to place the protest in context of the surroundings which imo is difficult. As usual shoot a lot of images and pick out the best.
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 09:27:54 AM »
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Now I sound like grumpy old Rob Smiley  Perhaps It's the incessant damned rain we are getting in the UK.  The hosepipe ban is lifted, but there is so much rain we don't need them anyway!  Is the sun shining in Mallorca?Jim



Nope, I don't want to ruin any thread with politics, it's simply that one requires balance, and when even the photographer later admits that the image bears little resemblance/relationship to his written commentary, then what price a few doctored landscapes, for God's sake!

In reply to your question, I post this from today's compulsory constitutional. Oh - regarding the fishy goings on in 'Prejudice' I can add that the masking's off the boat, and two young paint guys are doing some fine artwork this afternoon - if it's still there tomorrow (the boat) I'll hope for the concluding shot of the trilogy! Bet everybody can hardly wait. (Further attempt at humour - pace you-know-who!)

Rob C
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 09:37:59 AM »
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Now you see those rain clouds in the distance - they are over us and heading your way! Wink
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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 09:51:26 AM »
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I don't know how the impact of austerity is in Mallorca but for many in the UK it is devastating whilst at the same time some continue to profit out of the crisis.  Everyone of course chooses their side of of the problem and you made yours clear from the backwaters of sunny Mallorca. Sad




Unemployment in Spain is, if I remember the news properly, around 50% and amongst the island (Mallorcan) population, in winter it hits 60% because of the lack of winter tourism. Most young people are unemployed and few can even afford to leave home, marry and set up on their own.

The backwaters of 'sunny Mallorca' are pretty full of people with their houses/apartments up for distress sale, locals as well as foreigers. I watch the news (Sky) and see the reports of 80% or whatever Brits in Britain wanting to leave the European Community. That would kill many of us off. As you get old, you usually also get sick. I pop a few pills a day and have ongoing heart and, now, vision problems. If the UK leaves the EC then I have to fund all this stuff on my own, which I can't do. I gave up private medicine because it was costing  me around 3,500 quid a year that I can ill afford, but which I would have continued to spend had my wife not died.

Life here is no cheaper than in Britain. It used to be, and money offshore allowed interest to pay for a lot of the costs of living abroad.That's now a fond memory and the taxman sucks everybody dry, in all the European nations, wherever you keep your main account. But then, to get that account in the first place, you had to work your friggin' socks off, and with photography, as most probably know, you can work 7/7 and still find it bloody hard going. I know that I did. My good years and my bad years were almost biblical in their regularity, only it didn't work in seven-year cycles, it was quicker, and paying separate, private pension plans was a dream (for many who could and did pay, it turned into a very poor investment). In fact, for a few years I paid the self-employed national insurance stamps in both the UK and here. And all for a single state pension at the end of it. I'm afraid that sunshine doesn't pay the bills when you have no work.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 09:58:20 AM »
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Now you see those rain clouds in the distance - they are over us and heading your way! Wink


No, they were already here at 11am when I left home to go do the chores and check the mail and finally find lunch! Fortunately they have now moved to Menorca or somewhere else across the way, and the painters doing the community are safe, as is the terrace that I am currently having to re-surface, another few friggin' grand out of my future.

When I think of how I had to break my ass to earn that...

Is there an icon for 'scream'?

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 02:31:12 PM by Rob C » Logged

stamper
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 10:01:48 AM »
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Keep shooting protests.  Get into the crowds and try and talk with people on all sides of the event, including the police if you get the chance.  Then shoot.

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This close?
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Rob C
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2012, 10:16:21 AM »
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Oh stamper, the www says all anyone needs to know.

Don't you think that there's something just a teensy weensy bit distasteful about using kids as political props? Yeah, right, they know what they are doing; no, not the kids.

Rob C

P.S. Was trying to remember which communist regime staying true to doctrine had produced a free and successful nation. China? Russia? Cuba? East Germany?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 10:25:14 AM by Rob C » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2012, 10:35:01 AM »
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P.S. Was trying to remember which communist regime staying true to doctrine had produced a free and successful nation. China? Russia? Cuba? East Germany?

All of them, Rob. If you don't believe it, just ask them. Oops, going to be hard to ask East Germany... You also might want to ask the Plymouth Colony about the success of their communist community.
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jule
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« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2012, 07:42:07 PM »
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Thanks Mick for posting this image. I always endeavour to glean as much information about the narrative of this kind of image from the actual pixels in front of me first; before reading any attached explanatory information.

I am well versed in international affairs and the 'Austerity' measures proposed throughout Europe – however am not familiar with this particular location. The first thing which I noticed was the lady smiling in the middle. There were a lot of happy faces here!!! The tone of the image for me was of a peaceful ambling with a lot of happy faces. The messages on the signs were not able to be clearly read... so in this instance without the commentary I didn’t have a clue what the protest was about, and after reading your commentary seemed to be incongruent with it.

I think a trap which is easy to fall into (myself included) is to have one’s own memory or particular agenda obscuring the actual pixels or dots on paper.

Julie
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