homeless

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by Reservist, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. Reservist

    Reservist TPF Noob!

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    this was shot this morning downtown DC, at the Navy Memorial, I'm using my fuji S700. I've been trying to get pics of the homeless,

    on this one I've blacken out some of the windows.

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    This one is with out editing

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    and finally I walked around the statue with a faster shutter speed

    [​IMG]

    The person is sleeping on the wall of a fountian, that is water behind him (?), if he rolled over (forward) he (?) would be in the fountian.
     
  2. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    I like the concept, but the subject is too far away, IMO. Also, I think that the shot would have been more engaging from the front looking back to the statue perhaps. Or loose the statue completly and just try to connect with the person sleeping and their few belongings. I think I see the story you are trying to convey, but the story is the person. I would have liked to have seen more than an outline from the back.
    Try it again from the front. I think it will be a lot better that way.
    PS-it's sad, isn't it? Poor man/woman. I can't imagine.
     
  3. Eyecatcher

    Eyecatcher TPF Noob!

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    If you want to tell the story you want than it should have been better to get more close to the subject or use a long range lens (500mm) if you do not want to disturb or be disturbed.

    I really have to look for the intended subject and this I do not like.
    The last one is closer but it's just a straight forward shot without any depth in it. For these kind of pictures I would say: B/W not colour.

    Do not be affraid to lean over the guy or get really close. Hell, for all I care I would even spared him some change if he/she would have noticed. That's returning a favour and paying for your peace as well.

    De groeten

    Peter
     
  4. Reservist

    Reservist TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the tips, but this is the "front" the ledge he was sleeping on is to a fountian, and if you walked behind where the shops are you'd have to go down some steps. I'm finding most of the homeless sleep with their backs towards the public.

    I'll keep trying, could be an interesting theme.
     
  5. JonMikal

    JonMikal TPF Noob!

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    your gut feeling in photographing the homeless from a distance was right. as you know, it's not respectful to get in their face or in close proximity with a camera. i've shot many a homeless soul in dc, but always from a distance. very few are receptive to taking money for pictures...i've seen others making the mistake. a 300mm will do fine.

    were you just visiting the navy memorial or is your temp charge the memorial itself?
     
  6. Eyecatcher

    Eyecatcher TPF Noob!

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    You got a point there. They do mostly want to be left alone in a way but some also like a honest chat and a person to tell something to. So if you take a picture and be kind enough to stick around for a moment or two that can help as well. It isn't easy and I admit I mostly use a 500mm mirror lens as well but in rare occasions I feel compelled to do something in return.

    I do however not feel any disrespect of putting a camera in a homeless' face. He's on public ground displaying himself as such so it's up to him whether he feels like he's up to it. As stated above I do not ignore the man and his feelings but neither do I ignore my right to take this photo as well.

    It's a touchy subject and everybody must decide if the subject presented is a justified one or not.
     
  7. JonMikal

    JonMikal TPF Noob!

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    sounds pretty cocky.....yes he is on 'display' and you have every right to photograph him. bottom line is when is it appropriate to shoot or not? i would like to think we all contemplate that choice when the occasion is presented...but it's obvious from some posts i've seen in this forum....we don't. at protests, i'll put my camera in your face if need be to convey a story........where's the story of an unfortunate laying on the street or sleeping in a public way that hasn't been told since the beginning of our economic downfall? aren't images supposed to say something besides, i have an expensive camera and you don't have squat?
     
  8. Eyecatcher

    Eyecatcher TPF Noob!

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    You get me wrong. I will only take a picture if this IS telling something (according to me) and if this requires to get up close I will not let it be.
    I try to shoot photos of the general life and homeless people are part of that as well.
    In return to your comment I can also say that keeping a general distance as a token of respect is more a token of contempt. Taking a sneaky photo with a 300 mm all the time is that a better option? Of course you left the poor man alone in peace but still you have the same result as me except for the fact I'm willing to let the guy know what I did. He still has the chance to decline my right to take the photo and to ask me to buzz off.

    I might get up close if this is telling me a story that somehow shows what a homeless has to endure. and if he wants to speak to me I will not run away or be ashamed. If he rattles his cup of coins I'll be generous and we're both happy.

    I sometimes really feel like we're all too ashamed of the homeless etc and we like to keep a distance out of so called respect. Keep fooling yourself or open your eyes.

    Peter
     
  9. Calliope

    Calliope TPF Noob!

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    Well, everyone has their own opinion on how to shoot the homeless. Therefore, everyone has the right to shoot THEIR photos the way they choose. As Reservist mentioned, most homeless keep their back to people - perhaps in their hopes to keep their privacy... but, that may just be my Psychology/Counseling experience talking. As for me, I take the approach 'do as you would have done to you.' Therefore, if someone came 'in my face' with a camera, I would (not so gently) shove the camera where the sun doesnt shine...




    Now, as for this particular photograph, I agree with elsaspet. I probably would've liked the photograph from the other side but can understand the problem with the fountain being in the way. I like the concept and the story that comes to my head seeing him asleep in front of the fountain. I like the first photo the best although I can see little round spots where the windows were blackened. I think the last photo is too cropped to tell the same story.
     
  10. 303villain

    303villain TPF Noob!

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    i did an assignement for my photo101 class on the homeless, and i found the best way to get a photograph of them was to go up(not holding the camera at the ready or anything) and just spark a conversation. alot of them will find great value in a social interaction that isnt demeaning to them. somewhere in the conversation ask if they would mind if you took a photograph of them doing their thing, tell them why youd like to take their picture, but from time to time i had to cough up a little money. they're people too so just treat them like normal and *most* of them are pretty personable. i had one guy flip out on me though. i think these kinds of pictures are more powerful in b/w btw. good plan though! good luck!
     
  11. Eyecatcher

    Eyecatcher TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your comment. I probably used a the wrong words to get my statement this clear.

    Peter
     
  12. kilifila66

    kilifila66 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, this thread has strayed a bit from the original topic which is of course your photos. Here is my two cents, I like the idea of the shot but as many have said I would go with black and white. It gives it a grittier feeling and an amazing amount of contrast for things like this. I also would have tried to shoot from a different angle, not necessarily from the other side but maybe from another edge of the fountain. I am of course sidesteping the morality of taking the shot and simply giving help on making the shot better. Besides the subject, try and capture as much detail as possible. I am the detail freak, if you take a photo of a person, I want to count the wrinkles on their face. Keep shooting, you'll find your niche.
     

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