Homeless in Thailand

ThornleyGroves

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
266
Reaction score
15
Location
Bournemouth, Manchester, Athens, Liverpool
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I arrived back from Bangkok last night and have two little photos to share with you. These guys were both homeless and i thought they were a great subject to photograph. Hope you like them.




 

DarkShadow

Birdographer
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
8,792
Reaction score
4,882
Location
Connecticut
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
The first photo the guy looks really pissed. The second photo I do get a better feeling of a homeless guy and see sadness in his eyes.Both are very nice street shots IMO.
 

The_Traveler

Completely Counter-dependent
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
18,743
Reaction score
8,044
Location
Mid-Atlantic US
Website
www.lewlortonphoto.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I have strong opinions about street photography which I put down in a blog post here at this link but I've copied the more pertinent points below:

........rather than saying what, in my opinion, is real street photography, it is much easier to say what I think is not.
  • Street photography is not pictures of poor people or people in distress that focuses on their condition and therefore borrows some emotion without bringing any new meaning. (what I call homeless porn). This is the most obvious, cheap and repellent cliché in street photography and viewers should not be fooled by the photographer's tales of giving money or food in return. Unless there is more to it than a picture of poverty, it is exploitative.
  • Street photography is not taking an otherwise meaningless shot, converting it to B&W and tarting it up with heavy textures and vignetting and grain. Because of the long history of pushing films to get higher iso and using not-so-terrific lenses on early small cameras, the genre is historically associated with B&W and texture. Modern photographers convert to B&W to keep bright colors from diverting the viewer from the center of interest that they want to show. Unfortunately that means that photographers can take relatively meaning-free images and pass them off as something important just by hanging the street photos characteristics on them.
  • Street photography is not any random B&W photography done outside. It may be 'slice of life' or just a well done but purposeless picture. If the picture has no point, it doesn't fit. Modern cameras do 98% of the work as it is, doing the exposure, doing the focus and not even costing anything to make exposures.
  • Street photography is not taking pictures of graffiti or signs or things meant to be seen with no additional meaning or emphasis added by the photographer. The photographer must add something more than a passing Google van.
  • Street photography is not jumping up in front of people and shooting their startled response. This 'method' seems to be the most admired by those people who haven't the nerve to go out and even shoot pictures of people at all. I find it, if not repellent and annoying, certainly irritating. The only positive aspect to this technique is that eventually people who shoot this way will annoy someone equally as aggressive and very annoyed and be will punched very hard in their nose.
 

ffarl

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
622
Reaction score
329
Location
Tx
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Both great shots. Poignant and haunting.
 

peter27

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
668
Reaction score
196
I find the first shot disturbing, the second upsetting. You have touched a nerve with these and made me think.
 

tirediron

Watch the Birdy!
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
45,748
Reaction score
14,801
Location
Victoria, BC
Website
www.johnsphotography.ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
While I think street photography can deliver very powerful messages, but these images appear to taken solely because of their appearance, and not with the intent of showing the real person or delivering a message on the state of poverty they're experiencing. IMO these are what street photography should NOT be.
 

pixmedic

I am the Lord thy Mod
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
15,291
Reaction score
7,388
Location
Central Florida
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
While I think street photography can deliver very powerful messages, but these images appear to taken solely because of their appearance, and not with the intent of showing the real person or delivering a message on the state of poverty they're experiencing. IMO these are what street photography should NOT be.

I agree with tirediron on this one.
We all might get a different view and concept of a picture from the same scene. What was it about these two people that you saw that made you feel like it was worth sharing? Sometimes a photographers thought process can help the viewers understand a photograph by understanding what the photographer was trying to envision.
 

ffarl

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
622
Reaction score
329
Location
Tx
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I'm sure I'll be put to cyber-death for saying this, but it's just an observation, for the sake of discussion. As a musician and songwriter, I went though a period of time where any song I heard had to abide by "the rules", or even more to the point, my interpretation of "The Rules" before I would give it any credit. Is it a folk song? "Well it's not a folk song unless the writer experienced X or it was written because of Y, or whatever". Is it a punk song? "well then why is this chord here, but not here?" and so forth. Nowadays, I don't bother myself with having to know why something is beautiful, or ugly when it comes to music. I just decide whether or not I like it, and sometimes I even put that off for quite some time.

I like these pictures on the same level. I don't think OP went so far as to say they were "Street Photography", but even if they had, it wouldn't make a difference to my inexperienced eye. They're just beautiful, IMHO. ;)
 

The_Traveler

Completely Counter-dependent
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
18,743
Reaction score
8,044
Location
Mid-Atlantic US
Website
www.lewlortonphoto.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
ffarl,

you have missed the point entirely.
it's not that these don't fit into a category It is that these pictures are nothing but cheap tricks to engage our emotions without telling us anything we don't know.
And it is at the expense of objectifying these subjects, not as human being with severe problems, but as objects for us to look at. It is no different than taking pictures of the retarded or the monstrously obese, the modern versions of a carnival freak show.
It is repellent.
 

runnah

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
14,630
Reaction score
7,557
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The first doesn't scream homeless, so if you hadn't said anything I wouldn't have known.

Second one is upsetting for two reasons, his situation and that you took a photo of it. I hope you at least gave him some money.
 

ffarl

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
622
Reaction score
329
Location
Tx
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
ffarl,

you have missed the point entirely.
it's not that these don't fit into a category It is that these pictures are nothing but cheap tricks to engage our emotions without telling us anything we don't know.
And it is at the expense of objectifying these subjects, not as human being with severe problems, but as objects for us to look at. It is no different than taking pictures of the retarded or the monstrously obese, the modern versions of a carnival freak show.
It is repellent.

Actually, I think I understood where you were coming from pretty well from your first post. I just don't agree. I don't think the OP's motives were that sinister or naive. It doesn't have to teach me anything for me to find it beautiful, nor does the subject have to be sufficiently happy with their lot in life for me not to consider it exploitation. If I thought anyone was harmed by the taking of these photos I would think differently.

I see the desperation in that second man's eyes. I also know that it's not caused or worsened by the camera. How do we know the OP didn't spend some time with them, buy them a meal... Make their lives BETTER? We don't. I'm judging these photos based on what the particular arrangement of colors and pixels says to me, and not making assumptions about the story behind it.

Believe me, I see where you're coming from , and I don't want to change your opinion. I just wanted a little space for mine. :p
 

MiFleur

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Messages
885
Reaction score
206
Location
Colebrook, NH
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I find these images disturbing too...
and even though I wish I would keep an open mind, I cannot help but think that If I was in their situation, the last thing I would want is to have my picture taken and published. My mind is trying to accept but my heart cannot. Not without a reason.
 

sarah_19_nz

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
411
Reaction score
148
Location
New Zealand
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
before I had read the comments I too felt oddly disturbed by these images and very much saddened. They are great images but whats behind them is a picture of desperation, a picture of an awful situation these poor guys are in (whatever the reason they are there) To post these to and get accolades for your work as a photographer seems 'mocking' the lens you use to take their photo could probably buy them a house or a full education for any children they have. Did you offer him some money to take his photo?... Those are just the emotions that go through my head when I see these 2 shots.

As for your photography.. it's good. Even great, the 2nd one is best technically I think.
 

DarkShadow

Birdographer
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
8,792
Reaction score
4,882
Location
Connecticut
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
That's all I was judging by the quality of the photos. It saddens me to and something I would not have done my self.I see this everyday in the city, it's reality and nothing new.I often get asked for spare change for food but instead of giving money I offer to go buy them food and If they accept then I will follow through and if they walk away then its not for food and more likely drugs or alcohol. I look for nothing in return and don't do it to make my self feel better. I just think that this could easily be me or a family member or anyone of us.
 

DanOstergren

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
4,204
Reaction score
3,657
These are really great! Both of them make me feel something and think really hard about the subjects. The emotions are captured really well, and the exposures are perfect. My only nit-pick is with the first image; the focus is too soft and depth of field too shallow in my opinion and they don't compliment the emotion of the shot. I think a slower aperture for this shot would have been a better choice.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top