A Modes of Flight Street Photography Project
A touching photo Allan . . .
It was definitely something to see him there in his trying circumstances.
I afraid I disagree..its not such a great thing to see people suffering thru tough economic times…Maybe he chooses not to do work for minimal wage..or maybe he really has tried..but eitherway I feel its irresponsible photography..thanks for a chance to voice my opinion…
By the way are you aware that 50% of the population in the world are poor..living below the poverty line..but you put all the profits from churches ..synogues..and mosques together that would irradicate poverty altogether…
The ethics of homeless photography is very much a recurring and sensitive discussion. I cover it in Part 7 of The Guide:
When Patti uses the word “touching” I don’t believe that she is saying that it is “a great thing to see” this individual in his circumstances; hence my response to her. I think that she’s expressing her recognition that the shot can make, at least and perhaps at most, an important impact on the psyche of those who might actually care about issues of homelessness and poverty in general.
One of the things I elude to in Part 7 is that many years ago I personally fell on hard financial times in which I became virtually — not completely, homeless. When this occurred I lived in the neighbourhood of Landsdale, I will finaly describe those circumstances in greater detail when I have completed the Landsdale photo essay that I have already begun drafting. I will advise here; nevertheless, that during that time I didn’t have a camera, and wished someone would actually care enough to document the economic hell I was going through. This of course doesn’t mean that everyone in the boat I rowed feels the same way. It does mean, however, that some others do.
I’m not simply assuming I know other’s points of view just because I’ve personally lived that life. I’ve also asked others who are in the predicament as to what they think. I’ve found that many people, not all, who haven’t experienced that kind of abject poverty but think they know what is morally right, needed and wanted in documenting it are pretty far off the mark. For those who are on the mark in regards to disapproving such photography, it’s because they can recognize when someone is making such imagery just because they can, not because they want or need to inspire thought and action on ways of helping people either overcome or actually; strangely, cope with the poverty and all of its many contributing factors.
The question always comes down to why try to attack the issue in this manner? It is because there are not enough people, factions; hence the churches, synagogues, mosques and more, or other ways of attacking this problem and there needs to be much more.
It is a fact that when such images are made and exhibited, many people still ignore them just as they ignore or criticise the urchin lying in the street at their feet in real time. When the images are not present, it just makes it all the more easier for even more people to forget that the problem exists.
I am so glad that you weighed in on this, and I hope that you respond to Part 7.
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2D visual artist specializing in illustration, photography and graphic design.
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