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Iduna

life is fading out

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in may lunch break I sometimes take a round in the park of our hospital. In the hospital area smoking is banned but from a few isles. One of these boxes is below a visitor bridge adjacent to an elevetor which is a very dark place with scarce light.

 

 

Olympus OMD EM5 + Panaleica DG Nocticron 42.5-1.2 Asph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Very well done, and more than a bit unsettling. From a purely artistic standpoint I prefer the B&W, but the quality of the color adds to its feeling unsettling.

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Stuart,

thank you so much, that's exactly what I felt. nice to have your support here.

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Iduna like both and your subject may be a little unsetting but the reality is life should not be seen looking through rose colored glasses. I also found the woman in your picture very interesting .

Hank

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Iduna like both and your subject may be a little unsetting but the reality is life should not be seen looking through rose colored glasses. I also found the woman in your picture very interesting .

Hank

Iduna,

 

I agree with Hank's comments although I tend to prefer the b&w version. And I too, found the woman to be an integral part of the picture.

 

Paul

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Hartmut,

 

probably you are right. Thanks for sharing this discussion. Vielen Dank für die Hilfe.

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agree with Stuart's comments, and like the photo very much.

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Iduna, I find that it is a strong photograph and the colours serve it's expression; the conversion's tones don't work so well with me.

 

I also find that the picture raises rather important questions, because, perhaps reinforced by the title (hinting at a knowledge about the person's state of health), the photographer and the viewer penetrate the intimacy of the person pictured, and this person appears frail, vulnerable. It's that intrusion that makes it unsettling for me. I always feel that for picturing and showing vulnerability I need a solid reason, a sort of purpose, other than being struck by its inevitable presence (like we all are): e.g. make it part of a purposeful reportage, relate it to a story told. I feel I would also need the persons agreement.

 

Sorry if I appear spoil sport, but I think photographs can be powerful, and this one is. Showing it exerts power.

As you see, it also inspires reflections...

 

Best,

Alexander

Edited by xalo

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Adam,

Thank you so much. Since I see so many good street photography the benchmark is high. I am glad you like it.

 

Alexander,

thank you very much for your comment and commitment. It is as you are saying. The scenery I am showing is repeated every day. You see sick people being addicted to their smoking. This glass pavillion is directly adjacent to the main entrance of the hospital.

You are right, I am a timid person and never did much streetphotography therefore. Now I startted with a 85 mm fl. You have to find a direct approach and overcome you own selfconsciousness and bad conscience. The picture could be perhaps part of a series about this problem. If it has this quality to have an effect on the viewer it is a positive message.

 

Thanks a lot for your commitment and it is appreciated and will work further....

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Very interesting dialogue, Alexander and Iduna. I'm impressed at how well (and civilized) you have each articulated your thoughts.

 

I wanted to clarify the basis for me liking this photo. I don't really know if I would put this in the "street photography" category. There isn't much by way of a play on geometry, or a clear juxtoposition of any kind, or of a slice of street culture or scenery that soon will be vintage. There may be hints of one or more of the foregoing in this photo, but it doesn't jump out at me.

 

I think I would put this more in the category of reportage, particularly with the interesting story that you have attached to the photo. I can visualize an anti-smoking association using this photo in their promotional materials. The manner in which the person is grasping the cigarette package has an sense of desparation to it, which perhaps in a subtle way reinforces the message that smoking is an addiction that will take control over one's life. I think you picture effectively tells this speciic story. To me, it doesn't really matter all that much whether the photo is pleasant to look at, or flattering to the subject. Even HCB has photos on record of people in much more pathetic situations, although, in fairness to the great HCB, the context and background of the photos very clearly and forcefully tell powerful stories that don't require prompting.

 

Your photo has evoked an emotion and you have linked that emotion to a particular story that has a life lesson associated with it. This is effective; and I believe that this can form the basis of responsible photography "in the streets."

 

Based on your comments about being a little timid, I get the sense that perhaps you are not so 100% comfortable with having taken this photo yourself, as if perhaps (at least in the back of your mind) you may have possibly invaded this person's privacy. I think these instincts are wonderful and what make you a kind and decent person. I think there is a world of real street photography that can be done well within your comfort zone. You just have to keep you eyes peeled. More often than not, I find that interesting scenes and compositions tend to unfold in front of me on their own in a natural way - if I let them.

 

Certain shooting styles do require interaction with people, such as yesterday in NYC when I took my dual range summicron with my M3 and approach very interesting New Yorkers and asked to take extreme close-ups (within 18" of their face) of them with the close focusing range using the funny goggles that come with the lens. But in NYC it is not too difficult to find people who are so outlandish that they have "look at me and pay attention to me!" written all over their face, especially in Greenwich Village on a sunny Sunday! I find that these people actually relish the attention

 

Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing more of your "street" shots!

 

Best, Adam

 

Best,

Adam

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Adam,

thank you very much for your thoughts and comment. It is appreciated very much and it will help to refine search and technique as well. This picture is showing for me that a photo can have an impact on people which is a surprise for me being a newbie on this field.

Our city is a very dull place concerning interesting buildings,advertisements and on those graphically interesting places playing a part in a picture. People are are just the ordinary type and will be frowning when a photographer is turning up. On the other hand are people themselves permanently busy with their own displays of mobiles etc that they do not notice very much what is happening around them and one can hide behinf this technique also and sneak forward.

Events, market places, public parks are here the places of interest and this is in no way comparable to the big cities here in Germany like Berlin, Cologne or Hamburg

 

Anyway, all your comments I take as an encouragement for further commitment and improvement.

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Iduna, thank you indeed for taking my comment so well.

Adam, I'd share most your view here and thanks for chiming in.

 

I'm rather timid with a camera, too. When the urge is stronger than the timidity, I'll try. If not, so be it. I try to make amenable contact when someone takes offense. Since I can feel strongly about photographs, I tend to think that others, especially those photographed, could too, even more so when it comes to publishing. So far, this worked without me being beaten up.

 

I'm uneasy about the public war on cigarettes. It tends to become one on smoking fellow human beings, used as a token cause eclipsing other realities that society wishes to externalize. Because all addictions usually have a complex story, there are no simple answers. When I worked in a hospital, an exhausted surgeon would light a cigarette after an amputation he had had to perform, due to deteriorated blood circulation…

 

So, there is a story behind the photo, it's the gentleman's life; it's up to him to decide if he wants to be an example. That deserves getting close, understanding, trying to see. I guess that's what I would want photography to be. Needless to say, that's stretching for the sun ;-)

 

Iduna, it's interesting that you're mentioning the pedestrians with their eyes riveted to their screens. Actually, I was thinking about a little project photographing them — us...

 

Alexander

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Alexander,

thanks for your further response. Generally it meets with my own thoughts about this smoking and the disgracing act of behaviour on both sides. You are perfectly right about a rich story behind any sort of being addicted. It belongs to mankind and our society is being split up in good and bad. But it is more complex as you mentioned. So this can also be seen in the picture: the onlookers and those figures inside a cage which is significantly a hospital. So, the vicious circle is in our minds and here is he key for an individual solution whatever it may have a result.

I did feel all this when taking the picture. Thanks again for your commitment

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