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  1. #21
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt
    She did portraits also, like this old gentleman with a camera!
    Appears to be Ansel Adams (or his twin brother)?

  2. #22
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    This is a striking image, the girls looks to be a 14 going on 40, and the boy, perhaps, wants to stay young. Lots of ways to interpret it, and yet, I think, it's obvious they've had difficult lives. She really did capture something in that girl's eyes!

    The exploitation issue comes up from time to time, because there's a perception that a photographer can show up someplace, rattle off a few snaps and be on their merry way. When, in fact, it's quite time consuming to gain the trust needed to achieve this type of image. It's rather hard to photograph human suffering. And, honestly, Mark has probably made very little money on this image. Images of human suffering are, indeed, quite hard to sell. But, as Don quoted, their stories have no chance to be told if she doesn't make the photoraphs. I think she supplements her income doing a lot of commercial work.

    Oh... and that is Ansel Adams! Don't you just love the hat?

  3. #23
    Bill Hahn's Avatar
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    The eyes have it.

    I am reminded of Dorothea Lange's "Damaged Child" (1936).

    More than one novelist has noted that the eyes of a masked child can be unsettling. (One example: John Le Carre in "A Perfect Spy", when describing the look on Rickie Pym's face when he is cornered and dangerous. The eyes "regret your decisions and note your mortality" - I may have misquoted from memory. Still gives me the chills.)

  4. #24
    reellis67's Avatar
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    To me, this is a powerful image; one that forces me to stop and look for some time rather than grab a brief look and move along to the next picture. There is a tremendous amount of mystery bound in the subjects faces - long years in young eyes - and the sense of place created by the background adds to that feeling. I've never taken this type of image, and I doub't that I ever will, but it still captivates me. With my own photos I tend to work more along the technical lines than the aesthetic or emotional, so it is hard for me to not be moved by the different style of photography. I see the details that I focus on in my own work - lines and so on - but I can tell immediately that the photographer had completely internalized the concepts of design and uses them unconsiously, which allows her to see the subject with her full attention, and is shows in the results.

    - Randy

  5. #25

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    Noblebeast makes an excellent point that only a still photograph could best present that kind of situation.
    I still maintain, however, that this particular image is not complete within itself unless the viewer has additional information, or is already familiar with the situation. Taken out of context we don't really know what it represents, although so far the consensus of the responders on this forum is that it somehow represents children who are old before their time, and have lost the optimism of youth. That's an awful lot to read into a single picture with no real information on the underlying background.
    I'm reminded of the quotation by Walker Evans when asked if a photograph could ever lie, his answer was, "they always do."

  6. #26
    noblebeast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    ...
    I still maintain, however, that this particular image is not complete within itself unless the viewer has additional information, or is already familiar with the situation. Taken out of context we don't really know what it represents, although so far the consensus of the responders on this forum is that it somehow represents children who are old before their time, and have lost the optimism of youth. That's an awful lot to read into a single picture with no real information on the underlying background.
    I'm reminded of the quotation by Walker Evans when asked if a photograph could ever lie, his answer was, "they always do."
    Or as Avedon was oft quoted, "All photographs are accurate. None is the truth."

    But I can't help think you are limiting yourself by not responding to the photo without understanding its original context. Does it really matter? Does the photo make you feel anything, on its own, without the full essay or the context of the original assignment to tell you what to think/feel, how to respond? Aren't your questions about context/circumstances part of the wonderful journey a picture like this can take you on? One of the great surprising joys I get from my own pictures is when people - preferably people without any photography background (who tend to worry first and foremost about the technical aspects of the photo) - see things/symbols/meanings in the picture I had no idea were there. I used to think that just because they didn't see the print that I thought I was making, the print must be a failure. Now I know better.

    Joe
    Latent Images Plastic Toy Cameras

    "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive" - Howard Thurman

  7. #27

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    I don't like my emotions being jerked around, such as intended by those sappy (video) adds for some children's charity, showing snot-nosed, unkempt and unclean, pot-bellied urchins with tears running down their cheeks ("for only a dollar-a-day you can feed this child and send her to Harvard!" Or better yet, to Congress?).
    I do believe this image because I happen to know about Mary Ellen Mark. Otherwise, it could just be another shill.

  8. #28

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    I find the mask to be both a blessing and a curse. The photo needs it for the surreal effect but weighs it down as a prop.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckP
    I find the mask to be both a blessing and a curse. The photo needs it for the surreal effect but weighs it down as a prop.
    Interesting notion -- but if these kids are indeed travellers/Romani/Gypsies then the mask is probably a part of their lifestyle, a crucial story element and a key irony in their lives of projecting entertainment and happiness towards others from within their own questionable circumstance.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  10. #30

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    I was at Barnes & Noble yesterday, looking through her new book "Exposure," and ran across this image. It was identified as Spanish Gypsies, but unfortunately no additional information was given.
    This is an incredibly intense book, and there is an appendix where she discusses many of the individual photographs, in particular Tiny and Mike, two of the children from her beautiful but gritty photoessay on street kids in Seattle.
    Her work certainly reinforces what they say on Malcolm in the Middle, "Life is Unfair."

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