Visually, I like the Gedney better than the Adams, as far as this pair is concerned. This is simply because Gedney's has more depth and a better visual composition. Both portray a feeling of respect for the subjects.
Originally Posted by copake_ham
I certainly do not understand why anyone would consider either of these shots, or the general intent of the photogs, to be exploitative.
I generally agree with George on the subject of the photographer's intent. However, some of the previous comments give clues as to where the exploitation may start. I will just say that the exploitaiton starts by viewers making rather harsh assumptions or judgements about the subjects just because the subjects may not live according to the viewer's standards. Where's the poverty? Just because a young girl is barefoot and has bruised shins? Just because there is a bare bulb in the ceiling fixture as opposed to fancy chandelier? Call me blind but I don't see it. Despite many definitions available, poverty is relative thing. What you are seeing is an area that is less prosperous than others may be at the moment, not necessarily one that is "bound in poverty".