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Street Bums

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 9:22 AM
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kazimkirmani Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
While photography is a great way to highlight people's plight and to invoke in the more fortunate ones a sense of emotional bonding with the less fortunate humans and spur in them a desire to act to share their fortune with others.. some of the photos shared in this journal for example are just too harsh. Probably from my point of view, I wouldn't pry on some people misfortune and make it a case of 'ah ha' photography.. so I guess the intent matters too.
makepictures Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
What a fabulous and challenging Journal. Only half way through the comments and looking forward to coming back for more.
BubbleCloud Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A great selection (again). :)
zedkin Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student Photographer
Street-Photography is like holding a mirror into society. With its flaws and goods. Homeless people, are just a result of modern societies.

Taking them out of the frame, is like masking the reality.

Is like excluding civils and wounded from war photography.
EarthHart Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
How the hell have I missed this. Great journal, Boss :#1: :ahoy:
LindelCaine Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
Thank you for this journal, Khuram. The images here touch my heart, imparting how life is for these people.

You've asked for us to share our thoughts,...

When I must photograph people in such hardship, for their privacy, I usually try to show their situation without them being easily recognised. ( Similar to most of the images in this journal. ) In most cases, I try not to show their faces, somehow,- for their dignity, - possibly faces are in shadow or only partly seen. I wish to tell their story, to help their situation if it's possible ( the reason I'd be taking the photo ), but not have them feeling degraded or humiliated in the telling. If they don't want photography, I don't do it, - it's a matter of mutual respect. Compassionate humanity is the thing.

At times, through photography, it's possible to show not only the deprivations of living on the street, but also people's strength in adversity, their humour and mutual support, despite hardship, or how innovative people can be, just to survive. Also, how people struggle to pull themselves and their families up from the poverty of being born, living and dying on the pavement, as many in this world must do, - for example, in India. I've learnt that when people have little materially, dignity and respect are very important to them, sometimes, it's all a person has.

With all photography, ( not only poverty ) I see people as people, my sisters and brothers, I feel empathy, emotions I'd feel if I were in the same situation and they are not an "object" before my lens. Many times, I've seen people or situations that would make a good photograph and because of the "feeling" I've not lifted the camera to my eyes, instead I've just sat and talked with the person or people, often sharing my food with them, believing it's better to be a friend than a photographer. I follow my heart in such situations, though the "photographer" knows I've let photos slip away,... and that's alright with me.
NunoCanha Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, is a debatable theme.
No matter the argument one uses for the discussion, we must never stray from two factors: the truth in photography; and the ethical lines that (should) guide Street Photography.
If one needs impact in a photo by an unnecessary denigrate image of an human being, my humble opinion is that is no longer in the realm of street photography (was not the surrounding that create that person/state) but more in the portrait realm, where the human figure is the important element, or even pj, when fundamented.
Once again in my opinion, spontaneous portraiture/street portraiture/street, call it what you will, must always be guided by ethical lines, always keeping in mind that this line is very thin, and a human being must always be depicted as a King.
Even a bum/beggar can have a royal posture, if you know how to capture it. And there lies the merit of the photographer.
mixdouble Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello...MARX...Khuram...Thank you for your journal...
many roots and branches to this... serious matter...
I will make a few comments here:

Several parties involved: What is meant as most important can change over time…
1 The object/subject…other Person…
2 the artist…street photographer…
3 the work of art…picture…
4 the audience…private…other students/teachers/friends…
5 the audience…public…

Art is a language…Photo is language…like music is…
Street photo: Is like Folk music…raw…
expression of feelings and temper…the whole spectre…world music…
Paparazzi: Like pop…
Documentary…always always subjective…It Answers…who’s the responsibility holder…
News: Always always censored more than once…!
No need to make sign or symbol…if alone… We need each other…

Albert Einstein said:
If you look into a strong microscope…or a strong telescope…
You end up staring at the back of your neck…
What he means:
You and Your machine will influence Your result…As the camera will in photography…

Soren Kirkegaard said:
“If you want “to pull a missionary on me”…(“”my quote)
You must: Get to know me…and my cultural background…
BETTER than me…before you begin…

Peter Lund Madsen: (from lectures): Our 3 brains:
1 Lower…sensory…reflexes… sex…food…power…
2 Middle…emotion… action…reaction… morale…
3 Upper… Creative half and logical half … discussing…predicting… Ethics…

The difference in behavior of the 3 brains…seen at a party:
1-Only Low Brain: A Comodo Varan…comes…eat all food…eat all guests…eat host and hostess…sleeps
2-Low and Middle: A Pig…arrives…Jumps on food…eats farts and burbs…rests…very happy…
All 3: We Humans…start by sucking up to the hostess…to ensure we’re invited again next time…!

Octavio Paz (La Llama Doble)(the Double Flame):
Eros… Object…Your needs and demands…
Love… Subject…The person is set free…
Object becomes Subject…The Street Bum is now a Unique Person…
Not just part in your picture…

A good leader knows how to “talk” on all levels…!
Knows how to bring people up one level at a time…
Knows and respects the time it takes…to change level…

Low brain scans: “No immediate threats …This is important…so…Keep going”…
Middle brain whispers: “Can you believe this…?! Take picture…now…now”…
logical half upper brain: “There seems to be…possibly numerous…explanations…to this”…
creative half upper brain: “Look…look”…!
Logic: “Do you need me to take part in this search for pictures…Or can I leave it to you all”…? “when you need serious matters digested…You call on me”…
Creative: “Ok…Go…WE…are Working”…!
Low brain: “No threats…Go on…did you get it”…?!
Middle brain: “Breaks my hart…to think that…this could have been me”…
Creative upper brain:“Well it’s not…can we push the button… or…
or shall we stop being a photographer…and just bee human”…?!
Stop session…

Drawing: EMPTY canvas/paper…include what you want…
pick personally…bee subjective…
You are responsible for content…and will bee judged with your work…

Photography: ALL is there…now exclude what you don’t want in picture…
Select point of view…(perspective)…
focal length…(viewing angle)…
depth of field…(sharpness range/blur)
treatment of colour…light…
You are the responsible…But…this can bee…not so obvious…
Reality can move in…Motif may take the lead…Run with the story…
Photography can bee “seen as true story”…not as a picture…not as art…
But you ARE the leader of this picture session…
So: “Which of your brains…takes this picture”…is the leader…?!

Greetings Jakob.
NoirWood Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Professional Photographer
I suppose it all depends on the photographer. Is she/he going to profit by exploiting another person's misery? If the photographer's intention is to convey awareness from the image, then I say that's okay, unless it's a quick snapshot for cheap laughs, then that's not okay.
fuxs Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
It saddens me immensely. And thank you for the feature, Lawrence!
Batsceba Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012   Photographer
Yoh-Boo Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I do think photographs of homeless people can be good, really good even but I don't particularly like them. I think it is just an easy way out of finding a person to take a photo of. There is no skill needed to take a photograph of a man sleeping on the street or sitting in a wheelchair somewhere being miserable. It is kind of changing them into an object.
I think street photography is all about interaction between people and just a photo of a homeless man does not show much interaction.

I'm not really able to word my thoughts well but I hope you understand my view :D I have seen many homeless men and women during my last vacation in the USA but I don't feel the need to photograph them in order to get more attention for my photos.

Interesting topic :) and I like the personal note lol :giggle: It is very annoying whenever that happens
lightdrafter Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012
No hobos for me. Street is their home and you would not be pleased yourself if some MF stuck his camera into your face on the front of your TV.. Will not make a rule out of this, but will wait for the right bum, ...and will definitely go behind the scene and try to dig deeper, stay longer than a brief head-shot.
ZiaulKareem Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
The whole world is in search of happiness and peace, and yet a mere glance around shows how men and women of all countries and nations are overburdened with sorrow and suffering on the physical as well as the mental and moral planes.

Thanks Khuram for bringing this issue into attention. :thumbsup:
cheekymonkeyali Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012
Homelessness (in the West) has a wide rage of causes, a lot of mental illness and drug dependency, and I don't shoot homeless people because they have no power and I don't think it's right, personally. I know of someone who is an alcoholic and who chooses to live under a bridge despite the fact that he has a house, so answers are not easy in those cases

However, I think the top one is a professional beggar rather than an unfortunate homeless person. There's a guy who works Charles Bridge in Prague who has probably been photographed by everyone on DA.

This is the classic though:
Nattygrego Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I believe that taking photos of homeless or poor people is ok as long as the shot doesn't hurt their dignity. They are a large part of the world population and they exist. But then, since we are talking about photography, I think that unless the moment is incredibly touching or the scene is particulary special, no matter if the shot is good or bad, most of times, photographs of beggars are more related to photojournalism rather than street photography. They are "easy" subject, and in your selection, besides 2 or 3 shots, I'd say that all the others are related to photojournalism. Still, I insist on the fact as photographers of the everyday life, we must not put them apart, the only problem is to me that we live in a society that broadcast so much misery that we almost become tough like stones and do not react in front of such situation....
Real selection up there anyway.
djailledie Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I'll just stick to the photographic side of the question. IMO, a beggar is like a street performer. He looking forward to be noticed. For that reason, the photographer's act is weaker than shooting anybody else in the street. Furthermore, while the photographer can be sincere about it, he is nevertheless playing with the viewer's compassion, which once again is easy street photography.
splendidofsun Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
When I go out for a shooting, I tend not to take photo of the homeless, poor people. Unless there's an interesting scene that touch my heart at the time, such as when they share meals together, chit chat and laugh (and sometimes when they ask me to take their photo, I will take their photo and show them the result).

In my opinion, taking photo of homeless people is okay, as long as not exploiting them. maybe, from a single photo, someone was touched and help the poor people. Maybe the photo will be a trigger for some people to make a movement to help them.

Well, that's my naivete talks.
jadedPhotographer Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012   Photographer
If you're on the street, it's fair game.
RezzanATAKOL Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
Thank you very much dear Khuram for the place of this meaningfull feature for my photograp.
I m not good with English. Not sure if I understand words all people wrote there but I would like to explain my thoughts a little bit with my horrible English if u dont mind:)) ( I spent much time to find these a few words true=D )Please forvige my mistakes:))
These are just a proof to show the status of the society.The size of these statistically are realy very disturbing. But I believe that it would be usefull to shot and publish this kind photograps , to show new generation them as evidence of incompetence of governments and this world is not an utopic one. I do not want to comment about permit because I do not discriminate for no one in the street. Even I dont questioning myself for it while capturing the moment. For me to capture the moment it adds meaning to the street photograph. Editing photography is not meaningful for me.
mangawhio Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
A great shot is a great shot, whether it's of the rich and famous or the down and out. We see all sorts on the street and to concentrate on a particular sector of the population would soon become boring, which is a worse crime to me than exploitation.
Your selection here evokes a range of emotions, neither boring nor exploitative!
batmantoo Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Painful feature and subject, but of need to be discussed on its many levels. And I can only skim the surface in my response, I'm afraid... or this post would become a book.
I personally try to avoid shooting the homeless.
Homeless people shots, I find, seldom reach the viewer since we fail to identify or feel close to the person in the image. I believe there is a psychological "looking away" reaction even when looking at a photo... maybe it's fear or too much bad news in the media, I don't know.
A good "bum shot" in my view is either conceptual, where you could pose a social question by e.g. a stark contrast or strong context (avoiding recognition of the person), or it is a shot where the human connection breaks through the image to the viewer and makes them relate to the person depicted and their plight. Both I find very hard to achieve!
Some of the pictures you picked get there, but others, in my humble opinion, don't.
And I admit to being "guilty" of posting one such shot...
davincipoppalag Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
so much need and misery in the world.. I follow several who shot a lot of homeless people respectfully
\one actually makes it a point to sit and talk to them and treats them like human beings instead of just objects we see in the street.. There but for the grace of god goes any of us..
JACAC Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
g r e a t . c h o i c e
limarieinred Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Privacy in society is becoming more and more scarce in all socio-economic realms. Paparazzi invade the privacy of the rich and famous. Youtube invades the privacy or the clumsy and poorly dressed. The street photographer invades the privacy of the everyday man and the homeless. We are becoming accustomed to reliquishing our privacy through Facebook (to which I deactivated my membership for just such reasons) and other social networks.

Even DA allows us access into the private lives of people who we don't know in person. But candid photos of the world around us allow the viewer to SEE the world through the eyes of others. We see things we may not otherwise have the opportunity to see. We see things we may otherwise overlook. It is the heart of the photographer and the heart of the viewer that make such works art rather than invasion. The paparazzi take photos to shock and make a buck. The street photographer is an artist who takes photos to open the eyes of the viewer and allow them to reflect on what it is to be human.

Sadly or happily...not sure which... the world has become an open book: a comedy, a tragedy, a fairy tale, an adventure or all of the above? I thank those who lovingly tell the tale through words and pictures!
PatrickMonnier Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
Very well said. Thanks for sharing!
limarieinred Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012   Photographer
You touched a subject which has put me in thoughts many times.
Both as a photographer and as street group administrator. And of course as street CV.
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012   Photographer
The subject is quite complicated. More or less I agree with what ~PhotoColo said.
I have shot homeless people(or people in need in general) very few times. When I saw the photograph(s) afterwards, I didn't feel good with myself. I don't feel good exposing someone's NEED. It's not simply an intrusion of privacy. Yes, people in need are a part of our world and sometimes as street shooters we feel the urge to depict that side of life as well. If we do it, let's do it humbly, with great care and with love for people in need. Not bragging for the extra cool shot we took.
PatrickMonnier Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
Homeless individuals do not have a home, do not have a refuge, like most of us have and take for granted.

This fact means that the streets are their "home" as uncomfortable, inconvenient, unhealthy as that might be. I will also add that most homeless individuals did not CHOOSE to be there.

Taking pictures of the homeless is therefore equivalent, in my opinion, to taking pictures of people in their private homes, without consent.

I certainly would not welcome complete strangers from taking my pictures in my home...

That said, if such pictures are taken with an attempt to promote awareness of the problem (such as this post) then I believe it is a valid effort.

DougNZ Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
250 to 300 million? :( I generally don't like gratuitous photos of the homeless if it is just voyeurism or a photog thinking it gives them street cred. But some that give us an insight into the lives of the homeless or comment on the situation the caused them to be homeless are helpful.
Thoughtful journal, thanks Khuram :)
SUDOR Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
An eternal question... [link]
DougNZ Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
I suppose the answer is that if it is done with empathy then it is good
SUDOR Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
I suppose too...
Trippy4U Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
One positive by photographing their plight is that it shines a light on the problem...and reminds people that but for the grace of God go I...and maybe they could do something to eradicate this outrage in such a prosperous modern world. I know some are there by their own doings...or lack of doing...but I'd say the majority are there because economics shut them out. My :twocents:
SUDOR Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
An eternal question... [link]
Trippy4U Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
Excellent should be represented in this editorial :thumbsup:
arslanalp Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Comments, will be educative I believe...
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