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#1 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 07:22 AM

hi all

i am taking lots of streets photographs here in edinburgh and last night i took one of a homeless guy sitten under the pouring rain. it was truly one the sadest thing i have ever seen

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#2 Filip Plesha

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 01:36 PM

Maybe he is not sad, maybe you are more sad for him than he is for himself.

Being detached from life can have its advantages, as much as it feels freightning to those still tied to it.

Of course, I bet he is hungry and cold, but you would be suprized at what people can get used to, and after they get used to it, they really don't care that much. Look at it from a brighter side: he lives without some existential fears that you have. You are all your life afraid to end up like him, he is free from that fear, his days won't change probably, and there is something calming in knowing that.

People like that often get this feeling of indiference in time, feeling flat to most human things, that we struggle around.

Things are not always so obvious, and sad music in movies is not always "right" about things..
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#3 Rik Andino

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 02:41 PM

It's might be a sad reality...
But it's definitely a beautiful picture.


Thanks for showing it off.
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#4 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 04:37 PM

Maybe he is not sad, maybe you are more sad for him than he is for himself.

Being detached from life can have its advantages, as much as it feels freightning to those still tied to it.

Of course, I bet he is hungry and cold, but you would be suprized at what people can get used to, and after they get used to it, they really don't care that much. Look at it from a brighter side: he lives without some existential fears that you have. You are all your life afraid to end up like him, he is free from that fear, his days won't change probably, and there is something calming in knowing that.

People like that often get this feeling of indiference in time, feeling flat to most human things, that we struggle around.

Things are not always so obvious, and sad music in movies is not always "right" about things..




you couldnt be more right in your words, mate. its just odd to suddenly realise that we give things for granted, like having a roof on our heads. it made me thinking, trough photography

Edited by federico bonfanti, 26 April 2006 - 04:37 PM.

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#5 Matt Pacini

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 05:45 PM

While I'd agree that it's incredible what human beings can get used to, I still don't agree that this guy thinks it's OK the position he's in.
I've slept outside in the cold and rain before, and there's no way you can ignore it and think life is peachy living in this kind of condition.
It is indeed sad, and I think that guy is sad as well.
Homelessness is a complicated situation. In reality, most homeless people have drug or alcohol problems, or severe mental problems, all of which make it almost impossible for others to help them much.
Sad indeed.
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#6 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 06:46 PM

Taking pictures randomly in the street is actually a pretty scary experience... Because you don't want to be seen by them, otherwise you'll just ruin the moment, turning it into a pointless portrait with no meaning. (And more to the point, get a smack in the face)
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#7 Mike Welle

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 09:43 PM

Whatever happened to give me your hungry, your tired your huddled masses? Are we entering a new era of "tough love" and "survival of the fittest." What happened to mercy? Perhaps our society is declining as a result of selfish right-wing politicians and people who are foolish enough to appear to elect them. Whatever happened to brother can you spare me a dime? Has the "greed is good" decade of the 80's spilled over into the 21st century? Is this an era where we believe only power is good and weakness evil? I fear for us. I fear for a country ruled by a foolish "president" like George W. Bush. Are we entering a new era where images of such high-quality have the ability to brain wash us to think a certain way and feel a certain way, just because they "look" good? What happened to competency and sufficiency. Are we re-entering an era of excess, racism and fascism?

Please reflect on the passage below:

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd:
It blesses him that gives, and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes
The throned monarch better than the crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above the sceptered sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself,
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice."


Mike Welle
Charleston, SC

Maybe he is not sad, maybe you are more sad for him than he is for himself.

Being detached from life can have its advantages, as much as it feels freightning to those still tied to it.

Of course, I bet he is hungry and cold, but you would be suprized at what people can get used to, and after they get used to it, they really don't care that much. Look at it from a brighter side: he lives without some existential fears that you have. You are all your life afraid to end up like him, he is free from that fear, his days won't change probably, and there is something calming in knowing that.

People like that often get this feeling of indiference in time, feeling flat to most human things, that we struggle around.

Things are not always so obvious, and sad music in movies is not always "right" about things..


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#8 Filip Plesha

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 06:08 AM

Whatever happened to give me your hungry, your tired your huddled masses? Are we entering a new era of "tough love" and "survival of the fittest." What happened to mercy? Perhaps our society is declining as a result of selfish right-wing politicians and people who are foolish enough to appear to elect them. Whatever happened to brother can you spare me a dime? Has the "greed is good" decade of the 80's spilled over into the 21st century? Is this an era where we believe only power is good and weakness evil? I fear for us. I fear for a country ruled by a foolish "president" like George W. Bush. Are we entering a new era where images of such high-quality have the ability to brain wash us to think a certain way and feel a certain way, just because they "look" good? What happened to competency and sufficiency. Are we re-entering an era of excess, racism and fascism?


were you trying to say I have no mercy?

No, I always give to poeple like that, whenever I can, I really can't pass by and not give money or something if I have in my pocket, I know that it won't help them much, If I found them a job and a place to stay or perhapse some time to talk to them, now that would be help, but I am not heartless about them.

What I was saying is from their perspective. I'm not refering to their "technical" existential problems, but the psychological problems of being alone, left out, having no friends and no hopes for the future.
That part can be overcome in time.

I've had experience with that state of mind, though I never was homeless actually, but I know how it is to be excluded from society in a way. In time you learn to look at life around you as a giant stage game, where everyone is doing their parts, but they don't see it, and it can get funny to see how everyone is struggling not to be what you are, not to be alone, not to be a failure, while you have a feeling of freedom inside brought by the fact that you have lost what you were afraid to lose all the time, and now you have no such fears anymore.

Same way, you can ask yourself, how can those monks that live in Tibet be happy with a bowl of rice, sitting there chanting all day in the nature. Well, believe it or not, while normal human life brings all the cusual pleasures, loosing all that and detaching from everything can give you time and reason to turn to yourself, know yourself, and that opens so many doors.

When I reclaimed my role in the society, I was stronger than ever, because now I saw every realtive as it is, and once you stop looking at things through the glasses of society, the things that usually cause great pain may not hurt so much, or not at all.

All in all, I don't think all these people are happy, I'm just saying that maybe some of them are not feeling bad, perhapse some of us are doing far worse in life, because detachment has hidden advantages.

But I'm starting to preach here, so I'll stop

Edited by Filip Plesha, 27 April 2006 - 06:10 AM.

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#9 Mike Welle

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 02:42 PM

What you've managed to do is to create a red herring...a smokescreen. This is something the Republican party is very good at doing. They make the issue not about the terrible situation in Iraq, but about gay marriage, illegal immigration and steroids in baseball. We should be concerned about this man's suffering which is obvious from the picture but you throw in this "red herring" that he is in effect benefitting from being detatched from society. The man is suffering in the rain. You speak as if giving him money (a realistic goal) is foolhardy because it will not accomplish as much as getting him a job (an impractical and perhaps dangerous goal). Please examine these lines from Merchant of Venice and consider how they relate to this man:

"...I am a Jew. Hath
not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge?"

I don't believe this homeless man is in some sort of zen like state or Walden Pond (unless you consider the puddles he is sitting in to be a sort of pond.)

Mike Welle
Charleston, SC


were you trying to say I have no mercy?

No, I always give to poeple like that, whenever I can, I really can't pass by and not give money or something if I have in my pocket, I know that it won't help them much, If I found them a job and a place to stay or perhapse some time to talk to them, now that would be help, but I am not heartless about them.

What I was saying is from their perspective. I'm not refering to their "technical" existential problems, but the psychological problems of being alone, left out, having no friends and no hopes for the future.
That part can be overcome in time.

I've had experience with that state of mind, though I never was homeless actually, but I know how it is to be excluded from society in a way. In time you learn to look at life around you as a giant stage game, where everyone is doing their parts, but they don't see it, and it can get funny to see how everyone is struggling not to be what you are, not to be alone, not to be a failure, while you have a feeling of freedom inside brought by the fact that you have lost what you were afraid to lose all the time, and now you have no such fears anymore.

Same way, you can ask yourself, how can those monks that live in Tibet be happy with a bowl of rice, sitting there chanting all day in the nature. Well, believe it or not, while normal human life brings all the cusual pleasures, loosing all that and detaching from everything can give you time and reason to turn to yourself, know yourself, and that opens so many doors.

When I reclaimed my role in the society, I was stronger than ever, because now I saw every realtive as it is, and once you stop looking at things through the glasses of society, the things that usually cause great pain may not hurt so much, or not at all.

All in all, I don't think all these people are happy, I'm just saying that maybe some of them are not feeling bad, perhapse some of us are doing far worse in life, because detachment has hidden advantages.

But I'm starting to preach here, so I'll stop


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#10 Bill Totolo

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 04:07 PM

Not to re-direct the topic but I'm reminded of a picture I snapped on a New york subway last year, with my cell phone, of a woman obviously under the effects of some kind of depressant. Her motions were all slowed down to half speed as she constantly drifed in and out of consciousness:

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#11 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 04:38 AM

That's a nice photograph Federico. I like how you have made him an off centre silhouette against the rainy reflections of commercial lights in the city. You don't even notice him at first. Regardless of how sad this guy (it could be a woman for all i know) is, it still is a pretty strong image of homelessness. Did you use a digital camera? I've always thought making street photographs with an analog camera is a lot more exciting, because then it's the act of actually making the picture, framing, setting exposure, depressing the trigger that's most important. The instant (dis)satisfation you get with a digital camera for me takes away a lot of this excitement.
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#12 Filip Plesha

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 05:10 AM

What you've managed to do is to create a red herring...a smokescreen. This is something the Republican party is very good at doing. They make the issue not about the terrible situation in Iraq, but about gay marriage, illegal immigration and steroids in baseball. We should be concerned about this man's suffering which is obvious from the picture but you throw in this "red herring" that he is in effect benefitting from being detatched from society. The man is suffering in the rain. You speak as if giving him money (a realistic goal) is foolhardy because it will not accomplish as much as getting him a job (an impractical and perhaps dangerous goal). Please examine these lines from Merchant of Venice and consider how they relate to this man:


It seems we are looking this from two compleatly different levels, your being all about sociology and politics, so I won't discuss it anymore
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#13 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 09:13 AM

hi alex

thanks. i just took it really quickly with a canon D50 and to be honest i didnt really think about framing and stuff, so i reckon ive been lucky. homeless people are very aggressivehere in scotland so i didnt have time to do anything. i darkened a bit in photoshop.

cheers

freddy
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