RX1 San Francisco Market Street at Night

Started Feb 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
rockinbeat
OP rockinbeat Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: Your posts make me uncomfortable.........

DFPanno wrote:

You like posting pics of the homeless but not in any sort of photojournalistic vein that is designed to evoke empathy from your viewer.

Hard to get enthused about a "my $3,500 camera rocks" post when your images depict abject poverty.

Either present your images as somber social commentary or give me pretty pictures that help me forget how troubled our society is.

I take pictures of what I see and how I see it. That area of Market Street is one where many, many homeless congregate and it has been that way for as long as I've been going, nearly 20 years. The contrast between wealth and poverty in that tiny, tiny area is staggering.

Many of the people who pass either choose not to see the homeless or pretend not to, I don't know which, but I definitely see them, I interact when they want me to and I believe everyone has the right to be acknowledged and I do that.
I hope that the people who look at my pictures find something worthy of thinking about in them.

In the case of my pictures that have homeless people in them, I hope that people can spare a moment of consideration and that that consideration may end up helping in some small way. It's my belief that there must be a better way, though I don't have the answers.

I disagree with your comment about the presentation. I am absolutely attempting to present something intended to evoke empathy, specifically by presenting the contrast of wealth and poverty, normal life and the alternate life that the homeless live. In this case there is contrast of the hustle and bustle, the expensive cars and neighborhood and the pedestrians standing just a couple of feet away from this man, while completely ignoring him.

In the other picture you're referring to, I showed a homeless man sitting in a comfortable chair with his belongings around him in one of the most expensive malls in the world with boutiques all around him while wearing a seasonal hat showing his attempt to connect to the celebration around him. I was deeply moved by him.

Bottom line? I take pictures of beautiful things and I find beauty in the human condition, even when it's not easy. That man, for all the burdens he so clearly must be bearing, found joy and comfort in that steam and warmth. He's human and I tried to share the moment.

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View my pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/benlevy

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