Exoctic to Bostonian

24 10 2010

Today a friend and I were exploring the Harvard Square area. We had gotten lunch and were walking towards the Charles to watch some rowing. As we took a long root to the river I kept my eye out for some potential photographs. I had my camera with me and I have been eager to take some of my own photos to post.
There was a homeless man on the street. He was wearing a black dirty jacket with the hood up. His pants were ripped and his shoes were worn to the point of deterioration. He was your typical homeless man but for a few specific details that I noticed. Firstly, because his hood was covering the majority of his face, you could only see his dark lips. This made him seem almost sinister. To add to this sinisterness was his silence. While most homeless people are loud with signs and asking for money while simultaneously shaking their cup full of change as you pass them, this man was silent. The only indication that he was in fact homeless and asking for money was his horizantle arm, jutting strait out into the street with a styrofoam cup of change in his hand.
He was just sitting there. No words. No movement. No eyes. Just a thin dark lip line and a cup of pennies. When I saw/analyzed him I immediately thought of a photo that I had seen on National Geographic titled the Hidden Face. Although not completely the same both give this eerie feeling because the face isn’t completed and covered by an article of clothing. I never built up courage to photograph the man but now I wish I had for a visual comparison to aid readers. The lesson I learned from this situation is that opportunities for photojournalism are everywhere. You don’t need to go to some exotic country to get an awesome shot. I found an almost equal one to the Hidden Face right here in Boston.

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3 responses

24 10 2010
Mister Fischer

Your post reminded me of your essay about the ethics of a photojournalist. Is it OK to notice the aesthetics (even, perhaps, the beauty) of a homeless person? What does it mean to see this person as a possible subject for art? Is this a good thing (you’re seeing his beauty) or a bad thing (you’re objectifying him)? It’s complicated!

26 10 2010
lydiakeating

actually I have never thought of it in that perspective.. Wow, I feel kind of guilty now because when looking back, the first thing I saw in the homeless man was the possibility to benefit myself and take a good picture.
I feel very selfish to think that because he was clearly a struggling being.

5 11 2010
Corrina

I wouldn’t feel guilty, i mean its ok to be fascinated by our environment right? But i think things get complicated when you bring up the question, are you exploiting this man? Also, say you did get a photo of this man, would you then as his permission to post the photo to your blog?

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