'Metro Scene II'

by Crosley John

metro scene ii commerce crosley amputee underground entranc john

Gallery: New -- Color & B&W

Tags: commerce crosley amputee underground metro entrance street tunnel walkway wheel prosthesis cart seeking critique

Category: Street

Exif Information:
Model : NIKON D5000
Date Time Original : 2012-04-24 09:56:10
Focal Length : 18/1
Shutter Speed Value : 1/15
Exposure Time : 1/15
Aperture Value : 4.5
F Number : 4.5
Iso Speed Ratings : 2500
Metering Mode : 5
Focal Length In35mm Film : 27
Orientation : 1
X Resolution : 72.0000000
Y Resolution : 72.0000000
Software : Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows

Published: Sunday 13th of May 2012 07:18:38 AM


John Crosley
I was surveying the scene to assess a photo when the guy rolled into view

Because this man is sensitive about being singled out, and rightly so from his point of view, I have long abstained from photographing him, though I frequently pass him.  If I have raised my camera his direction to photograph others and he sees it, I have apologized to him, as I think it may distress him.


Yet he is part of the warf and woof of what is essential to Ukrainian life, and especially his condition and the nonchalance with which he goes about dealing with life being so handicapped without Western appliance (artificial limbs, etc.) 

I don't think they're available to him.


He could be a beggar, but he is not which also earns my respect.


I cannot ignore him photographically when, as here, I was planning on taking or assessing a photo without him in it and he comes rolling right into my planned photo view.


I don't practice that much self censorship -- I want to be a nice guy to him, but I record 'life' not some fancified or expurgated superpolite politically correct version of life.


Moreover, I think this man has enormous courage, and the photo itself is incomplete without him - his presence adds interest, but is not focused on him yet his presence fills it out well, without allowing him and his condition to dominate it -- a fine balance.


(bet you didn't think I was that sensitive to frequent potential subjects, did you?)


This, after all, is a public place and his presence almost defines this particular public place at those times he is there so much that I almost find myself defining that particular tunnel area by 'his being there and his not being there' when I'm photographing.


I struck a balance with this photo that others would never expect unless I wrote about it, so I'm doing it here to illustrate the angst that the street photographer sometimes faces in his (her) quest to get honest photos, yet avoid doling out hurt when possible.  Some people always will take offense at 'street photos' and others will always ham it up or tell others that they saw or were featured in such photos -- it's all in the nature of the beast, and there is no way that someone taking photos nonclandestinely on the street is going to please all these people. 


Their wishes are contradictory and irreconcilable.


This man has a hard life, he's a hard worker, and he has my respect, but he's in a public place, his presence to me, and I think to many (including me) that defines this territory, so he's not immune from my lens so long as his presence is part of that environment, as here.


john (taking many a philosophical look at things 'street' besides just pushing the shutter release).


John (Crosley)

John Crosley
'The Metro II' This is a scene from one corridor leading to 'The Metro'. Amputees in Ukraine or those born without limbs do not automatically get prosthetics and must find ways to support themselves while living without limbs; this man tends others' kiosks and does other odd jobs to fill in (even climbs long flights of stairs using his hands and arms alone as I've viewed over time, a Herculean task calling for tremendous upper body strength. Your ratings, critiques and observations are invited and most welcome. If you rate harshly, very critically or wish to make a remark, please submit a helpful and constructive comment, please share your photographic knowledge to help improve my photography. Thanks! Enjoy! john

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