Published: Thursday 31st of July 2003 04:40:41 AM
Thanks Paul Thanks Paul. Your comments are so great. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this. Illuminating his face was an issue. I remember when I took this I had finally gotten a replacement camera (mine had been stolen in an apartment buglary) and had no lighting equipment. I tried to plug in a photoflood light there and it killed the circuit breaker... The flourescent light that you see, became the primary and only light. You are right, he definitely needs some separation from the background. I am working on this for the physical print of this image. Your other comment about the edge of table being illuminated, I am not sure which edge you are referring to. I did want to point out that at the bottom of the frame, under the piece of artwork with the gang member dying in the other's arms, is his actual portfolio and has a white edge and runs parallel and close to the edge of the pool table. That may be what you are seeing. Thanks again.
This is a moving portrait. Here you have a gang member whose life, to that point, is filled with drugs and violence. He is a member of a social structure that values physical strength and a hardened personality. Yet you show him, and admit his ambition is to make, his own art. His art, and if I may compare to something I know well, is like my photography. It is not polished or refined. However, there is potential for something greater. Yet, and this is where the anology falls apart, his lifestyle is not compatable with his ambition. His depicted lifestyle emphasizes a hardened lifestyle that values a lack of emotionalism. Yet the art he is shown with, religious icons and portraits, are full of emotion and expression. Like the contrasts of the deep blacks and bright whites in the image, his current life and his ambitions contrast. Although his current life may provide inspiration for his ambition, he cannot persue his ambition for his lifestyle will not permit it. A tragedy to be sure. I like the way you got to know your subject and was able to express this so well visually. Even without your explanation, I think that this image communicates very well what you learned about this person. A couple of technical notes. His face is slightly dark. More illumination would give him more personality and add to the impact of the image. Second, the edge of the table is highlighted and adds nothing to the image. I enjoyed this image very much.
Great reportage style pic. Only comment I would make is that Carlos is too much in the bacground. I think he should feature more prominently.
Clay, a moving portrait here. I like the arrangement of the objects in front of the man who seems calmly possessive of what seem to be iconic images of his life. The lighting isssue is addressed above, so I won't belabor it. The strength of the image isn't in technical flashiness in any event. Nice job.
This is a great shot, says a lot in one mean, lean way.
I just looked at this image again and like it more that I did the first time. I don't get the comments on lighting. In my opinion, if the lighting is perfect, the image loses its edge. There should be something wrong with every photo.
Carlos Toscano At the time this photo was taken, Carlos was 20 years old. He wanted to quit being a Florencia 13 (F13) gang member in South Central Los Angeles and go to school to hopefully become a professional artist. It is my greatest hope that he is now 34 and doing just that.