The Gypsy Fortune Teller -- Her Eyes (Fore)See Everything

by Crosley John

the gypsy fortune teller her eyes foresee every crosley street photography bw seeking critique john

Gallery: Black and White: Then to Now

Tags: crosley street photography b&w seeking critique

Category: Street

Published: Monday 18th of April 2005 11:49:26 AM


Ken Thalheimer
That it is John. Good capture

John Crosley
Eugene Yes, your e-mail has arrived, and you will get a response soon. I want to be thorough and analytical, as usual. Thanks for your patience. (Also for your attention to my postings, as in this case) This woman, indeed, though in San Francisco some time ago, may have called herself a 'babushka'. Who knows? John

Ken Thalheimer
I have the same thoughts as Eugene. The eyes are the most complelling part of her. Perhaps a little more light on them?

Eugene Zaikonnikov
Yep, could be a part of the 'mystery look' too. That reminds me of one old lady who is known for her prohpetic skills, whom I visited along with my family member. Materialistic me was feeling uneasy when she expanded on my personal history with very concrete details she couldn't know, and made some falsifiable predictions (not of the usual "you'll have your ups and downs" kind). She looked pretty ordinary and unimpressive though, a typical babushka. BTW John, is my mail getting through to you?

John Crosley
Judy Your take on her is interesting. With her big, 'grandmotherly' breasts, as I then saw them, I saw her as a more grandmotherly figure, rather than a more sinister person. The dark eyes certainly make her something to contend with, as does her big bosom and her large size in general. Gypsies have a very bad reputation in Europe (Hitler didn't even count the gypsies he exterminated -- they weren't even worth counting in his estimation -- and the 'Romany' have a difficult time even now in every country, often making a living stealing, which hardly makes them welcome). But this old woman hardly gave me the jitters -- perhaps it's the difference between our cultural heritages? John

John Crosley
The arms If one wonders why the arms are cropped in the frame -- there was very distracting furniture and other people to her sides and I was an intruder who could not ask them to move aside and this was not a formal 'setting'. As explained above, I just popped in through a doorway (glass), said I'd like to take a photo and almost simultaneously took the photo, turned and walked away. End of story. This is the result. To have included the arms and hands would have meant much distracting paraphernalia and parts of other people in the photo -- and that called for ultra-tight cropping. Besides, the 'subject' of this photo was essentially five things -- her two mammoth breasts, her two very dark eyes and her mouth. Five things in all Maybe six if you count her necklace. John

Eugene Zaikonnikov
She looks downright creepy. Was that a makeup on her eyes? It looks a lot like a sympthom of kidney damage.

John Crosley
Eugene Da . . ned if I know. I just stuck my head in a doorway . . . took this photo and went on my way. It all took about 20 seconds, start to finish. It was hit and run photography. Makeup or kidney damage, I'll never know. One of life's mysteries. I suspect it was makeup, designed to make her look more mysterious for the customers, but who knows, it could have been natural -- some people just have 'bags' under their eyes and she might have had an exaggerated case. Probably not bad for business though. Thanks for the observation . . . I had no idea kidney damage did that to one. John

Judy Ben Joud
Hi John I wouldnt like to meet her at day time let alone night time .Well done candid with lots of caracter and spunk from you.Regards,Judy

John Crosley
Ken I might have 'fooled around' with this photo, and spotlighted her eyes, but this is how it developed and I think it is more compelling for the viewer to have to 'work' to see her eyes, than have them spotlighted or lightened. Maybe if I had lightened the whites just a little to put a little sparkle, but I'm not even sure about that . . . this is just how she looked to me . . . and I captured what I saw. It's a very unusual view of a most unusual woman. John

Doug Hawks
Vikings and Fortune Tellers I was in New Orleans a few years ago on a walkway between the waterfront and the French Quarter. It was late in the evening and the entire length of the walkway was populated by gypsy fortune tellers sitting at their individual, portable tables. As you walked past them, little children would implore you to take advantage of their gypsy services. I guess they were paid on a commission basis or, more likely, related to a particular fortune teller. Well, I couldn't resist and the one I chose looked a lot like your gypsy, only more French. She had the garish jewelry, the all seeing, all knowing demeanor and, of course, the ample breasts. Her specialty was palm reading. So, I let her read my palm. At the time, I had advanced Dupuytren's nodules on my right hand which is a benign tumor commonly referred to as the "Viking's disease." She was apparently familiar with this relatively unknown affliction because she pronounced "you are descended from the Vikings." This could be true because my mother and father are both Norwegian. But, it was interesting because before she made that declaration she asked to see my other hand (which has no sign of Dupuytren). Then, she told me of my distant past. "This hard scar on only one hand is a sign that your descendants were Vikings," she said. "It was passed from father to son from that time of conquering and domination." I was of course flabbergasted, because my father and his father and, probably, my great, great grandfather and all of the other grandfathers on my father's side each had Dupuytren nodules on their right hands. Then she stated, "If it is on one hand only, you were a Viking of great stature...a swordsman and aristocrat." Apparently, this disease had a Darwinian advantage in that those who possessed it were great swordsman, and survivors, and the nodules, by contracting the hand tendons, allowed their owner to hold a sword steady and firm. Then she said with authority, "If it is on both hands, my son, then you were not a valiant and powerful Viking, but a slave who was confined to the lower decks of the Viking vessels for the purpose of pulling the oars." Well, John, you can imagine my pride at being an all conquering hero...a Viking, a Norseman of no insignificant stature. So, I thanked her, paid her royally (as is my wont as a Viking) and called my dad to tell him the good news (my dad, you must know, is somewhat of a frustrated genealogist, who was cut off at the knees when he couldn't find any family history beyond 1765, and here I had news of our Viking past perhaps as far back as 700 AD). Imagine my excitement in being the one to give my father the good news that could perhaps spur further investigation and circumnavigate those boring years between 700 and 1765 AD. Trembling and excited I made a cell phone call to my dad, the seed of my Viking past, and gave him the good news along with the supporting provenance. I was, to my surprise, met not with ecstatic praise and enthusiasm for my new found, and family vindicating, information, but silence. And then, my father said to me, "Son, I'm getting Dupuytren's nodules on my LEFT hand." Great photograph.

John Crosley
Doug Absolutely Great Story. Fabulously Well Told. Worthy of being told . . . in any format, anywhere. John

Douglas Keller
Well... I've got blisters on my fingers. I wonder if they mean anything? :-{

John Crosley
The Gypsy Fortune Teller -- Her Eyes (Fore)See Everything The Gypsy Fortune Teller -- Her Eyes Fore(See) Everything (San Francisco) -- Your ratings and critiques are invited and are most welcome. (If you rate harshly, please submit a helpful and constructive comment/Please share your superior knowledge to help improve my photography.) Thanks! Enjoy! John

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