The Cripple and the Concert

by Crosley John

the cripple and concert crosley color street seeking critique john

Gallery: Color -- Then and Now

Tags: crosley color street seeking critique

Category: Street

Published: Sunday 12th of August 2007 02:01:10 AM


Comments

John Crosley
Repetition This photo has a sort of 'mirroring' in it, but not 'subject' mirroring. Instead, this 'mirroring' or repetition is in colors. The man's red jacket/shirt and the packet (bag) is echoed by the distant red vending umbrella over a beer stand at the far end of the fountain. Blue tones in the foreground are repeated by reflections of the blue sky in the fountain and through to the bluish distance and the actual bluish sky itself, for a continuation of the theme of 'blue' (accented by red). John (Crosley)

John Crosley
May I have a DISPENSATION too? The Roman Catholic Church once made big business selling dispensations to wealthy individuals. Do I have to contribute a nave to a cathedral to get Dispensation or are times of the past remaining in the past. I predict that our president is going to be dispensing mass dispensations (called pardons) just as he exits office, and that he's gonna pardon his whole staff and all Republican allies. Do you think that's possible? Nobody thought President Clinton would pardon this obscure guy named Marc Rich. He did, though, and a bunch of others. What a power, to have a stroke' of a pen and you can just undo wrongs -- or at least divorce them from consequences. But I understand Henry Kissinger no longer travels to or thorugh many contries; he's afraid of being arrested, for US officials doing US jobs no longer are considered 'immune' from foreign prosecution. We once had narrower views of 'extraterrotoriality' of our laws and the laws of other countries, but now our country not only kidnaps people abroad (criminals as well as some who are not) but it also kidnaps some abroad, never says who they are, keeps them hidden abroad (or did) in secret prisons, then turns them over (obviously for torture) to 'friendly' nations who do such things, before asking for such individuals back to our (formerly secret) prisons. And anyone who discloses the existence of such prisons (was it the NY Times?) it is suggested is a traitor. Secrets and darkness breed corruption, disease and filth, as well as deceit, bribery, skullduggery, self-dealing, and numerous other human foibles. Our government for the past six years has, in the name of being 'against terrorism' in a WAR AGAINST TERRORISM, has kept a lid on almost everything. Of course there is no such war at all. It's not been declared. It's just a phrase. Whether we are actually 'at war' legally also is debateable, but certainly we are 'at war' in all 'real' senses. Congress never declared war, however, and that's their nondelegable duty. And terorrism is a tactic; you can't declare war on a tactic, just on a nation. Now who knows what is slithering beneath all those metaphorical rocks. Come this President's exit, I can assure you, he's going to be issuing mass dispensations (Or I'll go rate some of my own photos 3/3). Do I get a dispensation too on this photo? Seems dispensations (pardons are a form of dispensation) are going to be common currency soon. I'd bet on it, wouldn't you? With good humors and respect. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Pete I don't want to be known as a guy who takes photos of bums and cripples, but when the occasion presents itself for a very good photo, I can't pass it up. A pro pos of your story of finding the homeless and down and out in Brighton, not long ago I posted a photo in black and white of two bums passed out on the sidewalk in this same Ukrainian town, but at the same time noted that the problem of 'being drunk' also extended to San Francisco, fronm which I had just come, and was not much different, except in acceptance. If alcohol were invented today, it would be banned or one would need a prescription signed by a fancy doctor to get it. But this guy's not passed out from alcohol, of course, so far as I can tell, just fatigue. He has an opportunity to sleep after gathering returnable beer bottles (right) and that's what he's doing, while the rock concert goes on in the background. I deal a lot of in juxtapositions, and this was one, with the colors being right one and not even manipulated in Photoshop, which I could just not pass up. Imagine, this is how my digital screen looked and not one thing was done to this in any image editing program. Even my white balance had been preset at 5,000 K and it worked out just fine, though I hadn't done it for this shot. It's a rare digital shot that doesn't require ANY contast/brightness adjustment at all, and this is mine for the year. Thanks for adding world context -- universality -- to this photo. John (Crosley)

Pete Millis
John, I think this is a terrific shot that, even without your words, is more than clear in the story that it is telling. Leaving the story aside for a moment.... I think the composition is fantastic, and I love the way you have done so well with the ambient lighting rather than resorting to flash or not taking the photo at all. The noise from the high ISO setting does not detract from the image at all. All in all - great job. Back to the story for a moment. I see scenes not far removed from this every single day that I am Brighton, UK. This is a place that is constantly touted as "the place to be", and is absolutely loaded with rich and trendy people going about their highly privileged lives totally oblivious to the homeless drug addict huddled up under a blanket in a shop doorway, or to the homeless alcoholics having a meeting in the car park stairwell, or to the man who up until last year had a family and successful business and is now sleeping under a bench with all his possessions in a case. All of these images of those who are in so many ways less fortunate raise the viewer's awareness of those in a worse position than ourselves, so while giving praise for such pictures (both in terms of technicality and subject matter) won't make the subject's life instantly better, the fact that the pictures raise awareness goes a long way to improve things. Pete

Tiffany Brook
yes John...of course...ABSOLVED!!!:) I am not a big fan of people who are overly PC. I think that there is a fine balance. To me however, when you call him a "cripple", instead of a "crippled man", you are taking away the fact that this person is a man. That little word "man" carries a lot of weight. The fact that you saw this moment and captured it, shows a certain amount of sensitivity and observation. Someone who is not present, not compassionate and unaware would not see this image to capture. I guess that the difference in saying "the crippled man and the concert" or "the cripple and the concert" (to me)defines the motives and the perspective of the photographer. your image, your title...of course.

John Crosley
Daniel If you saw a photo (taken by AP photographer Nick Ut) of a girl running down a road screaming from her body burned by napalm dropped by US forces in Viet Nam, would you downrate that photo because somehow it didn't improve her life? Would that photo make you feel bad? Of course, and that particular photo was one of several that were instrumental in helping ensure that the US ended the war in Viet Nam. (Another was from an AP photographer showing the police chief of Saigon in the process of blowing the brains out of a 'Viet Cong' prisoner -- literally, as the bullet passed through the prisoner's head -- on the cover of 'Life' magazine). (Americans who are used to courts and a justice system asked themselves: 'Is this the people we are backing in Viet Nam -- people whose leaders just shoot their prisoners to death in front of out photographers and are apparently proud of it?' since they didn't confiscate the film. Photos don't have to make the subject 'better' to be a good photo -- certainly that Viet Cong prisoner was not made better -- he was quite dead before he hit the ground. If you feel guilt at saying 'good job', then you are a feeling individual, but you surely must be able to separate the act of artistic critique from personal feelings, or avoid viewing such photos altogether. The alternative may be a depressive episode -- literally to go 'mad' in a 'sad' sort of way. I have similar problems as photographer, but I have learned to be 'in control' -- I've seen just about everything, and been in a real war, where a guy with thin legs and crutches laying down, as here, would have been a gentle scene compared to the death being strewn by illuminated tracer bullets from giant machine guns spewn from hillside to hillside or the 'beautiful' reflections of 500 lb and 1,000 lb bombs off thunderclouds over the plains and mountains of Viet Nam, all made more glorious by the illuminated flares being dropped by parachutes and sent up by mortars and other artillery. Death is the ultimate sobering experience, as well as the danger that brings about death, and anything else is less sobering for me, at least, and that's my protection, but maybe you haven't had that experience. But I'm glad the photo moved you -- that was its purpose, and it was posted to provoke comment -- that also was its purpose. Aesthetics can include a photo that moves a viewer. In fact, a 'moved' viewer can be a very high accolade for a photographer. So, thanks. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Bob Kurt You're a man of few words, and I seldom see you here. Thanks for stopping by and leaving encouraging words. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Dennis Jones In case you drop by, this is just being 'gutsy' on another photo currently rated in the 3s (and low 4s). (I'm not sure those ratings are going to last, but 'so what'?) John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Hard to Look At? No Apologies Please rate this photo according to its photographic merit, not whether you like or don't like or appreciate photos of crippled individuals; please do not make this a plebiscite on posting of 'socially conscious' photos. I acknowledge this photo may be 'hard to look at' but it also is something that residents of this large (between 1 and 2 million persons) Ukrainian city, look at daily -- a great many IDENTIFY with the middle class although they don't qualify because of their low incomes, but EXTREME poverty with no safety net is in their midst, and the truly poor must scroung for a living or die. So, I make no apologies for posting this photo, and hope that raters will rate the photo on photographic merits alone, not on their personal reaction to this scene. John (Crosley)

Bob Kurt
Like this a lot !

Tiffany Brook
This is a very powerful photo. The framing is quite perfect. I think that the typical place to crop it would be below the garbage can and to include more of the sky. But, this framing works much better to tell the story. The only thing that I have a problem with here, is the title. I see a "crippled man" not a "cripple". Calling this man a "cripple" is like calling someone who is mentally challenged a "retard". I think that the image speaks for itself without having to guide the viewer with the title.

Daniel Hansen
John, I'm not sure I can rate on the photographic merit alone. If we include the emotional aspect then I would say this has accomplished much. I think its a very sad scene...obviously...most would likely agree. He's so close to the middle class, as you point out, but completely alone. He is distanced from them, and "they" are represented as being in a higher state, just as he is in the lowest. I even feel bad applauding your efforts here, when I'm looking at a man like this and think about what his life must be like. He is so much worse off than you or I and I feel like a fool if I were to try and offer praise for something like this. That does not mean you are anything less than a terrific photographer, and I must admit that this is no exception to your talent, but I still feel bad saying so. What does this man get out of my approval for your photograph of him? How does this make his life better?

John Crosley
Tiffany You may be right about the framing; but the distance rock concert lights didn't extend much into the sky above where the photo is cropped (in the camera), so extending the upper frame into the sky may not have been helpful. As to the use of a caption, if one is considering an Ansel Adams photo of Yosemite, one hardly needs a caption for that unless one wants to identify the particular feature being depicted. But my photos often have more subtle points -- such as this man's stick-thin legs and his crutches at his left on the ground, so pointers sometimes help -- especially for the Photo.net critique audience, the better part of which does not even view the photos in 'large' size and rates them in thumbnail. For such raters, those points would be lost (and may have been anyway), and ratings would suffer for that (and may have anyway). As to the point about cripple and crippled man, it seems a point without a significant difference. My home town had a cripple school, but unlike your aim at a parallel with 'retard' my home town never had a 'retard' school. 'Retard' was used as a slang term of derision, much as one calls certain individuals 'moron's', 'imbeciles' and other derogatory names implying lack of mental facility. And, this man may indeed be a retarded man as well; of he just has suffered from having the body he has to live with; he's a rude, crude and not very nice guy, but not as depicted here (I just happen to have passed him to night and he was a total jerk, and didn't know he had been photographed by me.) I am a former newsman and the tradition was to caption photographs and I think I'll stay with captioning. To quit now would destroy the symmetry of my portfolio -- all the rest is captioned. Besides, my captions often have drawn accolades -- people seem to enjoy them. I am sorry the caption was not 'politically correct' enough; in Ukraine where I am and where this photo was taken, people are more interested in making it to the end of the next day without involving them in any 'angels on the head of a pin' aim at semantic fineness. Perhaps I overdosed on such things in the USA (though not a crude guy myself and sensitive beyond what you might think), and living in Ukraine (now) is somewhat of an antidote -- one can see what things have the nost important values -- work, simple, plain food, a place to live, etc., and all else is a luxury. It's maybe just a point of view; if you had been here as long as I have (portions of three years, intermittently, it might be easier to see my point.) I wish you the best, and thanks for stopping by. John (Crosley) P.S. in my request for critique I referred to 'crippled individuals' -- does that absolve me?

Daniel Hansen
John, I'm glad you took my comments as a compliment because in the end that is what they were meant as. I am well aware of the famous image of the girl, burned by napalm, running or walking down the street. I reacted in much the same way to both images. They make me feel for the subject...give me a glimpse of their story, and wish there were something being done to help them. If you really want a technical critique I'm really not the man for the job since I've never taken a class, I've never studied photography, nor have I ever been a professional. I was simply trying to share my thoughts on the impact your photo had on me...the average guy, or something like that. You talk about how this is so much better than war. I have never experienced war first hand, but I know enough to agree with you. However, that doesn't make this aesthetically pleasing to me. Maybe my definition of aesthetics is different from yours, or maybe you'd agree to some degree. That doesn't make this any less of a photo though because of the power it still holds in other categories. I don't give numbers to photos anymore (maybe there have been a few exceptions). I really wouldn't give this a rating on aesthetics or originality because I don't think of either of those qualities when I look at this photo. I'm not saying it isn't original or that there aren't aspects which I could rate the aesthetics of, but I'm saying that is not what I care about when viewing this photo. I hope I've been able to express my thoughts appropriately. Just because I don't want to talk about your framing, exposure, the fact that you didn't have to do any editing, or any of the other aspects that went into taking this picture I hope you get just as much fulfillment knowing that I have spent a lot of time thinking about this photo and its made an impact on me. I AM congratulating you on a terrific composition...among other less important (for me) accomplishments. My definition of composition includes the ability you have to capture and tell the story. You've done the story telling masterfully.

Tiffany Brook
NVC The more I read and hear about NON VIOLENT COMMUNICATION, the more I try to implement it into my own life. As for your (political)response to me, I absolutely 100% agree. I can't hook onto any political leashes (conversations/debates/observations)right now, because I become psychotic with rage and quite ineffective when I dwell on things that I have no power over and care so deeply about (pardon the crappy sentence structure).

John Crosley
Daniel That's the highest compliment a fellow photographer could pay me. I also have never taken a class and never formally studied photography. Maybe I got started just like you (at 21) when I bought a camera and went out and got published in major publications within 3-4 months maximum, then went to Viet Nam (as a merchant seaman, left my ship and began free-lancing -- though it certainly did not pay the freight, and eventually I got medically evacuated home with a gunshot wound). I went on to photograph as a 'freelance' though again it didn't pay the freight, and AP hired me as a photographer, but they made me a writer, and I never officially worked for them as a photographer. At the end, however, I did work as a New York world headquarters photo editor, and I've had a profound and lasting interest in photography. But from about 1973 to about three years ago, except for a couple of weeks here and there, I didn't take an image -- my cameras were in storage, though I tended to buy new and fancy ones (as I practiced law). Now, I am back at it, and you've given me as high a compliment as can be given; I'm no Nick Ut (who took the napalm girl photo), but I try. And I edited photos from Pulitzer greats to ordinary photographers -- so great photojournalism is in my blood a little bit, but this is groundbreaking stuff for me -- in fact every new image is groundbreaking. (and I work on genres which I don't post -- studio stuff). But I'm self-taught. No one ever gave me a lesson. I just picked it up, probably from a youth spent reading photo periodicals such as Life, Look, Colliers, National Geographic, etc., etc., etc. And, to make a point -- aesthetics is exactly the 'power' of a photo to do what it is this photo did to you -- IMPACT! It is NOT a synonym for being 'pretty' though sometimes that is all it is. Sometimes, as you've shown, it's far more. Of course, on the 'originality' scale, this is a documentary/photojournalistic shot, and is not groundbreaking as such, but have you ever seen such a photograph (especially here on Photo.net.) I don't at all mind you don't rate. A thorough critical evaluation of a photograph is far, far, far more important to me, the photographer. And to just about every other member who fancies him/herself a photographer of experience or worth (there are exceptions, of course). Thank you so much. Your comment made my day. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Tiffany I thought I knew where you stood. I hope you don't mind my using a reply to you for some political ruminations. It seems important to say these things now, so people don't, in the future, say 'you just invented that you said that back then -0- you really can't prove it'. Well, I can. So, if it comes to pass, there it is in black and white. My best to you, dear Tiffany (don't explode with rage, please) John (Crosley)

John Crosley
The Cripple and the Concert A Rock Concert with concert lights illuminates the distance across a fountain while a crippled man sleeps at fountainside, his crutches at his left at fountain's side and his bags of deposit paid returnable bottles on which he makes his meager living, at his feet. Your ratings and critiques are invited and most welcome. If you rate harshly or very critically, please submit a helpful and constructive comment; please share your superior knowledge to help improve my photography. (Photo taken at ISO 3200, available light) Thanks! Enjoy! John

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