While looking through various files on one of the OCA Photography Level 1 facebook group , I found a list of image types that are generally considered to be clichés. In that list were images featuring homeless people, and Big Issue sellers.
As it happens, I had shortlisted several images that fell into this category, and so immediately removed them from said shortlist… along with one other that I’ve been umming and ahhing about for a while.
My final shortlist for this assignment is now down to 6 images, all of which I think are quite strong, and I’m very fond of.
Here though, is my final set out out-takes.
“I can haz food now?”
There are several aspects to this image, that I find noteworthy.
There’s the obvious social commentary… people in our society are struggling and homelessness is a reality for many. Also, the unwillingness of many to engage with, or even acknowledge this problem. See the people walking straight past, seemingly heading for the jewelers, to spend large sums of money on pretty shiny things.
There’s the decisive moment itself, which for me, isn’t the people walking past…. it’s the dog, hoping for/expecting food, as the man reaches into his coat.
There’s also the sign, in the window behind the man. “Me and you. Just us two.” It could seemingly be referring to the man and his love for his pet. This spell is somewhat broken, though, when you notice the other dog.
I’ve been quite torn over whether to include this image or not. I feel it has something to say, and with the (visual and actual) relationship between the man and his dog, there’s something quite emotional about it. That being said, I find the composition somehow obvious and lacking in subtlety. It might make you think, or feel something, but it does so by punching you in the face. Also, on a purely technical level, when looking at the full size image, the focus is not great.
I don’t think it’s actually copies of The Big Issue she’s holding out, but it amounts to the same thing. It’s probably safe to assume this would fall into the realms of photographic cliché.
It’s a pity. While this is also compositionally limited and unsubtle, I find it a more pleasing image than the previous one. I think it’s the expression of warmth on the woman’s face, despite being ignored by everyone, and the contrast between the movement and stillness of the ignorers and the ignored..
Now this chap actually is selling the Big Issue. He’s not shouting it out though…. that’s a yawn. Probably indicative of how hard sleep is to come by for those with no roof over their head. I pulled this one quite early on, not due to clichéd subject matter, but because I find the composition itself quite weak. Like the first image, I find it somehow spatially confined and visually uncomfortable (not in a good or intended way).
“I’m sure it’s round here somewhere.”
The expression on the chap’s face as he rounds the corner… with him being positioned exactly between the edge of the shop door frame and the signpost… it just stands out, to me. It’s like the moment he realises he’s not where he thought he was. What’s he searching for? Salvation? Look up and left, fella.