Saturday, 17 November 2012

Homeless - but being watched over?

This was probably the 'darkest' photo I've taken and I would admit I didn't particularly enjoy taking it but I felt it was necessary, almost essential, to have a photograph like this within the set of photos I had assigned myself in order for the brief to be met accurately. This was because a lot of 'Alternative London' for me revolved around homeless people and this was one way of answering criteria about people who are down on their luck and without a home.

   I thought I managed to tackle this sensitive subject quite cleverly and creatively though, by including a famous related building to the homeless man - in the frame. The building was Centrepoint - the headquarters of an organisation for young, homeless people. I thought this was a fairly unique perspective to see a homeless person in - the Centrepoint building in the background suggested an obvious relationship between the man and the building.

   The work I felt this image was most comparable to, even though his was rural and mine was urban, was that of James Ravilious's. In particular 'Farmer Using Antique Farm Equipment, ca. June 1975' (found at and accessed on 14/11/2012). This was because both my image and his showed each subject clearly in their own setting.

   I thought I executed the photograph well technically, correcting the converging verticals of the Centrepoint building in post-production. Again the photograph had been planned out before the fact (similar to the sign-holder) but it still took a lot of luck and reconnaissance to find a homeless man in the immediate area of the Centrepoint building. Then it took a lot of courage to ask the man's permission to be photographed. Lastly, I used some fill-flash to help attract attention to the homeless man as he was inevitably placed right in the corner of the frame (because of the height of the Centrepoint building fitting into the frame). This was also so he was properly exposed in relation to the rest of the image.

3. Homeless - but being watched over?
   I thought this was one of the strongest photographs I took for the assignment, the colours for me worked well, with the blue of the homeless man's sleeping bag and clothing symbolising coldness/loneliness. This contrasted with the warmer orange of most of the rest of the photograph, including the street scene and the main part of the Centrepoint building, indicating maybe a safe refuge for the homeless man below. Finally the blue of the top of the Centrepoint building matched the homeless man's sleeping bag and clothing, again symbolising coldness as it was a lone haven in London helping homeless people.

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