Thursday, August 9

Gated Despair

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At first I only heard sobbing.

It was as if there was a hole between me and some other-place which let the deep sobbing moans escape. I whirled in a circle and then, through this long-rust-frozen gate I saw him at the table. See… see how hard he is to make out at first?

Abruptly there came a voice from an unseen partner hidden from us on the right side. There were words: hushed, reassuring, confident. But this man in blue still shuddered and maybe those words were sealed out by those earphones he wore.

I stood there on the public sidewalk: What? Twelve feet away? When it caught my eye like pliers grab a nail… The blood! See that crusted oozing patch by his ear dripping down into his white beard?

What to do? Then there were sirens, and an ambulance lights-a-blare screaming down the street. And I took this one image. And worried about it.

In the months since I clicked that shutter, the thing’s niggled at my conscience. You cannot make out his face. It’s not truly an invasion of an individual. Right? Right? And I’ve since seen him - healthier outside the mission waiting for the charity breakfast.

The yard behind that gate is a private abandoned space. The two people had trespassed. And I fear, I’ve trespassed here as well. Or maybe not.

What I want is to tell a story, or start one. It’s a “Once-upon-a-time” opening, or perhaps it’s an open that needs a back-story? Or a beginning that needs a resolution? Perhaps it is both of those things… or an ending? This moment, in the middle of Lancaster City, on a beautiful spring afternoon in May… that I still hear whenever I look at this image of gated despair - hear the sobbing.


GEEK STUFF: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5),1/100@f/7.1 exposure Bias value: -1.33, ISO: 100, Focal Length: 22 mm, Date/time: 5/27/06, 3:10 pm, Metering Mode: partial, Camera RAW

3 comments:

advman said...

Wow, talk about strong images telling stories :)

This one is interesting: I wouldn't have been able to make out if that's even a man. Not only can't I recognize a face, I don't recognize a proper head either. This could be an alien in human clothes. Scary and surreal. And nicely dealt with contrast :)

Andreas

Bill said...

nwiarhpI find this image and the back story a little unsettling. Unsettling because it brings to mind a lady, a street person, who I'd often happen upon sitting cross legged on the sidewalk downtown. I'd stop, give her my change, we'd talk and laugh a bit, we always laughed, and I'd be on my way with her blessing. And this image, for whatever reason, reminds me that I have't seen her in a couple of months and I wonder if she's okay. Sure do hope so.
So, Ted, this is a powerful image for me because it address so many issues that faace the homeless and less fortunate people out there. And it has brought back some fond memories of those few moments that this lady and I shared. Glad you posted it.

pnfphotography said...

stong image that spoke volumes before your words....very moving and I like the sharpness of blue in it as well. I like!!!