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 This image was disqualified from the 7 Heavenly Virtues challenge.
"Patience and Fortitude Conquer All Things"
"Patience and Fortitude Conquer All Things"

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: 7 Heavenly Virtues (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: Feb 13, 2006
Aperture: f10
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/250 seconds
Galleries: Emotive, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Feb 13, 2006

This was one of my shots from our SF GTG this past weekend. I usually shoot in RAW but for some reason, I guess I had my settings to the automatic modes.

I saw this guy sitting in front of Saint Mary's Church on Saturday morning. What struck me was that he was literally "invisible" to everyone. I took a few shots of him and what I liked was the fact that he seemed to be behind the barricades adding an extra layer for my composition.

After a few shots, I walked up to him and chatted for about 5 minutes. I told him I remember him from when I used to work in the City. He smiled and wished me a Happy Chinese New Year. Throughout the conversation, he never even looked at me in the eye. He always had his head down and kept on scratching his head.

What struck me next was that he didn't even ask for money. He just commented on how beautiful the day was and how festive the streets were that day.

After our brief conversation, I reached for my pocket and pulled out a bill. I don't know how much it was but I just put it in his paper cup. He smiled which I hope was directed to me as he never looked my way. He said "God Bless" and I turned and walked away hoping to catch my DPC friends walking up the street.

I wasn't planning of entering this challenge. I didn't really have an idea but once I got home and looked at my photos, I knew this was the one to enter. I'm not certain how this will be perceived by the voters, but for once, I am entering an image that truly has a deep rooted meaning in my heart.

I wish him well and hope that he sustains himself through the cold San Francisco nights. Life is simple and precious. It's as simple as that my friends. I hope this image moves you as it affected me in ways I cannot express.

"Patience and Fortitude Conquer All Things" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Disqualification Details
Any attempts to alter the point totals in any way for any photograph will result in immediate loss of account and a ban from the site. Photographs by any participating parties may also be removed from past or current challenges.

Views since voting: 1304
Views during voting: 334
Comments: 19
Favorites: 3 (view)

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04/11/2006 05:56:48 PM
Great photo Rikki. The scratching was probably a side effect from chronic use of something like Crystal Meth - they scratch at 'Crank Bugs' which is the euphemism for the bugs that they feel like are crawling under their skin. A good friend of mine went through rehab 3 times before he finally kicked it, and he's got the scratching scars as a lifetime reminder. Looking people in the eye is hard too, partly because of the photosensitivity (if you're standing he has to look up at you into the sun) and partly because of the hallucinagenic effects that come with the drug.

Good on you for spending some time with him. He'll remember it - maybe not for as long as you will though.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2006 08:59:12 PM
Critique Club:
A story makes a picture. Before reading the story behind the picture I thought it was great. Now I like it even more. I like these kind of shots. Real people in real situations. Not a detailed setup shot with some model posing. The black and white adds to the picture. The contrast is good. His face is in the shadow but we can still see the expression on his face. The poeple in the background tell the story. They don't see him and maby they don't want to see him. People find it hard to see people that don't have as good a life as they do. And you've caught that moment really well. Great job.

Best regards, Arnit
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 06:02:30 PM
What an awesome REAL picture. I think this conveyed your thoughts very well, not all pictures move a person, but this one does, for me at least.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 05:40:15 PM
rikki -- i read your story and like missinseattle, i really do have tears in my eyes. thank you for sharing this story and photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 03:00:46 PM
You just brought tears to my eyes Rikki. I don't think there's anything you honestly could have done to make this better but that's just me. It has heart.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 02:05:50 AM
This is a really moving shot Rikki. It's one that made me stop, look, think and feel. It's images like this that inspire me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 01:33:53 AM
Good story and I think the voters understood the concept you expressed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 01:10:29 AM
He looks so dejected! Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, Rikki.
I'd love to see this done with some grundge tones, but it stands as a touching image as is.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 12:50:24 AM
I didn't see this during our GTG, but this is a really nice image and a great story, Rikki.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/18/2006 08:23:48 PM
A good idea for the challenge - hard to get the subject to stand out in such a setting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/18/2006 05:07:14 AM
The fence adds an emotive plus to this shot, which eliminates the main character. This makes him more lonely and rueable.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/17/2006 10:44:32 PM
Had the people in the background been blurred out a bit, this would place the focus more on the homeless man, at least in my opinion. I like the use of black and white and good contrast.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/17/2006 08:54:32 AM
I find this too busy. I see the focus but I would have tried to decrease the DOF and have the background more blurred to bring focus onto the man.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/17/2006 08:19:32 AM
awesome shot! i hope you ribbon
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2006 05:12:49 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2006 02:59:41 PM
tells a story.. i like it :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2006 02:21:48 PM
Great study in tonalities.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2006 01:12:25 PM
yes, they do! great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2006 10:55:18 AM
nice tones and light
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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