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60 Years Later, Still So Much Hate
60 Years Later, Still So Much Hate

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Why (Basic Editing)
Collection: People
Camera: Nikon D200
Lens: Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) for Nikon
Location: Dining room
Date: Jun 5, 2007
Aperture: 4.0
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/100s
Galleries: Emotive, History
Date Uploaded: Jun 5, 2007

The Nazis forced Jews to wear yellow Jewish stars to mark them for humiliation, punishment, and general mistreatment. They wore them over normal clothes even when they were still living at home, before they were forced into ghettos or taken away to concentration camps. My title is actually about 10 years off, although I have no doubt antisemitism was still rampant across Europe in the late 1940s.

It was strange to be cutting this star out of a piece of felt I'd originally bought as a background for photos. The text is hand-drawn based on an image I found on the Web. It's German for "Jew." Now I have this repulsive symbol of hate. I'm torn about what to do with it; it might be useful for future photos on the same theme, but do I really want it in my house?

I initially tried to shoot this with a laptop in front of me, showing a news story about Mel Gibson's antisemitic rant. The idea was to tie together the Nazis' historic hatred with the fact that it's still going on. But the dimensions never worked out, so I went with just me and the star.

The actual shoot was relatively simple - hardware store lamps pointed at the wall with me standing in front of them so I'm backlit. I held a small flashlight out of sight to the right to light up the star.

Place: 161 out of 292
Avg (all users): 5.3916
Avg (commenters): 6.0000
Avg (participants): 5.4688
Avg (non-participants): 5.3431
Views since voting: 1218
Views during voting: 259
Votes: 166
Comments: 16
Favorites: 4 (view)

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12/22/2007 05:48:10 PM
Jeffrey~ Personal and worthy of presentation. This serves as a vivid reminder of the depravity of man.

From a purely superficial standpoint, I think a less wordy title would have garnered a better score. Maybe even no title as I believe the image speaks for itself.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2007 06:28:36 PM
You've accomplished something fairly hard to do ... rendered me speechless.
First, I wanted to say that this is a dark image ... but obviously that is by design (proven by history). Showing that dark feeling comes across very well graphically.
Secondly, I wanted to tell you to burn the symbol of hate ... but what would that accomplish? Sixty years of perseverence is a far better display of strength.
I guess I'll just say, I'm sorry for the sins of this human race. I wish I had the words to say what I feel, I just don't.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 11:24:29 PM
I cannot believe that such a beautiful photo with such a poignant reminder didn't score higher than 5.3. This is truly a photo to make you proud.

I love the bright yellow background and the glow on the collar and shoulder. The dark shirt and jacket are just visible enough and really demonstrate how the individual would be lost behind the star.

I think this is an important work of art that would probably be especially well received by the right audience. Get yourself a nice big beautiful print from DPCPrints, and don't skimp on the framing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 11:24:23 PM
I have a deep and abiding self-induced hole in my heart for the souls in my lifetime that are hurt by the stupidity and hatred of cultures for no good reason.

I do not understand it and it hurts me on many levels.

A brave and well done image.....emotive and gut-wrenching.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 10:46:01 AM
o, jeffrey, such a hard image.

i'll do the technicals first, as that's the easy part. i agree with the comments about the background being a bit too bright and strong. it's a bit distracting. and, the edges of the start seem a bit too crisp - i realise it's a result of the light, but i think it ends up looking a bit cut and paste. the figure is spot on - it could be anyone.

the content is, well, stunning. so hard to say anything and sound sincere and empathetic. i think... um.

it's so sad that it seems many have no idea what this is. everyone should know.

i will never forget going to the anne frank house in amsterdam (i was 21 at the time). crossing over from the annex to the neighbouring house, there was a display of about 20 information boards. there was a reproduction of the deportation order that included the franks. their names had been touched so many times that the lamination had worn away. two boards lateer, there was an image of hitler. his face had been completely scratched off.

many years later i visited the memorial in paris. wlaking around, translating for my ex-husband, i found it difficult to speak, and hard to understand why he didn't understand this.

burn the star. if you need another one, you can always make one. it's only a piece of cloth. saving it just gives it more power.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 02:33:52 AM
I didn't vote this challenge, either, but I saw this image in a quick run through. I am fairly heavy hearted about its reception, including some of the technical comments, where viewers failed to even start to think about the message. My reaction was, well, profound is probably the best word; it makes me sad to think about the continued irrationality that prevails in the world today, and its respected place in our varied societies. This could happen again. I think the image, as is, is quite strong. I think the lighting works well, and the lack of anything that is clearly a "real" person (no face, no hands, just clothes, as Don said) added to the effect for me. I'm astounded at the score (but then I picked 0 of 10 of the top 10 in the challenge I did vote, painting with light).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 12:55:11 AM
Good concept. A little hard to grasp "why" for me, but I get emotional power of the shot. Just a bit overprocessed maybe (yellow too bright...), but still a well composed shot. Still like the concept!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 12:23:34 AM
Very good concept.

As for the emotional reaction - I'm afraid I'm either too young or too ignorant (or both). I spent about a minute staring at the photo not understanding what the shiny star had to do with the title. Then I read your description. Now that it's sinking in, I'm starting to get there.

The concept works very well. The processing, the crop and the relatively simple colours and shapes all work well together to illustrate dehumanisation, which I guess would be the necessary starting point of all hate crimes ever committed.

With this kind of simple, iconic imagery, it's necessary for it to be very recognisable in order to get the emotional reaction. Somehow, thinking about it at length before you get it takes away from it, because it's targeted to have immediate impact. So I'm guessing it would hit some people, but not others.

Another element of that would be how strongly the viewer agrees with the message. Personally I'd be more hit, for example, by an image about violence against women, or homophobia, or Amnesty style human rights stuff. I guess it's just not in my head that anti-semitism is a major problem at the moment, or not any more so than other hate crimes. But then again, I'm not Jewish.

Anyway, so I think the picture is well executed, but that it would only have a strong emotional impact on a select audience. However, it's all good as long as you captured the message you wanted to capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 12:04:51 AM
The bad part about giving up ion voting is that I miss stuff like this. I think it's a good concept. I'm not sure aboutthe lighting, but I really don't know what I'd change about it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 12:04:36 AM
sorry I skipped the Why challenge, or I surely would have commented. I notice the subject is gone into darkness. As far as we know, he is only his clothing. the spotlight on the star is less subtle than I like, as you might have guessed, but I do like the use of icons.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2007 12:00:32 AM
I love the idea and thanks for the explanation in your comments. The only distraction for me is the yellow background, if it was a dirtier yellow like the star it might work but it looks too cheerful. I like the darkness of the shot and would have liked to see that in the background as well. Even cropping it to the shoulder line might work. But a really good emotive image. Just my 2 cents.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2007 12:54:27 AM
I think this is really a stunning shot just the way it is.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/09/2007 01:37:28 AM
very cool concept. Well done as well. I just have a problem wit the star...it looks....computer generated. I know it's not, but feels it's been added on. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2007 06:07:02 AM
Lighting is terrible. Maybe it is meant to be that way, but for me it distracts from the picture.

I am not a good photographer, I do not claim to be better than anyone, any criticism is meant to be constructive criticism......
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 10:59:49 PM
60 years later? hate has been there since the beginning of time and it's more or less directed in any direction (even though much of it seems to go the Jewish way). anyway if this pic was your Idea why not go the whole way and shoot the star of David with a striped pajama?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 06:11:47 PM
the selective lighting is a great idea for this image
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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