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Living Hell
1st PlaceLiving Hell
Simms


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Hell (Basic Editing)
Camera: Canon EOS-5D
Lens: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Location: South Bank - London
Date: Dec 8, 2007
Aperture: 1.8
ISO: 800
Shutter: 1/100
Galleries: Portraiture, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Dec 8, 2007

Thanks everyone, my 3rd best score ever, WOW!

Also I have an image on the frontpage on Xmas Day! woohoo!

This was a risk for me and a departure from my usual pretty pictures.

I predicted a 6.2 or so, but I feared people wouldn't `get` this image.
The shot was taken on the recent London GTG, I dropped the guy some cash and he was happy for me to take pictures, I cant believe the other members of the GTG missed this amazing opportunity whilst there was a "Hell" challenge running, still I am not moaning as if they had there would of been 2 or 3 of these in the challenge, maybe it is making the most of opportunities such as this that people need to start looking at.

Processing was pretty basic in Lightroom, then exported out to CS2, adjusted tonal levels using shadow/highlight tool (since SC are more than happy to cripple the creative process by banning tonemapping) Sharpened and converted to BW using channel mixer. Contrast & Brightness adjustments, cropped, added border. thats about it really.



SUBNOTE - This was originally going to be titled "..another day for you and me in paradise.." in reference to the Phil Collins song about a homeless person and attitudes towards them, but MAK suggested the "Living Hell" title, which is far less pretentious and does the job better.. Cheers gayboy!

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 80
Avg (all users): 7.4783
Avg (commenters): 8.8000
Avg (participants): 7.4211
Avg (non-participants): 7.4896
Views since voting: 14780
Views during voting: 508
Votes: 230
Comments: 93
Favorites: 37 (view)


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AuthorThread
10/16/2010 06:13:14 AM
Hey Mark - just stumbled across this.

This is a really terrific shot both technically and in the depth of it - as in the more you look the more you see . .

First just the guy, then his cap out for change, then his dog across his lap looking as disconsolate as he does, the wet ground he is sitting on, the litter in the middle distance .. it just goes on.

Very strong shot that deserves a wider viewing audience.

eta - outside of the challenge I think I prefer the title you first came up with as it gives a nice tension between the two of them, their situation, and the title



Message edited by author 2010-10-16 06:17:08.
10/15/2010 06:52:55 PM
This sure tells a story...great photo.
11/10/2008 06:57:34 PM
Mark, am coming from this thread and won't comment other than to say I and 20 other dpc'ers walked past this guy! Gongrats on a great shot my good man!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2008 05:59:36 PM
This is an incredibly moving photograph, if you don't know it already :). The facial expressions of both man and the dog are so true, and the composition and BW conversion are top notch.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/29/2008 02:03:56 PM
Even the dog looks miserable.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/29/2008 01:02:29 PM
awww this picture is so sad! it like makes me wana cry! but good job tho!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2008 12:14:12 PM
This one just pierces through one's conscience, and through all the things and comforts we take for granted. I would have given it a 9 had I voted. It would be a full 10 if the person wasnt posing but it were a natural shot.

A work of art!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/13/2008 03:17:46 PM
well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/28/2007 06:36:08 PM
Very powerful imaage! Congratulations!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/25/2007 07:33:36 AM
this is a great shot it shows how much people love their pets,he has the blanket around the dog and not himself..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/25/2007 01:26:11 AM
This particular image hits me rather hard since I have a sibling who lives in this situation, having returned to it time and time again after tremendous help having been given her. Additionally the attitude that these sorts of people have is one of the strong motivating factors that causes me to live in a different part of the world.

I find it very interesting the strong dichotomy between people who genuinely have nothing and have no option to make anything and people who take this sort of lifestyle by choice.

I live in a part of the world where there is virtually no social assistance by the government. There are virtually no publicly operated social systems and yet this sort of lifestyle is extremely, extremely rare.

It's a nice pic, well demonstrative and very nicely put together, but the commenters giving you flak for 'taking advantage' of this guy need to wake up a bit and spend a bit more time themselves interacting with this type of person so they understand a bit better how it really is a choice to live like that. Most cities in the developed world have more programs in place to help people get out of that sort of situation than you can count on both hands. When I left Victoria, you could get 14 square meals a day, and there were at least 7 or 8 places where you could sleep, shave and shower. All you had to do was walk from place to place. Living Hell indeed. Walking sucks.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/23/2007 04:38:59 PM
Congratulations Mark! I was actually looking through my 70-200 when you took this shot. I wish I had taken a shot of you grabbing a blue - doubt that has ever been done before.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/23/2007 09:29:36 AM
speechless

great picture

i agree with bexsta
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/22/2007 01:59:06 PM
Mark
Congrats on the Blue - I am quite happy this one finally won. It is an outstanding photo, with a great deal of compassion, yet full of sorrow
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/22/2007 04:12:59 AM
i have to agree with everyone else...it's a stunning example photojournalism.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/21/2007 10:22:13 PM
Makes me think of Joey Lawrence's work with the homeless in Ontario ..very beautiful image with a lot of emotion and impact.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/21/2007 08:38:47 PM
Mark, this is off-the-charts gritty and evocative. I'm really touched deeply by this image....I can feel the emptiness and despair. An extraordinary offering. Thank you, and congratulations on a well-deserved blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/21/2007 03:26:25 PM
Hey, I haven't really looked at these shots up 'til now. This is a heck of a fine image! Congrats on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/21/2007 05:15:33 AM
This picture,made cry a little. It doesn't make sense that there are people who are living in luxury everyday and don't even see those who are in need. If only people could have more compassion to reach out to the sick and the homeless. This picture says more then s thousand words!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/21/2007 01:56:41 AM
Amazing image! Very thought provoking....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/21/2007 01:06:05 AM
This is an absolutely stunning capture. It figures the
man was given a few quid, but the look in the dog's
eyes, mirroring his master's, makes it all the more
hellacious.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/20/2007 03:27:30 PM
Great shot Mark.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/20/2007 02:08:30 PM
Congratulations
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/20/2007 03:35:02 AM
Causing trouble again Simms?... tut tut tut. you should of given me the £30 and had done with it.. now look at you, vilanous garbage you are.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 10:53:58 PM
Well done and well said, nuff said.
Congratulations boy blue ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 08:44:41 PM
This is incredibly good. I can't get over how perfect the lighting, the expression, and DOF is. The B/W treatment is quite appropriate.

I am looking at it for about the 5th time and just now noticing the dog. All the more touching.

Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 04:01:44 PM
A message to ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Titia and anyone else who doesnt like this image for the reasons ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Titia mentioned...

Titia

I feel compelled to send you this message regarding your comment on this shot "Living Hell".

""I dropped the guy some cash"
How much respect does that show to another human being. I think it's unethical to use someone's misery for your own glory.
I had hoped it was a staged photo, but according to your words, it was not."


You are correct, this is not a staged photo it`s an image of real-life, something that sadly is happening all the time, all over the world.
I really can`t see why giving him money to take his photo would be so unethical, surely if I hadn't of paid him and just taken it, that would of been worse. But no, I took the time to talk to him, then ask him if I gave him some money would he be willing to let me take a photo, he was more than happy to, in fact, what has more dignity, sitting on a wet pavement just being given money, or having someone come up and offer you money in return for something that you have that they want that is within the realms of decency & legality?... exactly.

Whilst I was taking this series of photos of this guy, at least 10 people walked past him without even looking at him, like he didnt even exist, at least I had the decency to talk to him like a human and acknowledge he was alive. I daresay I was probably one of the only people he had contact with that day.

So please, do not tell me what I did was unethical, if he didn't want me to take the shot, he would of told me and I would of respected his wishes.

Simple as.

And to say I used his misery for my glory.. oh please. I won a ribbon, granted its great to win, but to suggest I reveled in glory due to his misery is slightly hysterical. You have to realise, that day was very cold and very very wet (the other DPC'ers who I was with will certainly testify to that), I saw a man, without a home, sitting on a wet pavement, there is every likely hood he has mental health problems, drink problems and drug problems. Basically his life really is a `Living Hell`.. I just thought I would try to present that to the voters and provoke some emotions.. I think the voters agreed with me.

Thanks for reading.

Mark.
12/19/2007 01:49:41 PM
You seem to be just getting blues.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 01:17:11 PM
This photograph touched me the minute I was it!! I hoped it would do well as I rated it highest when voting. It's VERY emotional. Well done on a well deserved ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 12:30:47 PM
The picture is well executed, no doubt about that. But it is the (possibly morbid) visual interest to which a majority of viewers/voters were attracted that interests me most. I wonder why. Yet it is. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 11:55:02 AM
I was singing to some music and I just had to shut it off after seeing this. The dog and the guy, I hope they are happy man, I hope they are at least happy. This is just $&&!@# up if this guy is using the dog as a means for making money.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 10:38:36 AM
Ohhhhhhhh myGOSH! The minute I saw this photo, I felt involuntary tears come to my eyes! It's the dog! The ever faithful, devoted dog. . .loving unconditionally. . .not caring whether someone is homeless or has alot to spoil him with. . .just the companionship is reason enough for the devotion.

What a fabulous slice of real life this is. I am so happy the voters got this one so right! Congratulations on the most deserving blue ribbon!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 09:53:39 AM
wow must have missed this one,

Awesome photo, this deserves a first place, fits the challenge perfectly...

looking at it again I love that its in b&w very strong image
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 08:02:04 AM
I Love it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 07:09:42 AM
Congrats on blue! You gotta love the 85mm f/1.8 !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 07:08:42 AM
nice one mate. Terrible that u offered him money. Just terrible. :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 07:07:14 AM
What an awesome pic Simms! Wish I could have made it to the GTG, will have to try extra hard next time :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 06:51:02 AM
Wow look at you, putting out yet another outstanding shot. Congrats mate this is a wonderful capture, wish I would have thought about it like that too. And I could imagine that being homeless is living in hell.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 06:04:11 AM
Congrats Mark! This is an wonderful shot. You captured both the sadness of his situation and the strong bond of friendship between him and his 'best friend'.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 05:12:23 AM
Congrats !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 05:06:16 AM
Little boy blue come blow your nose
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 04:57:18 AM
Congrats on a superb image, and for stepping outside of your zone. :O)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 04:50:08 AM
I actually was going to stage it by using ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' MAK as my model, but he was far too drunk and scruffy to be believable.
12/19/2007 03:44:10 AM
Originally posted by Titia:

"I dropped the guy some cash"
How much respect does that show to another human being. I think it's unethical to use someone's misery for your own glory.
I had hoped it was a staged photo, but according to your words, it was not.


is it nice in that pink little world of yours? can I come?

get real...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 03:10:41 AM
Good move dropping him some cash. I took some photos of him when I was in London and he had his dog attack me. Luckily the dog didn't bite or they would have both gotten a swift kick in the mouth. You should get a real blue ribbon (like from a dog show) and pin it on him and get a photo of that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 03:07:22 AM
....

Message edited by author 2007-12-19 16:00:02.
12/19/2007 02:28:57 AM
"I dropped the guy some cash"
How much respect does that show to another human being. I think it's unethical to use someone's misery for your own glory.
I had hoped it was a staged photo, but according to your words, it was not.

Message edited by author 2007-12-19 02:29:47.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 02:07:18 AM
Congrats! I knew you were talking about this kind of perception of hell in my comment ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 02:02:43 AM
outstanding shot, Mark! It could be also called dog's life, you know?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 01:47:10 AM
Absolutely the best of this "Hell" challenge. Great street and very good BW and DOF. My best. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 01:23:29 AM
One of the 10's I gave. Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 01:21:40 AM
LOL. Did you really think this was risky? Regardless, very nice image Mark. Congrats on your blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 01:19:59 AM
This photo is beautiful in B&W and deserves the blue ribbon. It makes me so sad to see this - very emotional. Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 01:05:01 AM
When you ribbon, you blue. :) Not bad.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 12:55:31 AM
The dog's poignant look completes it. Amazing shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 12:35:35 AM
This really tugs at the heart strings .. very emotional and real. Congrats on a well deserved ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 12:25:34 AM
Great, just great! WTG, Mark and huge congrats on your ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 12:12:17 AM
The lighting on this is PHENOMENAL! I can't believe this was basic editing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 12:07:35 AM
Congrats man, defintley miles away from your nature shots and honestly ,probably the best shot of yours I've seen and that's saying something. The emotion in this shot is incredible, you've outdone yourself, well done on your blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 12:04:27 AM
congratulations on this well deserved blue!! It seems that is the only color you take uh?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/19/2007 12:01:47 AM
Congrats. Terrific job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/18/2007 10:53:36 PM
Very emotional shot. Captivating.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/18/2007 04:21:26 PM
Nice capture, quite candid....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/18/2007 02:42:40 PM
wonderful tones, good concept
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/18/2007 11:23:49 AM
great work done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/18/2007 01:37:33 AM
I like how some interpretations of hell are more concrete and "ordinary," if you can call it that. The dog pulls this image away from any possible cliche, as it really makes you realize there is a living element to a lot of hell. Depth and texture in the image don't distract from the subject here, but add effect and emphasis. Very good!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/18/2007 12:15:18 AM
i wanna cry.
you can easily feel the sadness.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/17/2007 07:46:51 PM
Jeez, the homeless kids in the other challenge and now this. Please tell me you bought them food.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/17/2007 10:24:36 AM
ill forfeit my membership if this doesnt win the blue
10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/17/2007 08:15:50 AM
I predict a top 3 for this one. Excellent. My favorite of the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/16/2007 03:58:33 PM
I disagree with your view of hell but I really like the photo anyway, so 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/16/2007 10:34:31 AM
Outstanding!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/15/2007 11:32:26 PM
i like the clarity. nice exposure =]
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/15/2007 11:02:45 PM
Very telling. Thank you!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/15/2007 11:06:58 AM
Dramatic, good capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/14/2007 06:22:23 PM
so well shot 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/14/2007 11:22:09 AM
too beautiful.
i love the moment.
WOW
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/14/2007 07:35:09 AM
superb photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2007 07:08:15 PM
A ribbon winner for sure. Great capture, poor man :(
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2007 05:11:51 PM
OMG! This is the best shot I've seen so far in this challenge. Both faces, man and dog are really expressive, they are showing us their hard/hell lives. The shallow DoF, B/W conversion, and wet floor are perfect.

Fav. Gave you 10.

PS: you could have cloned out that white spots/thing at the middle left if this were not basic ed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2007 12:00:27 PM
great shot -8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2007 03:50:45 AM
nice depth of field, would have loved to have seen a closer shot too (6 from me)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 11:28:34 PM
Powerful!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 07:54:50 PM
The expressions of both the man and the dog tell it all....well done. *8*
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 04:56:10 PM
Great capture. Really evokes thought.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 04:04:53 PM
This one just reached out and grabbed me...excellent photo, very moving. Makes you wonder what his story is, what's up with the dog, a million thoughts come to mind. Great job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 12:05:45 PM
Good job with the idea and the processing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 11:50:24 AM
at least he's got his puppy... this picture makes me really sad. good job, great composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 09:20:40 AM
One of the few with emotion and well suited. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 06:59:30 AM
Very emotive. Great portrait, and fits the challenge. Love the focus and the dog really finishes it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 05:27:38 AM
What a great photo, captured the man beautifully... took me awhile to notice the dog! Nice depth of field. My fave so far. 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 02:13:47 AM
Excellent picture. Brilliant use of black and white. The white "thingy" in the left is a bit distracting. Pity you weren't allowed to clone it out. Otherwise: outstanding!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2007 01:01:33 AM
perfecto!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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