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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Analysing photo for MA course, opinions wanted!
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12/06/2009 02:45:44 AM · #1
Hey guys, it's been quite a while since I was here!
I recently started an MA in communication for development, I plan to focus on the role of photography as a tool for social change(!).
I recently picked up a copy of Asian Geographic where they had the results of their 2009 photo competition and I'd really like everybody's comments on the overall winner as I plan to base my next essay on this particular shot.
I want to stay objective and neutral so I'll try not to say too much yet.

The photo is here:
//www.asiangeo.com/awb09_results/flipviewerxpress.html (navigate to page 3)
or here:
//www.grahamcrouch.com/Gallery.asp?GalleryID=53007&AKey=A2RTBE6R on the photographer's (Graham Crouch) website.

Feel free to comment on the photo itself, how would it do in a competition here on DPC? But also in a wider sense... how do you feel about it?

Thanks guys, and I hope to take part again here soon when time allows, I have so much to thank this community for!
12/06/2009 11:51:53 AM · #2
Geez, a little warning about the graphical content would have been nice. The picture was stunning... shocking. It also looked a little unreal. If the challenge was "shocking" or "real but unreal" then I think it'd take the blue. I think it's a good technical picture, and the look on the kid's face along with his body just breaks my heart. As for your thesis, I think a picture of this nature would help you in many ways. I am curious about how the kid came to be that way, and what I could do to help. Would I feel that way with only reading a narrative about him/her? Maybe not as strongly. Just my thoughts.
12/06/2009 12:28:38 PM · #3
Shocking and unsettling in the extreme. Makes me feel guilty for the silly little things that I have considered to be my own problems. All the winning photography in that contest was amazing.

If it were in a contest here on DPC, I think it would clean up. Might also get some low votes from a few people who are put off by the harsh subject matter.
12/06/2009 12:57:46 PM · #4
It's a stunning, disturbing, emotional photo-journalistic image. The lighting really accentuates the message, bringing attention to the child's obviously greatly malnourished state. The framing might be considered uninspired, but is very appropriate for the subject.
As a communication device, this photo just works (actually, it works overtime!). All the elements, including the fact that the child is being weighed, support the message. Were this photo used to spearhead a charity campaign, it would be incredibly effective, IMO.
How would it do here at DPC? In the right challenge, I think it would clean up, except that it would inevitably garner low votes from those voters who don't want to be presented with anything that contains disturbing imagery (go figure some people). Some here might also fault the deep, detail-free shadows. I don't particularly feel they detract.
12/06/2009 09:46:19 PM · #5
It's an extraordinarily disturbing image, on so many levels. One that has not been mentioned, and this isn't the first time I've noticed it, is that starving, tiny children look exactly like very old men... It's heartbreaking. I'm not surprised so few have responded to this; how many of us can face what we really feel when we see this image? Not me, that's for sure...

R.
12/07/2009 12:15:04 AM · #6
Thanks for the comments so far, please keep them coming!
Sorry for not warning about the content... difficult because I'm trying to stay neutral and don't want to influence what people say too much.
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