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Nativity Scene
Nativity Scene
faery


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Harsh Environments (Expert Editing)
Camera: Olympus E-500 EVOLT
Lens: Olympus 17.5-45mm f/3.5-5.6
Location: Near Franschoek, South Africa
Date: Dec 22, 2006
Aperture: F8
ISO: 1250
Shutter: 1/200s
Galleries: Candid, Portraiture
Date Uploaded: Dec 23, 2006

This was captured in the winelands district of Simonduim in the Cape (South Africa). Such families as this are the backbone of the industry. They live in little shacks/cottages. Live mostly below the breadline. Alcoholism, gang issues and teenage pregnancy are part of what defines their lives. This young woman has had 2 children already. All live with the older generation in the same cottage. Her partner bares the scars of gang life (see his right eyebrow). But what a delight to overcome my own fears and perceptions, cross the railway tracks (literally) and go into their space and capture a little of their lives. I am returning in a week's time with prints for them...undoubtedly they don't even own photos of themselves.

No doubt this young mother dropped out of school a long time ago. She has no means of employment, no state income, no marital safety net.

A recent documentary explained why young girls like this fall pregnant a few times over before their 20th birthdays...in a world of such extreme poverty and hopelessness, the ability to create life, is empowering. Girls keep having babies as an affirmation of themselves.

Life.

THANK YOU! I am so grateful to be up here on this top ten page. I went back this week with prints for this family. This time I was asked inside the cottage...This is Madelein. She is 17 and her baby is 3 months old. She spends her days childminding her own baby and her mother's baby "Popsie" who is 18 months old. They all live together in this one-roomed tin shack. Will post some out takes of them on my portfolio page.

(Some were suspicious about the "flashy" belt and her jewelery...cheap imitations and fake silver).

Statistics
Place: 9 out of 116
Avg (all users): 6.7022
Avg (commenters): 8.0000
Avg (participants): 6.5862
Avg (non-participants): 6.7425
Views since voting: 3891
Views during voting: 670
Votes: 225
Comments: 66
Favorites: 31 (view)


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AuthorThread
12/20/2007 12:39:18 PM
What a beautiful and real image!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2007 08:48:15 AM
Puts MY life into perspective. Thanks so much for sharing this story. And I am glad that you overcame your fears to reach out to them. I'm sure they loved their photos.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2007 06:10:44 AM
Powerful image, makes us think how lucky we are. Well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/07/2007 02:04:19 PM
beautiful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2007 03:58:36 PM
Tremendous shot, tremendous title. There are whole worlds out there that most of us know so little about . . .
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/26/2007 08:37:08 AM
I love your modern Nativity. Great choice of a Title. Moving photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/26/2007 08:33:33 AM
a stunning and beautiful image ......
you've captured something very special here because your photograph evokes an emotional reaction in me ......
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/13/2007 02:34:20 AM
VERY nice capture!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2007 04:28:03 PM
One of the most under-rated photos on this site. Superb.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2007 03:56:37 AM
Okay...may seem a bit melodramatic, but I have to confess that I've found all the affirming comments overwhelming...you guys have made me a wee bit emotional and you might have caught me with a tear in my eye had you found me behind my monitor in the last few days.

Thank you to everyone from the very Pap of my being.
01/06/2007 02:19:30 AM
This does what few photos do on DPC. It moves me. They are portrayed here as full of joy in these circumstances. You've captured both essences very well. Congratulations on a very nice photo first of all, and a top 10 photo secondly!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2007 12:00:37 AM
This is an awesome image Caroline...congrats on the top 10 finish...really photojournalistic
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 05:56:06 PM
one of the better photos I've seen here in a while - stirring. Nice work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 11:36:11 AM
Perhaps the best photo of all I have seen for a while. Very moving and well done. Keep up the good work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 11:34:53 AM
Ah, so this was your image! Congratulations, it's a beautiful, beautiful scene, and you did great. Congrats on top 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 10:54:45 AM
This is an amazing photo! Congrats on top ten!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 09:17:39 AM
Love it.. there story is unbelivabel and the best thing about the photo is that you didn't even have to tell it.. every thing you said is told in the photograph! Just unbelivable, i love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 08:45:45 AM
Such a powerful, moving image. So glad to see it in the top 10!
I am sure they will be delighted to have a print of this shot. :o)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 07:38:06 AM
This was one of my very favorites. It's beautiful work, and I so appreciate reading about their lives. I never thought about the empowerment thing of having children -- also, I guess it feels great to nurture and protect something they love too!

This is powerful! Congratulations on an amazing photo and experience -and the reward of top 10 honors as well!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 06:51:48 AM
This is an AWESOME photo - I SO ADMIRE your boldness in 'asking' to photograph them. It's a part of me I'm working on and photos such as this REALLY INSPIRE me to keep working on the 'asking' side of my photography.

TRULY WONDERFUL! And I Thank You for also sharing the story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 05:52:21 AM
Congrats faery on your placement.
Love the attitude you captured.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 05:26:55 AM
This is brilliant. Excellant photojournalism and a great photo, lighting, colors and sharpness spot on. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 05:25:25 AM
this photo couldn't be better. absolutely, spot on, amazing!!! it looks like you tore it out of my favorite magazine "Colors"... ever heard of it? if not, definitely check it out, it's totally the style of this photo.

WONDERFUL WORK!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 03:30:29 AM
This is amazing. Best score and no compromise on style. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 01:14:43 AM
Excellent work, and it's only a photograph! lol. Really nice, glad to see it scored so well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 12:31:25 AM
I'm so glad to see a "real " image do so well. Congrats!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 12:28:06 AM
I am so glad to se ethis score as well as it did. I had hoped to see it higher but hey - a 6.7 is nothing to sneeze at. Great image that fit the challenge brilliantly. Well done!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2007 12:27:46 AM
This is a fantastic portrait....right down to the graffiti on the doorjam. It just shows...love has no financial restriction! Congrats on top ten.

Message edited by author 2007-01-05 00:28:04.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/04/2007 10:26:50 PM
Excellent
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2007 05:06:27 PM
Great shot, well lit, love the story you can put in here. I would think harsh but it looks like he has a diamond belt. Lol...Love the softness on the skin and your composition. Nice work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2007 02:27:26 PM
Definitely my favorite of this challenge. This photo is so rich in everything...tones, emotive, story...you name it. Very well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2007 05:45:20 PM
A refreshing piece of documentary work..."Lovers 4 Life"...a promising footnote and bit of hope...very nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2007 06:56:12 AM
Nice colour.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2007 03:24:09 AM
This is a really fascinating portrait.

It makes me wonder where they are, and who they are, and, in context to the challenge, what's the harsh environment? They look healthy, have a place to live..


Nine.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2007 07:27:42 PM
The flashy puma belt doesn't add to the harsh feeling of the environment.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2007 04:56:04 PM
Wonderful shot love the title - Good colors. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2007 10:19:06 AM
Nice work and good title. 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2007 09:31:25 AM
This photograph is a classic. One of the most emotive shots I've ever seen submitted on this site. - 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2007 07:32:34 AM
Pretty good shot, would have liked to see a little bit more of the actual environment though, like a wider shot showing also their house and not just them standing in the doorway but like I said, a pretty good shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2007 07:44:01 PM
very good capture. the darkness says so much. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2007 05:49:27 PM
Another one that feels--for whatever reason--like a shot out of National Geographic. Excellent work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2007 09:34:16 AM
Excellent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2006 11:31:08 PM
Hmmmmm, the puma belt is confusing
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2006 09:14:29 PM
This is a fave in the challenge for me. Like another entry I saw, it speaks the proverbial "volumes". While you certainly didn't use the new rules - you didn't have to. Everything is so dramatic in this image, from the writing on the door facing to the curtains halfway hanging to the scar on dad's eyebrow, to the beautiful smiling mother with the unbuttoned pants holding her precious infant. This is definitely a harsh environment at it's finest (worst) and deserves a much better score than I'm sure it will get. Thank you for submitting such a powerful picture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2006 06:59:28 PM
I don't understand your reference to the Nativity...
TC
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2006 02:56:16 PM
Looks like a (very well produced) puma advert.
I like the colours and the tones throughout the shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2006 01:30:30 AM
What a great photo. I normally don't care for the tint like this but this has a WOW to it and really meets the challenge....10+
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2006 10:14:07 PM
a good picture is a picture that conveys a message and this one surely conveys a message with minimal editing, great job 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2006 11:25:44 AM
Awsome!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 09:50:37 PM
nice picture but I don't see what is harsh here?
12/29/2006 09:05:36 PM
I am hesitant to comment but I told myself I would comment on every photo in this challenge. It's hard for me to see the 'harshness' - that belt looks kinda fancy as well as the girl is wearing jewelery. I don't understand the title although I can take a good guess at the innuendo. As for the photo, the quality is very good, the lighting, focus and color are nice too. Maybe if the shot were wider? Anyway, I'm not voting on this challenge - I rarely vote in challenges I participate in. If I were voting, I'd give it a 6.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 04:09:19 PM
Awesome photo, great title also. Very gritty. Has a hardcore sincerity to it...If that makes any sense at all. If i could vote i'd give you a 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 03:56:08 PM
i wish he was looking at the camera
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 03:32:18 PM
I've only gone through a fifth of the entries so far. But so far this is vastly superior to anything else I have seen. This entry fits the challenge so nicely as well as having technicals that underscore the theme. In addition, there is a powerful emotional impact here. Good luck in this challenge!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 02:28:29 PM
Wonderful image. Perfect for the challenge and emotive too. One of my favorites for the challenge. Back to bump you up to 9. VERY well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 02:13:31 PM
Great portrait. Love the expression on the woman's face.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 10:11:50 AM
Fantastic photo! You've done a great job of illustrating the harsh environment, and I really like the way you have processed this! One of my favorites so far!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 09:26:36 AM
This photo is of National Geographic quality. I nearly started crying when I opened it. The expressions are incredibly haunting, yet hopeful at the same time. The light is beautiful, the composition is astounding and the word "ghost" in the graffiti makes this work of art even more poignant. This may be my favorite photo of all time on this site.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 08:51:08 AM
10 and in my favorite
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 07:49:33 AM
Definitley one of the stronger images int he challenge. Dark, gritty and real. I hope this does well against some of the seriously photoshopped images. This deserves to be a high scorer. I will help - bumping up two to a 9. Good luck!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 03:42:24 AM
Very nice composition. If it was black and white, I'd give you another point or two.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 02:39:41 AM
BRAVO! 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 01:30:09 AM
great photojournalistic image...nice depth of colour and really interesting story going on
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 12:42:18 AM
In looking at this picture I don't see the "Harsh Enviroment" Unless you are talking about the family being young. Unfortunately the window in the back is distracting as with the writing on the door jam. Also her pants being totally undone draws away from the pic. So all in all you have a great snap shot, but would like to have seen more of the surroundings for the feel. JMHO
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 12:39:11 AM
shes cute 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2006 12:23:15 AM
WOW - I love this. Terrific title too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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