Sunday, August 3, 2008

Photo Essay

This past year I learned what the phrase "Free Tibet" means. It was a tragic definition that was explained to me by someone who has seen first hand the effects of the horrible human suffering. China has been murdering its own people like the same tragedy that has taken place in Africa. Towards the end of the winter there was a peaceful pubic demonstration that took place in Northampton.

Almost anyone who knows me well, knows that I am constantly going to Northampton to make photographs. It is more or less an on going project that has me documenting what I see when I am there.

This sign was in front of a tent that people could walk into. This tent was a traveling gallery of photographs that displayed the terrific and horrible display of human tragedy that has taken place in Tibet and parts of China.

For roughly two weeks I saw these women standing on the streets in the freezing cold holding signs.

When I pulled my camera up to make a photograph of this man, he turned as quickly as I could press the shutter release. He saw my camera and jolted around, prohibiting me from taking his picture. Once he knew I was making photographs of the demonstration he tried his hardest to avoid eye contact with me and stayed out of view of my lens. I respected his right to privacy, though I could legally take a picture of him in public.

I was told a while before I even made this photograph that people who are and have been exiled from their countries fear having their picture taken. I would like to think that perhaps this man was of some importance in Tibet or China and is trying to avoid being seen in fear of being forced back into what he strongly believes against.

This man walked up and down this island for hours. He had a very upset look on his face the entire time. I watched him pace back and forth up and down the island furiously for a few minutes before I decided to make this photograph. As I stepped onto the island he saw my camera and quickly changed his expression. He seemed almost pleased that I was going to take his picture. He continued to walk up and down as I posed him in my lens. When I was about to step off the island he looked towards me and nodded as if he was saying thank you for you support.

This photo shows just how big of a demonstration the city allowed the Tibetan people to have. It was a pretty sad atmosphere to walk past a group of people who need to stand in the cold to show the world what most people are oblivious to see.

While this photograph is used to document what took place in Northampton, it comes from a purely artistic point of view. I usually carry two cameras on me when I am out shooting and this one helped me capture the moment. The person facing us in the photograph turned around and saw me about to take a picture. He waited for me to click the shutter and put my camera down before he turned back around to face traffic. I truly appreciate being allowed to make photographs of people, especially when they are doing something they believe in. To the people that stood in the freezing cold, standing there for the cause they believe in, I say thank you for letting me photograph you.

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