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People CritiqueNot such a happy meal?

Images containing people; portraits, family, lifestyle, street, photojournalism, sports, weddings
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Graham Smith
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Not such a happy meal?

Postby Graham Smith » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:04 pm

I saw this visitor to Cambridge looking very down in the mouth and ironically sporting a McDonald's happy balloon.
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C&C welcomed.
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LindaShorey
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby LindaShorey » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:49 pm

The strong, fast-moving lady on the right emphasizes the seeming isolation and fragility of the balloon lady. While images like this could be right time/right place, I imagine you spend many hours on the streets seeking just such "luck."
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby Duck » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:32 pm

Speaking of timing... with our recent discussion on street photography, this is one heck of a fine example. The irony of the story just can't be ignored.
For me, the strength of an image comes from the ability to understand it without the need of titles. One doesn't need titles to understand this image.

Well done.
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Charles Haacker
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby Charles Haacker » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:55 am

I well remember this terrific shot. The last time I saw it it made me sad. It still does. One thing about street is that it makes me try to construct a backstory. I see this woman as having arranged a first date, dressed extra nicely, told the date they'd meet at the nursery, she's been waiting nearly an hour but no one has showed up. She appears to have been what we Yanks call "stood up." Her dejection shows in more than just her face. Look at her hands. I realize that could just be her resting face, but the picture is nevertheless, to me, achingly sad.
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Matt Quinn
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby Matt Quinn » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:03 am

Graham, Chuck, I have another reaction. I suspect it may be her resting face; many Asians that I know appear to be pouting when at rest; and the structure of their eyes lends an appearance of sadness to Westerners, I'd wager. If someone from her country looked at this, would they think she were sad? I don't know. At first, I thought her hands were fidgeting; on a second look, they seem at rest. And the balloon -- to identify her in some way, the way tour guides do. She may be early, the other/others may be late. She will wait. They will come. Matt
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby LindaShorey » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:26 pm

Matt makes an interesting point about interpreting faces at rest. I've had people say to me on occasion, "Why so sad?" Huh? I'm just in neutral - lol. A study of other body language cues, not just facial, from various cultures would be fascinating; seems I recall there is at least one country (Italy?) where standing very up close and personal is considered to be normal :)
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Graham Smith
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby Graham Smith » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:05 pm

LindaShorey wrote:Matt makes an interesting point about interpreting faces at rest. I've had people say to me on occasion, "Why so sad?" Huh? I'm just in neutral - lol. A study of other body language cues, not just facial, from various cultures would be fascinating; seems I recall there is at least one country (Italy?) where standing very up close and personal is considered to be normal :)


Hi Linda, the study of other cultures and their habits and taboos is indeed fascinating. Eye contact in our culture is a sign of confidence and openness whereas in other cultures it can be construed as rude or even aggressive.

While in India I discovered that women, unless they are thoroughly "modern" and "liberated" will not look a man in the eye, or they will cover their eyes. Not do so would be seen as provocative with, perhaps a romantic interest and certainly immodest. In India subordinates should never never hold eye contact with their superiors, the superiors would feel insulted.

I have many pictures of women in India where they are avoiding looking directly into the lens or they are covering their eyes, they will also hold the edge of their saris to there mouths to cover their lips as lips are considered very sensual... as indeed they are :)

Something that made me feel uncomfortable was when entering a tribal village, where the old customs still hold sway, was the women bending down to touch my feet as a greeting. But you have to accept it gracefully as they think that by not doing it they will have slighted you.

It is indeed fascinating. I will post a picture that illustrates the things I said about eye contact.
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Graham Smith
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby Graham Smith » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:25 pm

Duck wrote:Speaking of timing... with our recent discussion on street photography, this is one heck of a fine example. The irony of the story just can't be ignored.
For me, the strength of an image comes from the ability to understand it without the need of titles. One doesn't need titles to understand this image.

Well done.


Thanks Duck, a story in a single image is something I look for when I'm pounding the streets. It doesn't matter, overly much, to me whether the viewer reads the story I'm trying to tell or they imagine another story. Obviously I would prefer the viewer to read and understand my story :D
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Duck
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby Duck » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:31 pm

Graham Smith wrote:It doesn't matter, overly much, to me whether the viewer reads the story I'm trying to tell or they imagine another story. Obviously I would prefer the viewer to read and understand my story :D

Well then, in this case you can call it a huge success. Your intended story definitely carries through.
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Matt Quinn
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Re: Not such a happy meal?

Postby Matt Quinn » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:26 pm

C&C welcomed. Graham, Another thought about the image: you captured the stereotype of the calm, composed Asian alongside the harried and hurried Westerner. Did you plan that and wait for that moment? Matt
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