Thanks to Lomography, I have started to see the things that I have turned a blind eye to.
This year, as I searched for my photography style and preference, I started to ‘re-see’ aspects of life that we all knew but didn’t think much of. In fact, sometimes when we do see it, we will give it a wide berth.
Like the photo above. Do you avoid street donation collectors when you see them in front of you? Of course, that is assuming they are bona fide (by the way, in Singapore, they should be carrying a licence as proof). Or do you walk away?
I live in a modern country but if you look carefully, you’ll see people who have fallen through the cracks. I wondered how we missed looking after them and if one day I would end up like them. Here are two photos that made me pause and reflect.
The first photo below that I snapped was in a way unintentional.
I was walking past a side lane; I wanted to snap the alleyway. Initially, I didn’t see the elderly man at the trash bin. But just as I pressed the shutter, he reached down and opened a pack of discarded food and smelled it. I’m not sure if he was homeless, hungry and was looking for food or if he was saddened by the fact that good food is still thrown away. Either way, the scene is now etched in my memory and captured on film.
The second photo started with a snap of old carton boxes.
I was wondering who has been collecting them as there are people collecting and selling old paper cartons to recycling plants. Then one day I saw the person collecting them. I pulled out my camera and was able to take a quick snap.
Reflecting on how I managed to capture these photos, I believe that it was sheer luck and the decision to look for things most people would not consciously notice.
However, I have to say that I do try to avoid photographing the faces of the desolate, the poor, and the homeless person begging on the streets. Very often, I will just hold my camera by my side and not point it at them. I do not know if you share the same approach to street photography, but I want to help them keep as much dignity as possible by not photographing their faces; unless I am witnessing a wonderful act of humanity, a lesson that must be shared with all.
As such, I am glad to see youth organisations trying their best to reach out to this group of people. I like that fact that such organisations have a kind heart and do care for the needy.
So, how has Lomography changed the way you see things, and maybe live your life?