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The Face of Hunger

  
 
James Markus
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · The Face of Hunger


Congratulations to James Markus for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 7 votes - View Previous Winners










Feb 18, 2021 at 02:05 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · The Face of Hunger


I like the image a lot, Jim! It ticks a lot of boxes for me, in other words. Out of curiosity, is the story behind the title real?

Joshua



Feb 18, 2021 at 09:36 PM
gheller
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · The Face of Hunger


Great image.

I would go strait b/w, though... not sure what the green tint adds.

g



Feb 18, 2021 at 10:09 PM
James Markus
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · The Face of Hunger


Image #1 "When Your World Stops"






Image #2 "Contemplating What You Have"






Image #3 posted already "The Face of Hunger"

Image #4 "Will Work For Food"






Image #5 "When I Was Hungry"






Joshua & gheller, Thank you the comments. Is it real? yes and no - a bit of a story. After a 30 year career the
newspaper I worked for literally got rid most of the 850 employees - my department (marketing) was first. I entered this image and four others into a local art contest called Artprize back in 2010 as a series of 2'x3' prints. This is the thinnest man I know, and I used him as the model to represent a far thinner man I had met while out shooting along the river. I had to do these images to get them out of my head. From my entry info...

"Hunger (The Series)
Days before my leaving the The Grand Rapids Press in the fall of 2008 I met a man fishing along the Grand River that was so thin it shocked me. I asked if I could photograph him, and he asked for seventy five cents to buy biscuits to use as bait. I had no money, and felt really bad that I couldn't even meet such a simple request. The next day I walked both sides of the river about 1 mile each way looking for the man. I had packed him a drink, a sandwich, and three cans of biscuits - I couldn't find him again though I looked multiple times afterwards.

On my last commute home from the press, facing an uncertain future myself, I saw a man at Leonard and Front streets under the highway holding a sign that read..."Will work for food". I wondered if I may face a similar future. These, and other images of today's hard economic times have haunted me for 2 years. I've attempted to capture the images that reside in my head filling me with sadness for the effects of poverty on so many people from my home town. This shouldn't be happening here, nor anywhere else.




Feb 19, 2021 at 09:09 AM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · The Face of Hunger


I like the emotion conveyed by the varying tonality Jim! NIce images terrible situation!
Dan



Feb 19, 2021 at 09:20 AM
gheller
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · The Face of Hunger


Thank you for the story, that helps put the images in context.

That said, I find the images *too clean* if that makes sense. I don't feel the struggle without the grunge. I don't know, perhaps too posed as well.

For example, the one he is sitting and staring at bread. He is clean, the floor is clean, his feet are clean ... the overall image is just clean.

(4) with sign... obviously lit with external lighting that doesn't match the scene. Makes it look like a posed studio shot.

That said, Image #1 is really intriguing. I like it a lot.


Anyway, truly a moving story. Hope things make a turn for the better economically.

greg



Feb 19, 2021 at 11:12 AM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · The Face of Hunger


gheller wrote:
Thank you for the story, that helps put the images in context.
greg


I agree! I enjoy hearing and seeing that which I have only read about in books or listened to the shortwave radio broadcasts from these Countries. Yes I have been to the Countries but I never had time to do any photography..J.O.B.
Thanks again for the lesson and tour!
Dan




Feb 19, 2021 at 11:20 AM
 


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James Markus
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · The Face of Hunger


Greg, Actually, I pretty much agree on that critic. "Grunge" (I named the photoshop action that - lol) is the exact word I felt was missing,
and it was what the toning was about in 'The Face of Hunger" image. I was given a choice of venues in a really large 3 story building. I
choose an unfinished office about 120 feet square...no ceiling few lights, and no interior walls. The guy that owned the building gave me
first shot at where I wanted to hang my photos. I felt the wires hanging from the ceiling, and grungy condition would help the images. I
did need a wall though, and he put 21 feet up - and I took the whole wall. lol, then a bunch of other artist also wanted to display in the
same space. There ended up being 30-40 pieces displayed there.

I really missed the mark on "will work for food" the desperation of the person I saw, how homemade the sign was...letters drawn with
dirt and fingers, at dusk with cars flying by unaware of this shattered soul. I was trying to recreate experiences I had in late 2008 - some
in situ, and some in studio. Thanks for the #1 comment - those are my seven kids milling about my model to convey how the world just
keeps going on when your world stops.

Things are better now, compared to 2008, but thanks for the well wishes, and critic. I think you nailed it.

gheller wrote:
Thank you for the story, that helps put the images in context.

That said, I find the images *too clean* if that makes sense. I don't feel the struggle without the grunge. I don't know, perhaps too posed as well.

For example, the one he is sitting and staring at bread. He is clean, the floor is clean, his feet are clean ... the overall image is just clean.

(4) with sign... obviously lit with external lighting that doesn't match the scene. Makes it look like a posed studio shot.

That said, Image #1 is really intriguing. I like it a lot.

Anyway, truly a
...Show more




Feb 19, 2021 at 12:14 PM
gregfountain
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · The Face of Hunger


I find the first image to be quite excellent, and the others certainly convey the story of hunger. Well done James!

Greg



Feb 26, 2021 at 09:19 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · The Face of Hunger


gheller wrote:
That said, I find the images *too clean* if that makes sense. I don't feel the struggle without the grunge. I don't know, perhaps too posed as well.

For example, the one he is sitting and staring at bread. He is clean, the floor is clean, his feet are clean ... the overall image is just clean.

(4) with sign... obviously lit with external lighting that doesn't match the scene. Makes it look like a posed studio shot.

That said, Image #1 is really intriguing. I like it a lot.

Anyway, truly a moving story. Hope things make a turn for the better economically.

greg


+1

The studio techniques (studio / location) are incongruous to the presentation of a natural reality.

All good work, but the introduction of such controlled lighting and posing is antithetical to the message of a person who has such little control in his life, that he is challenged for the basics of food.

I like the first image the most. I think it depicts a difference of his world vs. the rest of the world well. Looks more natural, than studio. Multiple interpretive opportunities.




Feb 27, 2021 at 09:28 AM
James Markus
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · The Face of Hunger


Kent, I did the best I could considering the moment had already passed, and what my model was willing to do. Most of my work was with the actual people that were the subject of a story being written by writers in our department. Lighting was always something I had to cobble together, and some shoots were very emotionally draining.

RustyBug wrote:
+1

The studio techniques (studio / location) are incongruous to the presentation of a natural reality.

All good work, but the introduction of such controlled lighting and posing is antithetical to the message of a person who has such little control in his life, that he is challenged for the basics of food.

I like the first image the most. I think it depicts a difference of his world vs. the rest of the world well. Looks more natural, than studio. Multiple interpretive opportunities.






Feb 27, 2021 at 01:06 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · The Face of Hunger


James Markus wrote:
Kent, I did the best I could considering the moment had already passed, and what my model was willing to do. Most of my work was with the actual people that were the subject of a story being written by writers in our department. Lighting was always something I had to cobble together, and some shoots were very emotionally draining.



Understood.

Gotcha at heat of the moment. Easy to armchair quarterback from afar. I didn't mean to take anything away from, just an observation for possible future consideration.



Feb 27, 2021 at 09:18 PM
nate.2346
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · The Face of Hunger


Love the first image!


Mar 26, 2021 at 10:05 PM







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