Friday, July 2, 2010

Excellent photographs of Tent City residents on display online

Sacramento Tent City, California
Photo taken by Peter Duke
At a website called Photography Served there are some terrific photographs of people identified as residents of Sacramento’s Tent City [circa January to August, 2009].

The photographs appear to have been taken by Peter Duke who had a grant from or is otherwise associated with the I Am Waters Foundation.

The pictures appear in a set of 17. The first seven are from Tent City. The last ten are from “Lower Ninth Ward - New Orleans” and “Houston.” I recognize several of the Tent City faces.

At the I am Waters Foundation website is the story on "Sacramento Tent City - 2009" where Peter Duke tells the tale of meeting the homeless and photographing many of them. More photographs are seen at this site, as is a video of Matthew Doss singing a bit of "A Change is Gonna Come," acapella.

I mightily like how the photographs were taken, using a technique that Andrew Zuckerman uses in his stationary and video photography: focusing on the subject; presenting it vividly, not starkly; in a positive way; and against a white backdrop.

Those photographed “look good” in the Duke spread as opposed to how Tent City people appeared in an SN&R spread last year where many of the people appear stark, somewhat mimicking how Dorthea Lange photographed people in the Depression Era to garner sympathy.

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