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While on a photo assignment in San Francisco. I was waiting outside a building and happened to have my Mamiya 7 camera on my shoulder. A woman underneath a blanket crawled by right in front of me and was eating off the ground and licking the ground repeatedly. I watched as a woman gave her 2 dollars and told her to go get some food and the homeless woman blankly stared, crouched back down and dropped the money and continued to eat off of the sidewalk. I don't usually photograph homeless people or people in poverty without their knowledge, but in this case, the event was so powerful to me it was beyond words and I felt I had to make the photograph. I noticed the light creating triangles from reflections and the sunlight on the right lower corner and I put the camera up and made one exposure on Tmax 400 film. I framed her right in the center and waited for her hand to reach out and pick something off the sidewalk.
This image is directly related to the way the event made me feel at the time of exposure, therefore, it's less about the actual image and more about the experience leading up to me taking the image.
Also by matt theilen
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