Patience, Columbus Circle, New York City, New York, 2013
This food vendor, clad in a striking yellow rain jacket, has just stepped away from his curbside cart. His thoughts seem far away as he awaits his next customer. His stance and expression are relaxed. Hands tucked into his trouser pockets, he expresses the human value of patience. A woman, also wearing yellow, moves swiftly past him on one side, while a semi-circular line of aluminum parking barriers draw the eye to the context provided by the shops and commuters in the distant background.
Off duty, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia, 2013
On my way out of this historic Atlanta church, where civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. once served as co-pastor with his father, I found this Labrador Retriever guide dog curled up on the bright red carpet below a pew in the back of the hall. On the seat above it rests a National Park Service Ranger’s hat, wrapped within a ranger’s jacket. Its master, the National Park Service ranger who manned the desk at the church entrance, is handicapped. The dog seems totally at home here – yet it also seems to take responsibility for watching after its absent master’s property, even though it is off duty at the moment. The human values expressed by this image are abundant: relaxation, loyalty, responsibility, protection, and cooperation are all implied here in an extremely humane manner. The religious context amplifies the values and adds meaning.
At thought, Little Five Points, Atlanta, Georgia, 2013
Caught between a pickup truck and a barbeque shop, this man appears to be lost in his own thoughts. While he rests his arm on the truck, he does not seem to be aware of it. He ignores the presence of the shop as well. His mind is elsewhere. We feel his boredom, and perhaps a touch of weariness as well. We may be reduced to observers, yet we can relate to such human values as these. The photograph asks us to imagine what he might be thinking about, and gives us a chance to find our own answers.
Discovery, Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta, Georgia, 2013
This young student has momentarily detached himself from his schoolmates as they toured the historical exhibits in Georgia’s State Capitol building. He lowers himself to the floor to get a closer view of the contents of a showcase. My camera found him as he became totally absorbed in what he was seeing. He never even looked up. He was studying objects that represented part of his state’s long and troubled history, and was reading the captions about them with awe etched upon his face. Human values such as knowledge and discovery underscore this image, while the warm, reflected light from the showcase implies further values such as innocence and wonder.
Out of luck, Little Havana, Miami, Florida, 2013
As the late afternoon light grazed his weary body, this man was scratching the surface of lottery card after lottery card. The ground is littered with losing numbers. He looks as if the card in his hand has proved to be just as worthless. The image expresses such human values as resignation, frustration, dejection, and exhaustion. The warmth of the colors and the light stand in stark contrast to the lost hopes scattered upon the ground around him.
Bus stop, Kusadasi, Turkey, 2011
I made this shot from a moving bus. The early morning light illuminates the edges of the bus shelter to create a glowing frame around the lone woman who waits patiently within. The light also catches the tops of her shoes and one knee – she seems suspended in in time and space. She ignores the large advertisement that stares at us from within the shelter. The light draws the eye beyond the shelter as well – leading to another large advertisement, well outside the shelter. While indistinct, it still echoes the shape of the poster within the shelter. Patience is a human value, and it is well defined by this image.
Conflicting emotions, Barcelona, Spain, 2011
This woman was sitting along the edge of a Sunday market. She exhibited a range of emotional responses as I photographed her from a distance. The frown on her face seems to express displeasure, yet her interlocked fingers, casually crossed legs, and warm, fuzzy winter clothing seem to contradict the frown by expressing and attitude of casual comfort and relaxation. The conflicting emotions and the visual insights into her personality expressed in this picture underscore the complex role of human values in expressive photography. Humans are complicated individuals, capable of expressing multiple human values – even conflicting ones -- in any given instant.
Bus stop, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011
Three women wait for a bus in a steady drizzle. Two of them hold young children, one wrapped in a blanket, the other in a garbage bag. The human values expressed in this image are perseverance, patience, and protection. The intent expressions of the women, along with the pair of bundles held closely to their bodies, convey these values to the viewer.
Waiting, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011
This woman is also waiting for a bus on rainy day. She holds a small package in her arms, and rests an arm on a large walking stick. The detail that best projects a human value in this image is the traditional Panama hat, wrapped carefully in a plastic bag to keep it dry in the rain. She maintains a cultural tradition, yet fastidiously protects her carefully woven straw hat from the rain. Her expression also conveys a human value – she seems to be somewhat anxious for the bus to come.
Boredom, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011
I found these teenagers waiting for customers in a stall at Cuenca’s huge Fiera Libra Market. They seem to echo each other’s hand gestures, each of them supporting their heads in a gesture of complete rest. Relaxation, boredom, and patience, are all human values that can be expressed by this image.
Family outing, Biblian, Ecuador, 2011
Four members of this family wear white rounded hats while watching an icon of the Virgin of Rocio being paraded through the streets of this village located about an hour outside of Cuenca. The human value present in this image is tradition – the headgear, the costumes, and the religious procession are all expressive of the Andean Highland culture itself.
San Francisco Market, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011
This woman is waiting for customers to stop at her clothing stall, one of many that line the huge market in the center of Cuenca’s old city. She wraps herself in jewelry and a shawl, staring impassively at the potential customers who flow past her stall. I see the human values being expressed here as patience, wisdom, experience, and resignation – she has obviously been doing what she does for a long time, and seems to accept the nature of her business. A figure of a man, perhaps a customer who has chosen to rest here for a moment, stands back to back with her, offers a striking background contrast to the white shawl.