Sunday, September 20, 2009

Curiousity, The Mentally ill, and the Underbelly of society.

First I want to thank every one who has followed and commented on this blog. It really means a lot to me and it helps me know more about what people may find interesting or lacking. I so much appreciate all your critique. I hope my photos let you think, and maybe stir up some emotion.


I've been wanting to explore this for a while. On my other blog, you may have seen a few of these pictures before but in a different light. I'm often faced with deciding whether to portray something as funny or poignant. Here I get the ability to show you what the real meanings behind some of these pictures can be.

From when I was an early teenager, I always was curious about hitch hikers, prostitutes, seedy motels, schizophrenic's, etc...

I've never been so curious as to want to BE one of these people or even associate with any of them, it just draws a curiousity, and to be honest, sometimes frightens me. I've learned now that many of these motels are often refuges for criminals, junkies, and the mentally ill. Here are some pictures I've taken of people that are mentally ill, or in some cases just plain SCARY.


I will slowly ramp up the creepiness as you work your way through the following pictures. I hope you enjoy what I've done with these images, I've tediously added various amounts of grain, vignetting, monochrome, and contrast or lack of.

Let's start off with something safe...



I still have a hard time figuring out if this photo is actually poignant or not. I took it in an area where I know there are a lot of homes that house druggies and mentally ill. I'm pretty sure these people are not all with it, and the look of the guy staring at me gives me a safe, but strange feeling.


Generally where you find motels like this, you are more likely to find some much less desirable people.




This shot of a run down motel makes me sad. You may have to click on it to view it full size, but you'll notice little kids stuff that i've left in color, as well as the bed. Subjecting children to a life of growing up in these places makes me very angry, but even more saddened.



Something is wrong with a person to do this. If you can't click on the picture and view it larger, there is a cardboard sign on the truck scribbled "BEAGLE PUPS FOR SALE." I saw this guy in the parking lot of a wal-mart and had to take the picture. Notice the disgusting look he has on his face, and the open caged door to what seems to be where the Beagle puppies are kept, cleverly disguised as a tool box. This made me revoltingly sick to see, and I called the police right away.



This man above constantly was spinning around in circles, amazingly not seeming to get dizzy. In any good sized city, I think it's common to see mentally ill people walking around aimlessly. As a serious matter, this isn't really funny although you will often see me poking fun on my other blog. I can pass it off as humor but in reality, there are some unstable people always lurking around.


I like this picture. Not because I like junkie hookers, but I just liked this shot the best out of maybe ten I took. I like how the car is speeding by, paying no attention to this stumbling veteran prostitute working her way down the street. There are a lot of more things going on in this image, but ill let you form your own opinions as usual.

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Now here are some more frightening images. Only two of them, but definitely the most frightening people I've captured. I got nothing but bad feelings when I photographed these two people/things. Two people I don't really ever care to be near again.











21 comments:

Hannah Miet September 20, 2009 at 10:09 PM  

I love this first one.

Safe and strange is a perfect description. If you could narrate the dialogue taking place inside these people's minds, it would be equally safe and strange. And if you knew what specific kind of assisted living/ nuthouse they were perched in front of, the information would not be any more or less safe and strange than your well captured photo.

The second photo is the setting of this horror movie porn I'm writing. Blending the genres. Perfect location.

The woman in the last photo will haunt my nightmares. Thanks, Mr. C.

Mr. Condescending September 20, 2009 at 10:19 PM  

Thanks Hannah, that safe and strange feeling is what I seem to be so lured in by. I always try to relay some kind of mixed emotion, mainly because that's the impression I get, which you said so much better :)

horror movie porn? I wanna be in it! lol too bad I am the worst at porn, I don't even own one!

hey that picture has haunted me for a few months, like to the point when I'm in the area I found her, I look over my shoulder to make sure she is nowhere around.

Mr. Condescending September 20, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

by the way Hannah, I don't know if you know his name (I forgot), but there was a really famous photographer who always chopped the top of the hair or head off when he composed his shots. Your picture has it, which I think is awesome.

Tennyson ee Hemingway September 20, 2009 at 10:24 PM  

I don't know, I think the last person looks more sad than scary. Still, I'm not sure I'd like to be locked in a room with her.

Lisa September 21, 2009 at 3:47 AM  

Is the person in the last photo a woman? To me it looks like a man...who knows.

The first one doesn't bother me at all-- the 4 men look pretty harmless and quite content.

A lot of the others are really eerie and disturbing though. You are brave for standing there and snapping away with your camera!

Motels scare me.

That man selling the poor puppies angers me SO MUCH.

BTW, I was going to do a post on my blog this week about photography because I am hoping to buy my first "real/professional" one soon...any recs?

Siren September 21, 2009 at 4:51 AM  

It is amazing how a moment in time can capture so much emotion. What kind of camera do you use. I just find all this fasinating since i am in my very first photography class, this weekend i took pictures without my camera being on autopilot, i had to program the ISO and Center Focus. Anyway I will have to book mark this when i have time to look at the rest of your posts. I hope after this class i can capture some great moments like these. Thanks so much for sharing. This is awesome

Natalie September 21, 2009 at 6:01 AM  

The guy with the puppies in the truck does make me angry. I probably would've gone over acting interested in the puppies then promptly kicked him in the nuts.

The old guys in the first one probably have lived at that house their entire lives before it became crack-whore infested.

I always enjoy your editing skills.

Mega8815 September 21, 2009 at 6:42 AM  

Disturbing. Especially the last one. Deep.

Mr. Condescending September 21, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

@Tennyson: I love how pictures can always be interpreted differently.

@Lisa: 100pct positive its a woman, I have a few shots of her, and that one was full body but I cropped to the head.

Thanks for feeling the eeriness :P

How exciting to be getting a good camera! I'm a nikon fan myself, but you should probably be choosing between nikon or canon. The camera you get doesn't matter so much as the lens. As you get more and more familiar with how manually use it, you should work on getting the best lenses for your needs.

Ill be more than happy to help with anything by the way.

@Siren: that's awesome you taking photography classes! Even more awesome is getting your camera out of auto :)
I use a nikon D40 and a nikon D3. I always try to shoot ISO 200 but sometimes I have to go to higher, as you are probably learning. ISO sensitivity is one of those things that does matter as far as the camera itself. A more expensive camera can shoot incredibly high ISO with almost nonexistant grain.

I'd like to see some of the shots you've taken and as your work progresses if possible.

@Natalie: thanks, I always like hearing that you like them :) the puppy loser angers me still, ill put him on the losers as art series too.

@Mega: thanks, I wish you'd post some!

erin September 21, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

My dad is the local pharmacist in our town, which is heading straight into a pit of sickos, homeless, druggies and gangsters preying on all of the above. It's so weird to see the little cliches popping up on the streets I used to wander without a care as a teen.
I watched a drug deal take place two blocks down from my grandmother's house yesterday...we nearly hit a drugged crack whore two blocks later.
Jeremiah doesn't even like me to be downtown or in the area by myself.
I feel a bleakness spreading around here...it's eery and uncomfortable.

J.J. in L.A. September 21, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

My mom has always said, "Don't feel sorry for yourself because there's always going to be someone out there who's worse off than you."

Thank you for reminding me. ; )

J.J. in L.A. September 21, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

Btw, that beagle pup situation was disgusting (not the pic) and I'm glad you called the cops. Do you know if they showed up?

Denise Taylor September 22, 2009 at 5:14 PM  

I hate stupid people. You just gave me another reason to hate Walmart. I hope the cops took the dogs away from this asshole.

just me September 23, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

Those are fucking awesome.

The last one, however, is sure to give me crazy ass nightmares.

Surge September 23, 2009 at 3:19 PM  

Odd.. I stay away from them as often as possible, scare the crap out of me. As interested as I may be your photos are the closest that I get, capturing photo's, by the way.

Jaime September 25, 2009 at 8:25 PM  

that last photo may just give me nightmares tonight.

Soda and Candy September 26, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

It's so interesting to see this other side of you Mr C, it is coming out more & more and I like it; the "losers as art" thing makes me a little bit sad because those people have feelings too* and it's nice to know that you do think about the emotional aspect of it as well.

I really liked the motel sign and the abandoned kids stuff outside the motel, lost kids things always make me so sad, like if I see a tiny little dirty sock on the sidewalk...


*although the ones with grown-ass kids in strollers deserve to be ridiculed for that!

Mr. Condescending September 26, 2009 at 6:02 PM  

@erin: aw isn't that so upsetting? Same stuff here, it's definitely changed, and not in the good way at all.

@JJ: no problem JJ, that was an excellent quote mama said! Don't know for sure that they showed up, but i'm pretty sure when you call they do, it just isn't a guarantee right away! Depends how many donuts they had earlier.

@Denise: I'm with ya dear!

@Just me: thanks, I really appreciate the love, you have no idea. And your welcome for the nightmares :P

@Surge: I take the risk so that you can enjoy :)

@Jaime: you want me to tuck you in? lol.

@S&C: Thanks S&C, it's nice to have a venue where I can show what really is more like my actual self :) The losers as art isn't really made to make fun of people, although it easily comes off that way. If I just wanted to take pictures of scumbags that would be a lot easier. I pass up a ton of pictures every time I go out looking, and generally only post the ones that actually show depressed, lost look people. People that seem to have lost their way in life somewhere, or never really had a chance. I'd like to think most of them would make people think and not just pass them off as laughing objects.

I admit, I do feel a little emotional with the little socks you mentioned lol.

And yes, the stroller stuff is just plain disgust. Thanks again S&C.

Soda and Candy September 27, 2009 at 7:12 AM  

Awww. I like you, Mr C. I'm really glad you understood what I was trying to say. I like that you take photos with an emotional viewpoint. That's real art.

LegalMist October 2, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

The last photo practically screams "methamphetamines have ruined another life." The vacant stare, hollowed face, disheveled appearance... I could be wrong, but meth will mess up a person quickly and badly, and this one looks like the beginnings of it...

so sad.

blunt delivery October 2, 2009 at 8:48 PM  

i'm with you! i love the candid, grungy portrait shots. the last one is my favorite! but they are all good.

p.s. i wish we lived closer too! boo hoo. i have a feeling we would be hanging ten quite alot.

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