Ridout Photography » Blogging From The Edge

Fan Mail Of The Month

Although I disagree with your assessment you are entitled to it and I’m not at all adverse at displaying your misguided opinion here. I obviously touched a raw nerve with this photo. On occasion art can create emotion (anger, sadness, elation, confusion, etc) and cause us to think about things, some of them happy, sad, disquieting, etc.. Although I believe that you are entitled to your opinion I fail to see what a cow being slaughtered and the man in the picture have in common. That comment alone attests to some confused mental state. I hope you find the help that you need.

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Unknown Author - Hey Darcy … a quote from your comments….”But no, you had to go on and assume the man is “homeless” and “underprivileged”. What a preposterous assumption. You are probably, in my opinion, an overly “religious” person that “preaches freedom and peace” yet out the side, of what has got to be a puckered-up face, sneers at free speech and tolerance for others, unless they are of course like you…”

You got on the guy’s case for making assumptions, well you did the exact same thing by assuming that he was some “Overly Religious” person talking out of the side of his mouth. May be you should take a better look at yourself before you make comments.
Just sayin’

Tammy Perdue-Coad - Mark, your passion and eye for art is truly a gift. This particular photo was absolutely breathtaking and captivated many angles. Unfortunately, “Lou” lacks insight and knowledge. My family is a perfect example of your talents, and we look forward to new adventures with you! Keep up the amazing work, you truly are an asset in the field of artisans and photography… Bravo!!!!

Mark Ridout - Wow….I thought my use of the English language sucked….Eileen rock on!

Eileen - kay well i think all you guys are crack heads.
pretty sure this dudes not a bum, and hes not homeless unless homeless people clean there shoes. wear perfectly clean close and have money to buy expensive whine. and also the whine isnt even open. the only thing this guy should get credit for is being a pathetic old man.
so yeah not homeless fer sure. more like a divorced old man.

Jeff - Somewhere deep inside most people, the appreciation of art exists…. the definition of what art is and what it is not is totally subjective….. I am a photographic artist myself and if the piece of “art” that I have created does not evoke any emotion at all weather it be negative or positive, then I have not done my job.

Patti P. - Mark and Chantal, Immediately, after reading and re-reading the comments from the original poster, I feel that this person has a connection with the subject matters of homelessness and/or alcoholism, and their involvement has been obviously difficult due to their response. If one where to observe the photo like the two subjects are in competition with one another, then perhaps one could respond the way the writer has. But this is not about a competition of subjects. Who is not to say, that the couple where there first, and a visitor joined them.

I have had an involvement and done a tremendous amount of work with affordable housing and homelessness issues for MANY years. FRONTLINE !

I am also an artist, in several mediums.

This photo, in my opinion could very well be, an excellent tool, to bring attention to the continued struggles of those less fortunate.

Mark, that photo to me CLEARLY states one of the MANY realities of life, whether we can comfortably deal with such images or not.

Your art, continues to stimulate minds..DON’T STOP!

Patti P.

Vinicius Matos - People should at least show respect….even if they do not like the photograph. Well, those who get mad at you are somehow unconfortable with the situation so they should go and see a psychologist in order to find what`s going on inside. Also they should come to Brazil to see how things are in the 3rd world!

I like the picture! Good shot Mark!

Raychelle - What a great discussion! It’s so interesting to hear people’s thoughts on this image. The image Krystal referred to, with me & Jonathan kissing by the dumpster has received lots of compliments. You sent it to me in black and white. I wonder if the image above had been processed in black and white, if it would have received a different reception.

shain - Ok, so I just found your blog a week or two ago, and when I read this post, it just made me laugh a little.

Honestly that was one of my favorite photos. It showed a true to life scene.

Awsome work though, i will try to comment more often!


D'Arcy McNeil - This post is better than melted cheese! Mark, I also am wondering why the boneheads consider the man to be homeless. These idiots would probably not even sit next to Vangough do to his “appearance”

Mark Ridout - Chris:
Thanks for your input. Actually this IS my own time and I AM getting paid. In regard to your erudite observation of my retort I believe that you are confused. Perhaps what you are sensing is my social constructionist sarcasm. Can you tell me why you refer to the man as homeless? Perhaps you should re examine your own prejudice when it comes to peoples appearances.

chris - I actually agree with the premise that this image lacks taste. On top of that, you made the picture about you, you’re not getting paid to produce social commentary, do that on your own time. I also find your retort to be typical post modern condescension. I find your use of a homeless man as prop tasteless and without merit or class.

Krystal - I personally love the picture and the one you shot at Raychelle’s wedding with the man holding what I thought was a beer, but turns out that in the close up it’s just diet pepsi. I think you should do a dvd slide of all the “Homeless”, “Underprivileged” or better yet “down on their luck”. Interview them, they all have very interesting stories to tell and it’s beautiful art. Anyway, when I look at the picture, I see a man who has a nice button down shirt and it looks like a pair of khakies with a bottle of wine. I don’t think he’s homeless at all, I think he’s having a bad day at work and decided to have happy hour by himself.

Adam - A well done, obviously controversial image. The ones that spark strong opinions and emotions are the most interesting.

The yahoo that sent you that is a Yankee who is a subscriber to Road Runner internet services which is stationed out of Virginia. However I believe they have outlets in different states. It appears that this knucklehead is out of Saratoga Springs, New York area. This is the e-mail address you send complaints to if one of their subscribers are causing trouble: abuse@rr.com

Interesting what can be extracted off of the net with a little digging…. 🙂

Ian Beck - Mark,
Although I am not an artist, I think that any image that can generate a comment like the one from Louis is good for all people. I understand his dislike for the photo, as most people see what they want. The point.. is that art.. is what it is, your view and mine can be different. Both are correct. To insult and chastise someone for a vision, is to see what they truly think of themselves. So in closing… Louis because you see blood and death, does not mean we all see it that way. Try to think without passing judgment first and your life may improve.

Angela DeSalvo - Hey Mark, awesome shot! Underprivileged my ass, that’s a nice big bottle of wine!! As for Louis, well, I think he must be a cow farmer and this was his way of saying he would like his portrait taken beside a slaughtered animal. Why else would he be comparing this man, who you felt was characteristically worthy of being in this artistically composed photograph, to a slaughtered cow? Shame on him. Keep on keepin’ on brother!

Adam Miasik - Hey Mark,

Thanx for finding my Dad. We thought we had lost him in France. He’s been suffering from Mad Cow disease and started wandering the streets. What really upset us was when he asked Louise for some water and was offered a bottle of wine. Well you know he’s been off the bottle for 2 years and thanks to that asshole we are back to square one. Don’t you just LOVE how privilege has it’s contrast. I guess you get that when you live in Herndon Va!

Mark - Hey Darcy Mcneil……how many cups of coffee have you had today?

darcy mcneil - It befuddles me every time anybody with a small mind and narrow perceptions bulldozes their misguided “values” on others. Let me start with this…something is Art because the Artist says it is Art. You, being the idiot that obviously has the “right” view of things should have stopped at merely disagreeing with the piece in question. But no, you had to go on and assume the man is “homeless” and “underprivileged”. What a preposterous assumption. You are probably, in my opinion, an overly “religious” person that “preaches freedom and peace” yet out the side, of what has got to be a puckered-up face, sneers at free speech and tolerance for others, unless they are of course like you.
It is high time that the “silent majority” stand-up to intellectual bigots such as this. I would die for your right to say anything…I expect the same in return. Now, Mr. intellectual pigmy, go back to your sanitized life of denial.

Roel Dixon-Mahatoo - Hi Mark,

I am sorry that you have to put up with nonsense like this. Art, in its purist form, does evoke emotion and all people are entitled to their opinion(s) of it. What I find offensive about comments like this is not WHAT is said, but HOW it is said.

To the Original Poster… do you really need to call people “assholes”? Calling people names does nothing for your credibility.

Roel Dixon-Mahatoo
Stratford, Ontario

Tom Ashley - Mark, although I like the image I’m confused with the contrast between the white wine and the red blood. A bottle of Cabernet would have been a better choice. Other than that a great shot. Thanks!

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