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I NEED HOPE
  I NEED HOPE
I NEED HOPE

A Homeless Man Blends In With The
Crowd In A Mall Across My City.
He Buys A Cup Of Coffee
And Sleeps Over A Newspaper That
Is Open But Not Being Read.

Homelessness Has Grown By 50%
In This Past Year In Calgary, Alberta.
We Are The Most Prosperous City
In Canada Per Capita.

IS THERE HOPE FOR THEM?

~ ~ ~

The Leading Causes Of Homelessness Are:

Alcohol Abuse
Drug Abuse
Tragedy and Mental Illness.

This one hits home for me as I have a family member on that list.

(Thanks to google today I read an eye full on this issue for Calgary.)

Look Up: " Homeless Stats (your city) " to learn more.

* * *

TV 1/8 AV 5.6, Unsharpened and Frac Filter Applied

(Re-enter People) June 2010
© Laura E. Swan
Canon PowerShot SD...

 
 
 
Nancyj Hovey
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    OH MY GOSH, Laura, what a fantastic image, poem and presentation... when I first glanced, I said, oh, she has posted a photo of Jesus! Holy Smolley! I really like the treatments, and the emotions from this image...
and I too have had one on the list of homeless - for five years...until the light appeared in his heart...then his life changed! thank you for sharing this one, my dear! awesome! 8o)

11/10/2009 10:12:51 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Gosh, Mumj. I sit in silence. Honored.

Thank you so very much.

11/10/2009 10:21:33 AM

 
Kirsten (Kiki) Kjaer
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OMG! What a heartbreaking image!
It is a very emotional provoketing (I hope these are the right words) image in many ways, SSSL.
A Native American Medicine Man once said to me: Be kind to everyone you meet. It could be the creator in disguise.
And look what Nancy just wrote!
It is so awful to think of the lack of heart there is in many societies, especially the rich.
You've created such a powerful image and statement (again!) here, Sis.
Fantastic job!!!!!!!! I also love the treatment! This ought to be heavily rewarded.

11/10/2009 10:24:28 AM

 
Tess L. Yee
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Wonderful image with an excellent message, Laura.

The park where my 'kids' live (the squirrels) is very near a homeless shelter. Because I get to the park in the early morning hours, I often see the prior night's guests on their way to wherever they're going.

Later in the day, I might hear a parent 'explain' the behavior of some of the park's 'day guests.' More often than not, the parents paint an image of the homeless as monsters...not strangers around whom children should be observant and cautious, but creatures that are somehow less than human.

I'm not certain what saddens me more. The state of homelessness, or the state of fear that perpetuates this fragmentation of humanity.

11/10/2009 10:25:35 AM

 
Kirsten (Kiki) Kjaer
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Sorry: The Creator!

11/10/2009 10:26:53 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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I'm really enjoying your responses here you guys. Thank you so much.

I have been involved with the "TOUGH LOVE" program in the past and we learned that in order to BOUNCE BACK a person needs to hit rock bottom...and we ALSO (sadly) learned how easy it is to stay NEAR the bottom (like most homeless) but not reach the revelation stage that they need to make a comeback.

It's so complicated.

But we do know that as humans, we are all connected.

My Mothers Favorite Saying that she ABSOLUTELY LIVED BY was:

"KINDNESS IS ALWAYS APPROPRIATE".

She passed away nearly 25 years ago and he words still ring in my heart every day of my life.

Thanks again all. I have a poem to share with you. Hang on! I'll get it!

11/10/2009 11:09:01 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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I wrote this some time ago and many of you have seen it already. Here it is again...in light of what Mumj and SSSKiki have said about other possibilities!


* * ANGEL IN DISGUISE * *

Have I Ever Passed An Angel On The Street?
Was He Hidden From My View, Or Did We Meet?
If We Spoke Was I Gracious? Was I Kind?
Or Did I Pass In Haste, Just Leaving Him Behind?
Oh Lord, Did I Miss A Blessing In My Day?
Did I Turn Away An Angel That You Sent My Way?
Help Me Lord To Open My Heart And My Eyes,
The Next Stranger I Meet Might Be An Angel In Disguise!!!

by: Laura E. Swan Jan 16, 1999

Hebrews 13:2 - Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

11/10/2009 11:11:55 AM

 
Doug Pignet
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It's a sad thing...Great capture of this person who is down & out...Well done.

11/10/2009 11:21:50 AM

 
Kirsten (Kiki) Kjaer
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What a beautiful poem, SSSL. My throat is all lumpy...

11/10/2009 11:28:22 AM

 
Monnie Ryan
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Wonderful, if sad, capture, Laura! Perfect for the theme!

11/10/2009 11:38:43 AM

 
Ann Coates
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Wow! What a great capture of true life and sadly it is the same no matter what country we live in. We all have our homeless and this image will touch many and hopefully make them think about the plight of others less fortunate. Well done Laura. Your effects are awesome.

11/10/2009 1:03:41 PM

 
Christine R. Lobsinger
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Oh My God Laura.

I am speechless.

A lump in my throat that wants to make way for comments on all the things written here by you and our friends...

THIS image you made and the treatment you added is perfect for the Monthly Theme.. it is a Favorite for me!

THank You Dear Laura!

CHRISTINE
SWM

11/10/2009 1:27:33 PM

 
ROLAN NARMAN
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A fantastic storytelling image for the MT sister Lulu! Excellent capture, treatment and presentation! Unfortunately we have a lot of then in Manhattan too! Breaks my heart! Hope all is well with you!

11/10/2009 1:40:54 PM

 
Gord MacEachern
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Well you have left me speechless Laura!
First, fantastic image and story and secondly your poem is just so awesome, it should be published somewhere. Perfect for the M/T!!!!!!

11/10/2009 1:54:07 PM

 
Max Aureli
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Holy Cows!!!

11/10/2009 2:12:41 PM

 
Ron McEwan
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Terrific image, speaks volumes Laura.

That lady is Shirley; she is kind of short to start with, which really helps with the perspective too.

11/10/2009 2:14:03 PM

 
Kitty R. Rodehorst-Hanna
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Awesome journalistic portrait, Laura!!! Super effects!!!

The buzzards are there...little specks around the hotel on the hill!!! :-) k

11/10/2009 2:23:26 PM

 
Ann Coates
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Just love Max's comment.

11/10/2009 2:25:52 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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I am here with you guys. I'm just listening to all of you.

Thanks to each one.

Yes Max. HOLY COWS. HA! You're so funny!

-Laura

11/10/2009 2:31:30 PM

 
Max Aureli
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.... Ann I am already depress what else I can say??? ...

11/10/2009 2:31:59 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Max...you need a cookie. Here. :)

Photobucket


Myspace Glitter Maker

11/10/2009 3:30:54 PM

 
Max Aureli
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I think you shot him outside the Wallstreet market, Laura!!! He looks he had lost all the stocks!!! :-))

11/10/2009 3:35:15 PM

 
Nancy J. Locke
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FANTABULOUS capture, Laura, and so heartbreaking. I also saw the Jesus metaphor.

You take my breath away!!!

Hugs, Nancy J Locke

11/10/2009 3:38:45 PM

 
Nancy J. Locke
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And how beautifully you write!!!

Hugs, Nancy J L

11/10/2009 3:40:05 PM

 
Val Feldman
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A long time ago, Ms. Laura, you wrote me an email and mentioned that you had a poem that you hoped you could one day use on an appropriate occasion. That poem was "Angel In Disguise". What better poem, with such poignant, touching words, could be more applicable to your visually moving and thought-provoking submit of today? Can't think of nary a one...Excellent image, excellent work, excellent social commentary that got us all thinking about that next possible Angel In Disguise we pass on the street. Well done!

11/10/2009 3:54:05 PM

 
Ann Coates
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Oh Max, Laura, he needs something stronger than a cookie!

11/10/2009 3:57:01 PM

 
Liz Bullock
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Quite beautifully presentd!

11/10/2009 4:39:51 PM

 
Joseph N. DiGilio
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I always find images such as this sobering. I often whisper a silent prayer and remind myself that, "There but for the grace of God go I". Very nice work Laura.

11/10/2009 4:52:38 PM

 
Stephen Zacker
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A very poignant image

11/10/2009 5:13:14 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Last to first:

Thank you Steve- Those are the best kind, no?

11/10/2009 5:18:55 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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I agree Joseph.

*

Thank you Liz! :)

*

Any suggestions Ann? OH I KNOW! He likes Irish Guinnes!

Photobucket

Here, Max. Feel any better?

*

Valarie, you have such a wonderful memory! You are right! I remember our conversation, too. At the time I thought a really old wrinkled up quiet person was what I was looking for...but alas...how would we EVER know who it might be. Maybe this time it was him?

*

Hi Nancy. Your comments are very kind. Thank you! :) VERY MUCH!

*

Thank you to each person here. I totally value each word.

11/10/2009 5:32:16 PM

 
Tammy M. Anderson
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Very moving and wonderful image, Laura. Excellent work.

11/10/2009 5:46:51 PM

 
Annette Carr
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Laura, you captured the essence of a moment in this man's life. I know about mental illness and homelessness, it has touched my family. In fact if you are mentally ill it is a fear that you will be homeless.
Your poem is poignant. All too often people pass by in judgment. Tough love is true, judgmental attitude is another. Such a touchy subject. Such a emotional and timely capture. I like the artistic effects.

11/10/2009 10:35:49 PM

 
Barbara Waldoch
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Terrific image, Laura!

11/10/2009 11:26:22 PM

 
maria I. Warren
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omg sis.woooow I just seen this photo and wanted to tell you this is so amazing woooow I love everything on this photo. I cant stop looking at it

11/11/2009 12:14:55 AM

 
Tiia Vissak
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a great MT image!

11/11/2009 12:21:19 AM

 
Renata Gusciora
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Fantastic portrait and presentation,Laura!Great MT entry!

11/11/2009 1:05:25 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thank you Tammy, Annette, Barbara, Maria (((HUGS!))), Tiia and Renata!

I really appreciate what you guys are saying about this one.

I've been wondering all day where this fellow might be right now.

-Laura

11/11/2009 1:09:36 AM

 
Pat and Graham Robards
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Sad shot but a fitting one for the theme little sister.

It is so sad when there is no hope! I love what the Frac filter did, a good capture but sad.

When I was in Calgary walking towards the Chemist I screamed as a body moved underneath a blanket. Had a heart attack I did! There were half a dozen people just sleeping on the sidewalk! ~Pat

11/11/2009 3:48:19 AM

 
John Connolly
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A sad, but superb theme entry Laura! The low key lighting and effects really fit this ourstanding capture!

11/11/2009 12:37:04 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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WOW! Sis, that's quite a story! I bet you were down somewhere close to "The Mustard Seed or The Back Door". Lots of homeless there as it's close to the meal and sleeping centers.

* * *

John, Thank you! I worked on this image for quite a while trying to get it just right with the cropping and PS/Treatments. Thanks for noticing! :)

11/11/2009 2:11:50 PM

 
Jack R. Perry
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Amazing shot Laura, I wish I know how to help those folks, it is beyond sad the life paths they chose that brought them to this point. It is the internal hope they must assert for themselves that will finally bring them to a different place. Many give freely of time and money; and our governments do as they can but that will only provide another day not the long term solution.

11/11/2009 5:06:42 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thanks for sharing your feelings here Jack. You have made very good points.

-M.L.

11/11/2009 5:20:32 PM

 
Patrick Rouzes
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A very, very powerful portrait of hope, Swanee! I see this everyday in my line of work & it is reminders like this that we all need to do something about this concern! Extremely well done & coming form you, I know it is from the heart!

11/11/2009 8:25:19 PM

 
Tommy E. Burgess
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Wow Laura, what impact this capture has!!

11/11/2009 11:47:02 PM

 
Ellen Hodges
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This outstanding image is a wake up call for all of us, Laura!

11/12/2009 11:02:28 AM

 
Tammy Espino
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My man is an alcoholic, my nephew goes to AA and my brother and wife abuse prescription drugs!! I am the sane one belive it or not! This is an awesome image!!

11/12/2009 4:17:17 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Last to first:

Tammy...that's such a bummer. But the HOPE of it all is that AA is helping your nephew and that YOU are a pillar in the eyes of those around you no doubt. Even if they don't show it right now!!! Keep being a shining star and you never know who might turn to you later for praise and recovery support! :)

*

Yes, Ellen...It sure was for me when I took this image (and others) of him.

*

Thanks Tommy. That means a lot to hear.

*

Hi Paddy! I know you have a huge heart too...something breaks inside when we see folks suffering like this. I wish no one ever had to die and I wish no one ever had to suffer.

Thanks all.

-Laura (Swanee)

11/12/2009 4:47:55 PM

 
ronda chatelle
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Magnificent expression and description Laura! A quick favorite for me! Amazing exposure and reflection of real life! A winner in my book! Wonderful work!!!

11/13/2009 11:08:21 PM

 
Z. Banu
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Wow Laura I'm speechles!outstanding image very well done..

11/15/2009 12:39:48 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thank you so very much Ronda and Zaanat!

Your words are very meaningful to me! I very much appreciate your visit!

-Laura

11/15/2009 1:10:32 AM

 
PATRICIA A. CASEY
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Hi Laura, just started to look at your gallery and this shot caught my eye...beautiful execution of a heartbreaking topic....well done!

11/16/2009 3:25:40 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thank you very much, Patricia, and thank you again for the wonderful adventure yesterday down to Phantom Ranch! :)

-Laura

11/16/2009 9:09:23 AM

 
Elizabeth A. Marker
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Wow! You are such an awesome poet as well as photographer! Wonderful image and great choice of effects!!

11/16/2009 3:07:39 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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You've added smiles to my world tonight, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for all you said here. I'm glad you found your way to my gallery and life today.

-Laura

11/16/2009 4:20:08 PM

 
Mitch Spence
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Beautiful work on this dramatic portrait, Laura.

11/21/2009 10:45:14 AM

 
Marisol Pastor
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Fantastic capture of this unfortunate man Laura. Great treatment, great message, great MT entry. The number of homeless has gone up in Spain also as a reselt of the crisis.

11/22/2009 10:57:41 AM

 
Susan J. Allen
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Great work here! Loving my browse through your gallery! Admire your creative use of various filters and you've pretty much sold me on the Fractalius Filter! Was searching online for any free versions, but sadly no... I'm considering spending money!

12/15/2009 3:40:48 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Hi Mitch, Marisol and Susan. This is truly such a sad and true depiction of so many lives. Thank you for your kind and sensitive remarks and response to this one.

Yes, I know Susan. I feel the same way about the frac filter. It's terrific and takes time to master but is worth it. Each image is different so it wont look good one some things, unless you really try all different levels and styles. Even still it may not...So it's a lit of work with some images. The makers know they have a good product so people pay!!!

I hope you will get one. You won't regret it.

Thank you guys again!

-Laura

12/15/2009 9:45:05 AM

 
Janice Mezzacappa
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Laura you captured the true feelings of such a sad subject in society...we are all effected by this as you can see here in all the comments...but at the same time some completely turn their life around and what an inspiring moment in life to witness...thanks for sharing your outstanding work!!

1/25/2010 7:01:18 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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I'm so glad you found this one, Janice. It means quite a bit to me.

Thanks for everything you said. You are so right.

-Laura :)

1/25/2010 11:18:34 AM

 
Nancy L. Green
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I always wonder the story behind when I see images like this, VERY thoughtful image my friend!! <><

4/4/2010 7:31:11 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Hi Nancy!!! So glad this one caught your eye. We were all in a food court together in a mall. He was oblivious to the world...I almost didn't dare take his picture but I had to. I could feel his despair so strongly. I had to capture him.

I appreciate the visit so much. :)

-Laura

4/4/2010 11:16:44 AM

 
John Connolly
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This image has not lost any of it's impact since you posted it last October, Laura. A heart wrenching image of utter despair!!

4/4/2010 2:56:53 PM

 
Randy D. Dinkins
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Great post, poem and thread. Thanks for the reminder. Very apropos this weekend. In addition to those we see in the streets, there are so many that may not be there at this moment, but hanging on by a thread in this economic time.

4/4/2010 3:26:31 PM

 
Patrick Rouzes
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An emotion-filled image & still a WINNER in my books, Laura! Would make a remarkable poster addressing social issues in our society!

4/4/2010 7:09:59 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thanks you three. I will enter this one again tonight. I feel it's worthy, too. Thanks so much John, Randy and Paddy for expressing the impact you felt too.

Paddy...that is a great idea. Wonder who I could pass it on to that could use it to make a difference. Maybe I could send this thread to them so they can read your words and see it DOES have impact.

For the first time ever I will add more shots of him here. Brace yourselves. There are needle marks all over his hands. :( I'll see if I can find the other images.

Will post them if I am able.

-Laura (Swanee)

4/4/2010 9:23:40 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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  Down & Out
Down & Out
© Laura E. Swan
Canon PowerShot SD...
 
  Beaten Down
Beaten Down

Too Blurry & A Grainy Quality to this one but you'll get the idea.

I thought this image had such irony in it when I noticed the happy people in the BG. They all had jobs behind the food counter.

Wish this one had turned out better technically.


© Laura E. Swan
Canon PowerShot SD...

 
* * *

4/4/2010 9:52:56 PM

 
Brett Dolsen
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A very moving image and great treatment Laura!

4/5/2010 1:48:27 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thank you Brett! :)

-Laura

4/5/2010 2:36:16 AM

 
Carol L. Fowler
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Terrific image- the dark somber tones match the mood perfectly.

4/5/2010 4:33:49 PM

 
Ruth E. Foster-Lindsay
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Outstanding Laura! Fantastic work! All I can say is Wow!

4/5/2010 5:44:57 PM

 
Annette Carr
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Looking purely at the art, I think your crop was perfection.
Entertaining angels, what an incredible poem. I was just explaining that section to my partner. You have a gift for the spoken art as well as the visual.
I am moved by his pain, which you captured perfectly. A perfect picture places you in the scene, and I am right there, feeling his utter hopelessness. May he find his way back.

4/5/2010 10:56:21 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Carol, thank you so very much. :) Technicals meant a lot to me with this one.

*

Ruth, WOW back! Thank you!!! I'm very honored.

*

Annette, (Smiling here.) Thank you so much for noticing the crop. Someone on BP taught me the importance of a tight crop for more effectiveness with many images. I love passing on that tip. It's helps me so many times. The tip was true for this one and you picked up on that!

My Angel poem was written after I had learned that verse in Bible study 11 years ago. It just flowed right out of me...I felt bad and wondered if it was true...Had I ever met an Angel and left him behind? It was a haunting little poem for me and it, too, was homeless in my life. I searched and searched for the perfect image to attach my poem to...to make it complete for me.

When I stopped looking, Mumj and Kiki wrote what they did on this thread and I knew this is where the poem belonged. It just fell into place! Ever read "Embraced By The Light"...? Amazing little book about a lady who actually died for a while and came back several minutes later to tell an incredible story. Part of it was that she learned that God sends Angels (In the place of, say, a homeless person) as a test to us. To see what we will do. If our hearts extend to them or not...

So far it seems that all of us here have been touched by this image. Our hearts have hurt for him. It's the right place to start. I have regrets that I didn't approach him and ask if he needed help but I trust that posting this here was my mission. For awareness. Where it takes me, or any of us, from here, I will trust, too.

Yes. May he find his way back. This was taken a while ago so maybe he already has? :) I hope so.

Thank you so much, all of you, for your comments and care.

-Laura

4/5/2010 11:39:51 PM

 
Ellen Hodges
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Wonderful capture and poem, Laura! Both really bring a response from the heart!! (sign of true art)

4/6/2010 6:03:08 AM

 
JO ANN CLEVELAND
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Very touching image Laura, truly an image that tell a story ....

jo ann c.

4/6/2010 7:13:06 AM

 
Annette Carr
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Laura, as for your regrets, I have something to share. Here in Phoenix there are always people, on many corners, asking for help. And somehow I just know when to help. And truly it is not very often, but I feel certain that it is right or not right. Your poem, your photograph, touched many people, I agree that was your mission here.

4/6/2010 1:35:42 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Hi Ellen, Jo Ann and Annette!

Thank you ladies. So much. :)

Everything you said really means a lot to me. Much appreciated! And okay, Annette. I will rest assured. :) Thank you.

-Laura

4/6/2010 1:38:38 PM

 
Laura L. Gonzales
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Oh Em, the title fits this image perfectly! You can see it all over his face. What an emotional capture. They ARE in need of such hope. Some people pass them by everyday, and this is someones son, uncle, brother, father, nephew, cousin or friend....it could be someone I know, or happen to me...my heart goes out to each and every homeless person. Thanks for posting this Laura, and passing on an awareness that the homeless population is growing, and what can we do to help. It is confirmation for me. I hope to see this again. Hugs, Laura:)

4/8/2010 11:50:32 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Laura you have the most dear heart. Thanks for each word above!

:)

-Laura

4/9/2010 12:41:30 AM

 
Laura L. Gonzales
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You're most welcome!!!! Blessings~~~~Laura:D

4/12/2010 12:40:25 AM

 
Danny B. Head
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Such a touching image... It's is an outstanding capture of feelings or in this case "numbness".

4/13/2010 5:45:24 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Hi Laura Lee! :) xo

*

Thank you Danny. Nice to see a nice face in my gallery. Yes...well I can tell you this was an emotional image for me to take and I almost didn't. This fellow seemed very tired and despondent but the vibe I also pick up on was total despair. You actually did, too. That makes it worth it for me.

Thanks for your comments!

-Laura

4/13/2010 10:03:31 AM

 
Toni Riggs
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Wonderful portrait!

4/15/2010 12:15:15 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thanks Toni! :)

-Laura

4/15/2010 12:25:59 AM

 
Karen Kessler
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That is so sad. You captured the emotion here. Great photography & DDR work.

4/18/2010 7:03:45 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thank you Karen.

4/18/2010 7:07:29 PM

 
Chris N. Sweet
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A very moving image Laura, you captured the emotion perfectly, well done.

5/17/2010 6:06:14 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thank you Chris! Very much my friend.

-Laura

5/17/2010 6:09:02 PM

 
Nancyj Hovey
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Glad you resubmitted this.... fantastic image! 8o)

6/8/2010 5:43:21 AM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Thank you!!! :) And good morning!

-Laura

6/8/2010 6:05:49 AM

 
Kerry W. Willis
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Moving image. Very. My guess is if you give it another entry maybe even in black and white it will place in the contest or at least it should. The emotions it evokes is powerful.

9/6/2010 1:50:35 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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Gosh, Kerry. Thank you so very much. I truly appreciate your feedback.

Yes. I will enter it again. B&W is a good idea, too. Thanks!

VERY nice to have you visiting my gallery. :) Always happy to see a new face appearing. Glad this one effected you. That was my hope.

-Laura

9/6/2010 8:35:36 PM

 
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