Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Le bon pain pour tout le monde!

Camera: Canon EOS40D
Lens: Canon 17-85mm EF USM kit lens

Apps used for post processing:
The original RAW file had been developed using Canon's Digital Photo Professional, then trimmed to 1:1 size before transferring it to the iPhone with the PhotoSync app.
DramaticB&W - to create a pseudo HDR picture in b&w.
SimplyHDR - to create a pseudo HDR picture in color.
FilterStorm - to erase the main subject from the b&w layer so the colored version came trough. To do this I opened the color picture, then imported the b&w picture as a second exposure. Then I painted a mask over the woman and the card boxes. I prefer switching "show mask color" on in "Masking View" because it allows a very precise work. After having finished painting the mask I let FilterStorm process the picture and saved the result before I processed it further, adding a slight vignetting and a frame.
A+Signature - to add my copyright watermark as usual.

July 3rd, 2008 was a rainy day in Nancy in France. I walked the streets with my Canon ready for shooting as I spotted this old woman searching card boxes put on the sidewalk to be removed by the garbage collectors. I quickly snapped out a couple of shots because I did not want the old woman to notice that she had been photographed and I felt like a thief about it because I've got to confess that I'm not familiar with the French laws regarding privacy. All that I know is that one needs the consent of a person one intends to photograph in Germany as well as in Luxembourg. But France? No clue! And the two shots had been underexposed anyway so I didn't think much about it anymore.

Back at home I developed my photos of the day using Canon's software and as I corrected the underexposed shots I suddenly discovered something I did not see as I shot the photos. On the card box in the foreground on the right side, the words "Le bon pain pour tout le monde" became readable, which translates as "The good bread for everybody". And then I suddenly got aware of the whole perversion behind this rather accidental picture. The card boxes full of still edible sandwiches, cakes and slices of Pizza had been put on the sidewalk by the personnel of a so called "Sandwicherie" - one of these typical small sandwich stores you can find everywhere in France. The food apparently was from the day before, not fresh enough anymore to be sold. So it had been thrown away rather than giving it to the needy ones, living on the street - "the good bread for everybody" got dumped. This woman looked like she was one of the homeless. She got away with a great prey on that day. 

In Germany this is handled much differently. There are welfare organizations like "Die Tafel" that collects surplus food to distribute it among those who need it. But nevertheless there are many thousands of tons of good food being carelessly dumped on every day in our affluent society while many others must starve. This had always been something incomprehensible to me because I had been educated to respect my food and avoid unnecessary waste if ever possible.

I did a color key version of this photo in PhotoShop already in 2008 but I like this iPhone4 processed version much more because it's more dramatic.

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