By Anne Cacherell
Humanity is being able to see the suffering of others and doing something about it. Professor of photography at the Chico State University and social activist Aaron Draper seeks to restore the face of humanity by creating a series called Underexposed. In this project, this American photographer takes beautiful, well-lit color portraits of the homeless people in California.
The objective of this series is “to make the homeless as visually appealing as possible in a society that is visually demanding.”
Instead of highlighting the people’s misery by using black and white, Draper chose to bring color into the portraits so that viewers will get to see the homeless with dignity and hope.
“Using a strobe helps illuminate my subjects, bringing them into the light and out of the shadows for others to view and appreciate.”
He also asked the people to look straight into the camera to make their images more powerful despite their social standing.
In his website, he also wrote, “Steinbeck has influenced me and informed my view of the world. “
“In Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, I was introduced to a philosophy regarding society, about economic disparity and Steinbeck’s efforts to shed light on the problems of the poor in our society.”
“Steinbeck hoped to bring about societal change, just as I hope to enable people to gain a more humane view of the homeless.”
Did these portraits affect your views of the street people in any way? Tell us what’s on your mind.
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