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Monday, April 24, 2006

Photographing Diversity

In a non technical sense, photographing peoples lives can be difficult. How does one tell a story in a single image which conveys a sense of community. Trust is often the key. I try and not bring attitude onto a scene where people need to be able and trust a photographer. Showing a person with a sense of dignity is key, no mater who they are.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy James Valencia interviews the victim of a stabbing in Highland, April 8, 2006

Highland is a community in San Bernardino County in which the most extreme conditions of economic divide exist. I have not seen this range of rich to poor anywhere I have worked as a photographer in one city except San Francisco. San Francisco has the opulence of Nob Hill to the project of Potrero Hill. Highland has the upscale homes on the hill to the well traveled gang turf of it's west side. San Francisco has 750,000 people over 47 square miles, Highland has about 50,000 residents.

Photographing a community where such extremes exist can be challenging both mentally and physically, but conveying it honestly is still the ultimate challenge.

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