An elderly man who dresses in as dignified an outfit as he can still appears torn and tattered. You can only guess that, yes, indeed, he is homeless.
But how can you tell? Is the umbrella whose curved cane-like top sits on his thigh the obvious giveaway? Or is it the tears in his clothing? Perhaps it’s the hat or the socks that are too short?
Could it be that blurred person in the background sleeping with his legs crossed and head covered with a hood that gives this image a look of homelessness?
It might be that the location of the shot, the beach at Santa Monica, California, a magnet for homeless people, is the key identification marker of the dreaded personal circumstance.
Whatever the reason, this man sits where he does, the shot inspires because of the contrast that the frame provides. The black-gray suit stands out from the dark green chairs. The wide aperture of the lens causing the soft background completes a shot that where the subject is balanced within its elements in a situation that appears, to many, as far off as a distant planet in another solar system.by