I don’t know about you but I can honestly say I have had some jobs that just stunk. Sometimes they start off great but go downhill really fast after the novelty wears off. Being a bit of an old fart I was brought up in the age of commitment. If you said you were going to do something you darn well did it. None of this job jumping you see these days. Actually I don’t blame the younger folk these days. Employers have no compunction about sucking you dry and then spitting you out on the street so they can boost the numbers for the quarter. Gotta keep those Wall Street fat cats happy! So why should an employee feel some sort of commitment or allegiance to their employer when none if given.
What does this rant have to do with the lady above? Well nothing really and everything. Women like her have probably been selling bird seed in this very spot for at least 100 years. Why do they still do it? Because they feel a dedication to their Mosque, or maybe her family. This is the same dedication I used to see here at home. We use to call it the “Protestant work ethic”. Since religiosity generally in North America is on the decline it seems the work ethic that went along with it is also on the decline. That’s not to say there weren’t lots of non religious people who were very hard workers.
Now take the woman in the photo. There are numerous narratives a reasonably creative mind could come up with. Is she unhappy with her job? Maybe the kids running around the square are getting on her nerves. Maybe she has not made enough money to buy the food necessary for tonight’s dinner. Could be she is tired of photographers!
Now a bit on the back story. This photograph was made in a square near a very large Mosque in Istanbul. There must have been several hundred pigeons squawking for their dinner and an almost equal number of children pestering their parents to buy one of the small plates of seeds. At the moment I made this image a very large flock of pigeons had been scared into flight. Being under a tarp was a definite plus. My wife got a beautiful photograph of a child peeking through just such a pigeon lift off. Please check out her website.
What intrigues me about the above image is the subject’s body language. Even though she is Turkish it is not hard to read where her mind is. She is doing her duty, raising money for the Mosque, and not enjoying one minute of it. She is well organized and has settled in for the long afternoon ahead. The countdown is on. She is poised for a quick exit.
The tension she exhibits is very subtle in the photograph. The legs running away in the background can be seen as a counterpoint to her captivity. The bright red adds to the feeling of tension.
I loved Istanbul and found the people to be so warm and friendly. Well except when they are selling seeds.
The equipment I used for this image is Nikon D700 with Nikkor 28-70mm 3.5-4.5.