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All Along The Watchtower

All Along The Watchtower
Photo Information
Copyright: Kev Ryan (KevRyan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1784 W: 193 N: 5128] (22956)
Genre: Places
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2006-07
Categories: Daily Life
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2006-08-09 3:53
Viewed: 2592
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
All Along The Watchtower

"There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief,
"There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth."

"No reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly spoke,
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

(bob dylan)

....or maybe it is four riders.....

This is the edge of Ayda camp - wide security roads either side of the wall - there were dwellings here but walls and security roads eat up land so peoples' homes had to make way for housing of a different kind. The people here intensely dislike the prison like watchtower which looks so directly into their community at this point - they have attacked it with paint and burnt tyres beneath it to try and obscure its windows. This road has seen plenty of conflict.

There are of course two sides to this story and Ayda is not without its martyrs.....the message of the wall is clear but Israel is still more permeable than the plan to stop insurgency so far effects.

The child is dwarfed by the wall, the people are dwarfed by the well armed army literally just a stones throw away - near this point the soldiers raided the camp looking for fighters - they blew holes in the walls and rushed from building to building - a dramatic way of entering a house....an old lady was behind one wall and the soldiers killed her when the wall came down.....another casualty of the war.....

A close up of the tower is in the workshop.

alekpet, AnimeshRay, bantonbuju, haijekov has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To bantonbuju: Hi JKevRyan 3 2006-08-09 05:00
To AnimeshRay: Thanks AnimeshKevRyan 1 2006-08-09 04:58
To kajspice: the boy made it for sureKevRyan 3 2006-08-09 06:06
To PJE: HI PaulKevRyan 1 2006-08-13 04:27
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Critiques [Translate]

Now that's one brilliantly apt title, and really dramatic shot of this horrific monstrocity. Great job of photojournalism you're doing here.

Hi Kev,
an apocalyptic atmosphere for me... no live except this young boy surrounded by a destroyed place.
Excellent b&w.
A great image.

  • Great 
  • jinju Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2444 W: 87 N: 1576] (14265)
  • [2006-08-09 4:54]

This one has a brilliant look Kev, and may I say, maybe your best in a very long time. because hey, not only does it look like it was taken in a place of horror and sufering, infact, it was. The framing is very magnum-like. The high contrast is great and the sky came out superbly. The boy in a warzone, - a very strong subject.

It looks like 1984. I mean the book.
But this one is real... People controlled in every step they make, which reminds me of the song by Mr. Sting "I'll be watching you...". The same thing is happening over and over again, ask any Berlin citizen older than 30...
Different wall, different Big Brother. Well judged black and white, except for the losing of the paint on the tower, but good in portaying the overall mood. Good attempt for the tilt, trying to match the size of the houses to that of the wall.
I'm not taking sides, I'll let your photo speak.


Another priceless documentary photo that easily claims its quality as art. Frankly this is the first time I am beginning to form some topographical and, how shall I put it, 'psychological' idea of how it is like to live near this wall although I have scoured Magnum photos for wall pictures. This is really a good piece of journalism. Extremely useful notes too.

strange feeling... history is ineteresting - on sunday i had a walk with one of our te friends (oscar from barcelona) and his friend and one of the places we visited was remaining of the wall from WWII separating ghetto from the "white" world, different time, different ideaology, different nations, different place ... effect more or less the same;
photo: not sure about the tilt - why have you decided for it in this case?
tc, j.

Hi Kev,

I can't say I would have recognised the brilliance of your last picture if it had not been pointed out by so many of the others... I like it, though I think I like this one better. It seems that you just needed one key thing to make this work and bang - he walks on into your frame... I'm so pleased it was a small boy in this case...

beautiful blacks, whites and greys...Was this shot in b/w or converted?

p.s. perhaps see you and Elvis this weekend??

  • Great 
  • PJE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2045 W: 133 N: 4148] (20758)
  • [2006-08-12 21:42]
  • [+]

Well I hope you were safe in this war torn country. This looks like a photo out of a time magazine showing the cultural effects of a people who struggle to survive on a daily basis. The little lad certainly adds a new dimension to this photo. Excellent work Kev!

  • Great 
  • danyy Gold Star Critiquer [C: 8943 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-08-13 5:59]

Bonjour Kevin,
des endroits qu'on croirait toujours prêts à connaitre la violence. Fortifications, remparts, et peu de monde dans les rues.
Le traitement b&w en plus enlève toute fausse gaieté.
Un travail bien ficelé.
Best regards.

Quite impressive serie Kev. While seing this kid I felt a lonliness sensation. Have you seen the movie "The year we living dangerously" by Peter Weir? One of the caracters, masterfully played by Linda Hunt, said all the time "Whay can we do?" Your photo makes me think so. I also consider important this serie in TE because it´s not only easy to embrace the confortable life, I think we are pushed to do it, to loose contact with reality, so a bit of reality in this site is wonderful. Take care.

Three pictures in your 'Palestinian' series do quite visibly standout from the rest.
I'll try to point them out WITHOUT being indulged in political rhetoric about 'who is to blame'.
I have my opinion but of course, the very strong one, but I don't think that the biggest political issue of our times can somehow fit into the shallow frames of our beloved TE.
Therefore - those three pictures.!
In short - BRILLIANT. They're the shots 'behind' the closed doors. Their technique is immaculate. They speak loudly their merit, I understand their message clearly and I know how to interpret them. Possibly - the best political pictures on TE as long as I'm concerned. But then, there is very few 'political' pictures on TE.


Continuation of this critique you can find in the next of your posts.

Powerful shot, and note. It's a horrible life these people are being forced to lead--and your picture, dramatic of course but subtle, just a daily-life scene with the little boy crossing the road... has caught that. Thank you.

Take care,

the is ISREAL WALL OF SHAME, i think the most raciest state i know of. how can they do this after what the nazi did to them?? how can they inflict more pain, death and racisim on the people of palstine, did they not know how it felt? i say this also knowing that not all isrealis support this wall or atrocities, this is more towards the settlers and the government, my most closest freinds are orthadox jews and they are ashamed of isreal for soing this.
great angle and capture of the wall. you also gave us size comparision with the little boy. again wounderful work.

You've got some excellent shots of Palestine (great titles and notes as well!). I love the angle on this one, and the content of the photo is fantastic. But what really makes it great is the small child dwarfed by everything else. Really great shot. Thanks!

  • arturo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 345 W: 57 N: 17] (31)
  • [2007-12-17 13:05]

Hi Kev,

i'm still not exactly certain...but the echoes of this conflict seem to follow me all the way since i was a kid and since i can recall watching my first TV news (i wished it was football news but i'm not so sure now)...i personally find it odd as the closest i have ever been to Palestine distance-wise was Greece or Turkey...i have no frame of reference nor do i wish myself to have one...anyway globally speaking the abundance of various military conflicts around the world should potentially pose a risk that Palestine struggle for independence or/and Israel quest for a Jewish state, after all those years of slying each other, would turn out-of-date...cheers, arturo

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