Tag Archives: Fidel’s Wandering Eye

“The Doc Meets The Dude…”

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

I took this photo while on assignment in Dehradun, India with a non-profit group consisting of surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses from around the world. Locals in the area had heard of the team’s arrival and came from miles away to receive free medical care for their burns, scars and wounds.

One of these locals was an adorable little boy our team aptly named ‘The Dude’, as he didn’t speak English and none of us knew his name. Although he suffered from extreme burns to his hand and face, his presence at the hospital was a cheerful and amicable one.

In this photo he is meeting for the first time one of the surgeons that would later tend to him…and he was all smiles about it.

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Diary Of A Traveling Photog, On Assignment, The Story Behind The Shot

“Americans Need Help Too…”

Everyday on the news we hear about millions of people who are homeless and starving in cities and countries other than our own. We hear about places we can drop off used clothing items, addresses we can mail money orders and websites we can donate to. We hear about hungry children, broken homes and abandoned family members.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

But how can we help any of those people in any of those cities in any of those countries…when we can’t even help ourselves?

– F

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Hear Me Roar, Really America?

“There Has To Be A Way…”

The United States of America. I love this country, I love another country as well because I grew up there and consider it home, but having lived here the last 20 years or so makes makes me as American as I am Italian (as does the combination of my American father and my Italian mother). One thing that I’ve seen, in the USA as well as Italy, is the ever-increasing number of homeless on the streets. I feel a certain pain inside my soul when I see someone in those conditions, not because I don’t want to help, but because I can’t help…at least, not by myself. Although this is a beautiful country we live in, we can’t seem to find a way to take care of our own citizens…let alone anyone else’s.

There has to be a way to come together as a whole. There has to be a way to provide food, shelter and decent living conditions to the civilians of this great nation…especially to its veterans, who have fought tooth and nail for it. I know that it’s possible. I know because I have been around the world, and I’ve seen the good that mankind (and womankind) can do. I know because while in Union Square here in NYC one day, I saw a man approach another man. They didn’t know one another as far as I could tell. They had only the shirts on their backs and the bags in their hands. But when one asked another if he could have a cigarette, a cigarette is what he got…no questions asked.

If two people who have nothing can give to each other, why can’t we all..?

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

-F

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Hear Me Roar, New York City, Really America?, The Good In Mankind

“My ‘All Guts, No Glory’ Style Of Shooting…”

I’m not your typical photographer.

Well, I may be typical in the sense that I didn’t go to a school for photography. I started taking photos with a friend’s camera about a decade ago, fell in love with what I could do with it and started making it a key part of my life…kinda like everybody else these days!

What I mean is I don’t generally like using all of the flashy gear and expensive computer programs that a lot of photographers use. Sometimes I regret not having learned photography back in the film and developing era. I imagine the all guts no glory, get-what-you-get-when-you-pull-the-trigger style of shooting would’ve gone hand in hand with my lack of desire to use assistants, hire makeup artists, rig lighting equipment and touch up photos. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with all of that obviously, sometimes it’s even necessary when conditions aren’t ideal for capturing an image.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

Photos are a moment in time, seen by a human eye and captured by technology. To me, the photograph we see should be as true to the moment in time that it mirrors.

– F

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Filed under The Story Behind The Shot, Why I Do What I Do

“The 37 Year Old Virgin……To Surgery.”

The first surgery I ever witnessed will live in my memories until the day I die.

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However short it may be, that simple sentence in and of itself describes the entire experience. First and foremost, most people on the planet don’t get to witness surgeries. It’s generally a sight reserved for those that have the knowledge and training required to perform or assist with surgeries. Of course, in this day and age there are videos and tv shows and various other media at hand with which to watch recordings of surgeries. But to be able to stand in a room where another human being is being, in one way or another, taken apart and reassembled?

No, most people don’t get to see that.

The person I was about to watch go ‘under the knife’ was slightly younger than your average patient…3 years old to be exact. She had slipped into a fire pit after awaking in the middle of the night in a tiny village miles away from a tiny town in a country with over a billion people in it. With no medical care readily available and no money to seek any out, her entire left leg had burned, curled and fused itself to itself. The once separate foot, ankle, shin and thigh were now nearly one mass.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

I remember the sight of the sleeping, naked, burned little being in front of me. I remember this machine beeping, that machine hissing, another moving up and down and another providing vital signs. I remember the smell, temperature and taste of the room. I say taste because four of my senses were so in tune with the overall quiet, sterile calmness of the room that my taste buds began to follow suit in their perception of it all. I remember a surgeon asking me if I’d “ever seen a surgery”, to which I calmly answered “um, no”. I remember a second surgeon giving me quick instructions on what to do should I become faint or lightheaded, something along the lines of “sit on the floor” or “try not to fall on the patient” followed by “you can wait outside if you need to”.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

Come to think of, I had never considered what my body might do upon witnessing such a sight. I had never considered that accepting a job as a photographer for a group of international surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and support staff halfway around the world might land me in the middle of a real life surgery. I knew that I’d be covering their day to day life during a their travels to countries I had never seen. I knew that would obviously entail documenting sights, sounds and experiences that I had never beheld. But I never thought in my wildest dreams that they’d let me behind the ‘closed doors’. Yet there I was, scrubs on my body, booties on my feet, cover on my head, mask on my face, camera in my right hand, mic in my left.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

As machines beeped, as bad jokes were told, as Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix played, as surgeons talked me through procedures, as hours went by, as I watched through my lens…a little Indian girl was cut, opened, mended, stretched, folded, closed, glued, held, stapled and gauzed back together again.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

After she was awoken…

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

…after she was returned to her mother’s waiting arms…

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

…after the surgeons retreated to their own, individual, time-developed post-surgery rituals, I went outside and sat on a curb in front of the hospital.

I sat there, in my borrowed scrubs and mask.

I sat there, camera still in hand, mic still in hand.

I sat there, sweating, thirsty, thinking about the surgery I had just seen.

I sat there…forever changed.

Then I got up, went back inside, and photographed a dozen more.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

– F

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Filed under Diary Of A Traveling Photog, On Assignment, The Good In Mankind, The Story Behind The Shot

“Women Should Laugh Whenever They Please.”

This is Seda, one of the funniest, coolest, most beautiful Turkish women I know.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

The Deputy Prime Minister of her country, Bulent Arinc, recently said during an Eid el-Fitr meeting (which marked the end of the Muslim period of fasting, Ramadan) that a woman “should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times.“ He went on to say “A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent,” (TheGuardian.com):

Bulent Arinc (photo: Onedio.com)

Bulent Arinc (photo: Onedio.com)

To me, hearing someone make a statement like that is equivalent to hearing someone say “Don’t laugh”, “Don’t smile”, or “Don’t be happy”. I wonder, why would a person want someone else to suppress their happiness? Even more so, I wonder, why would a man want another human being to hide their happiness just because she’s a woman?

I wonder, if he knew the difficulties of being a woman in today’s man-run world, would he say such things?

If he knew what it was like to live in a country where your leaders make public statements regarding when and how you should show physical happiness, would he say such things?

If he was a father or husband whose stress, hardships and everyday emotional burdens could be blown out like a match upon hearing the joyous laughter of his wife or daughter when arriving home, would he say such things?

…if he knew how bold, sincere and intoxicating my friend Seda’s laugh was, would he say such things?

– F

#direnkahkaha #direnkadin

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, Hear Me Roar, This...I Just Don't Get

“People. Are. Everywhere.”

There are so many different people in New York City.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

Different races, from different backgrounds. Different ages, following different religions. Different financial and social standings.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

 

I never really understood the term “people watching” until I moved here a little over a decade ago. It’s not that I wasn’t used to seeing a variety of different people…I was born in Asia, raised in Europe and went to college in Midwest America, so I’ve met my share of people.

What’s so astonishing about New York City in particular is the amount of people you see.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

Hundreds upon thousands upon millions of people passing by you in the street at any given moment, going somewhere you’re not and coming from somewhere you weren’t. There’s always someone to look at and always someone looking at you.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

 

People. Are. Everywhere.

– F

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Filed under Blog Quickies, New York City