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Thomas: Windows to my Soul

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Thomas: 6 months later.....

I managed to track Thomas down in Paris over the weekend.
I searched the Left Bank (his patch) for a day, to no avail, and then approached waiters and shop keepers, showing them a small picture of him.
A dear chap by the name of Sami, who serves ice cream, eventually came to my rescue....
Thomas now lives in a small tent on the paved section in the middle of Rue Flandres in Crimee, which is in north-est Paris. Awfull location that he picked, as traffic passes very close by on either side of the tent, and pedestrians have to walk around his tent and scattered belongings.
However, although he would have preferred a quiter location, he feels safe here as he is visible to the locals and there is constant movement, especially as there is a monoprix immediately opposite.
He has made enemies in the Left Bank, as some other homeless persons apparently became jealous of the fact that he managed to obtain a mobile phone and number, and recently....wait for it....an used Nikon D80 with a broken lens.
He is now shooting pics of passers-by, and of his animals, which are now down to two dogs (both overweight), and a cat.
He showed me the lens - some part inside has come loose, and partially obscures the image. So now he has to shake his camera and every 20th or so pics works.
His dog that featured in my previous upload of Thomas was stolen. He thinks that he knows who did it, however, is too terrified to approach the person or area.
There is a floral shop across the street that he uses as his postal address. They also keep his camera when he's not using it.
The same people who forced him from the Left Bank also cut the tires of his bicycle contraption that I have referred to previously, however, he is planning to have that fixed soon.
I have now forged a trusting relationship with Thomas, and shall continue to pay visits to him every time I manage to visit that wonderful city.
I do not know how Thomas survives financially, as he never begs. I suspect that he receives a hand-out from the council.
I spent a few hours with Thomas, chatting mainly about photography, teaching him a few things with the camera. I managed to do some shots as well, however, difficult, as you feel that you are in a fish bowl, with everyone staring at you...
I showed him a PDF print-out of all the comments from EPZ members etc, and he was very taken by this.
The prints were immediately cut to size (with a very blunt scissors), and pasted into his album that materialised from somewhere under the sleeping bag.
Regards
Andre

Camera:Canon EOS 5D
Lens:Canon 24 - 105
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Thomas: Windows to my Soul
Username:andreduplessis andreduplessis
Uploaded:14 Apr 2009 - 6:23 PM
Tags:Black & white, Portraits / people
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Votes:86

Comments

carmenfuchs
14 Apr 2009 - 6:27 PM

Wow. What an image and what a story. Well done. =)

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TelStar
TelStar  9116 forum posts United Kingdom
14 Apr 2009 - 6:31 PM

An amazing image, truly soulful. I feel his searching eyes.

Tel*

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Gwen_A
Gwen_A  7 United Kingdom
14 Apr 2009 - 6:32 PM

What a powerful image and story - thanks for sharing.

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KP
KP  5 United Kingdom
14 Apr 2009 - 6:32 PM

What a truly amazing portrait.

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digipix76
digipix76  7577 forum posts England
14 Apr 2009 - 6:35 PM

A truely superb photograph.


Ian

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andreduplessis
14 Apr 2009 - 6:43 PM

Kind thanks to you all, and the UA much appreciated Ian. I have some pictures of Thomas with both his and my cameras - more 'recod' shots, however, shall see if I can get one prentable enough to submit. He becomes totally absorbed when he is busy taking pics - I so enjoy seeing that. Tried my utmost to get totally stoked on this wonderful pursuit, and left him with some magazines on digital photography.

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philsmed
philsmed  5 United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 6:44 PM

A very sharp, gritty character study. Well worth the search. You must be pleased with it!!!!

Phil

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SlowSong
SlowSong e2 Member 54204 forum postsSlowSong vcard England28 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 6:46 PM

How fantastic. There's real intelligence and wisdom in those eyes. A most wonderful portrait. And how brilliant that he's found such a hobby - and you to help him. All round excellence.
Chris

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Scaramanga
Scaramanga e2 Member 637 forum postsScaramanga vcard United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 6:50 PM

Fabulous portrait. I work with homeless people and they tend to pretty much look after each other over here.

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RobMacd
RobMacd  7 United Kingdom
14 Apr 2009 - 6:54 PM

Love it...What a great shot.

Rob.

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andreduplessis
14 Apr 2009 - 6:55 PM

Thank you for the UA Chris! Yes - it was dissapointing to hear his stories about harassment. However, I think that the move has done Thomas well, as he appears healthier than in Sept last year. And many locals stop by to chat.

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Buffalo_Tom
Buffalo_Tom e2 Member 82322 forum postsBuffalo_Tom vcard Wales9 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 6:56 PM

I am in awe of your dedication and love for this man.Stunning photo journalism.It is not about the photo but what goes with it.
Tom.

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andreduplessis
14 Apr 2009 - 6:57 PM

Thanks for that Tom.....

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shandoor
shandoor  5 United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 7:04 PM

Stunning character shot and he really seems to be quite a character and wow what a story amazing
Alexa

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chrisco
chrisco  859 forum posts United Kingdom3 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 7:05 PM

incredibly emotive portrait,simply superb,well done.

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dandeakin
dandeakin  6198 forum posts England3 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 7:16 PM

Another class image, even stronger than the original ones. He sounds like a great character and the write up is fascinating. And he's a fellow photographer - great story.

Dan

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Warriorpoet
14 Apr 2009 - 7:17 PM

Marvellous portrait and extraordinary story

Dave

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comma
comma  697 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 7:23 PM

beautiful work

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NevP
NevP  8853 forum posts Canada13 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 7:27 PM

A bit of magic, that doesn't happen without being a magician. A wonderful portrait and a very moving story. Fabulous.

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andreduplessis
14 Apr 2009 - 7:31 PM

Hi Neville! Lovely to hear from you and many thanks! Best wishes to you, and thank you to the other members who have left such positive comments. Andre

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User_Removed
14 Apr 2009 - 8:18 PM

Great story and really nice portrait.


Gerry.

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jayjay52
jayjay52  5 United Kingdom
14 Apr 2009 - 9:21 PM

A very brilliant portrait
Jenny

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AlleyCatz
AlleyCatz  8274 forum posts England6 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 9:32 PM

Really excellent image and write up Andre.
Glad you took the time and effort to find him.



~Alley~

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Daisymaye
Daisymaye e2 Member 5Daisymaye vcard Canada9 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 9:48 PM

What an incredible story. In every human being there is something very interesting...We each have a story. Your portrait of Thomas is outstanding. You've captured such a perfect expression of him listening and learning from you. Just wonderful Andre.....Sandy

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ToothPilot
14 Apr 2009 - 10:03 PM

Your best Andre.
Fantastic.
Hendrik

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smileykiley
14 Apr 2009 - 10:15 PM

A life time in furrows,
A tender gentle stare,
Your picture tells the story,
Your words tell how you care.

great work

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andreduplessis
14 Apr 2009 - 10:18 PM

Dear Gerry, Jenny, Alley, Sandy and Hendrik. Thank you so much for the comments, and the UA much appreciated Henk.
Sandy - many thanks for your flattering comment.
Andre

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andreduplessis
14 Apr 2009 - 10:36 PM

Hi smileykiley - that is very sweet of you....thanks, Andre

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paulashby
paulashby  5 United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 10:45 PM

This is special.

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Geraint
Geraint  7715 forum posts Wales34 Constructive Critique Points
14 Apr 2009 - 10:52 PM

Andre you fascinate me. You have a clear empathy with the characters that you photograph, which is evident in both the actual photos and in your commentaries. Brilliant work again - such a strong portrait. The white rings(?) pull the eye a little, but they're not a distraction for me - just another detail to take in in this wonderful photo.
Geraint

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andreduplessis
14 Apr 2009 - 11:27 PM

Thanks Geraint. I think that you are correct in this. However, this can, and often is a draw-back, as it limits my access, as a relationship of some kind remains important for me. I sometimes wish that this was not the case, so that I can get more work done, for often I leave entusiastically, only to come back with no frames taken.

Last Modified By andreduplessis at 14 Apr 2009 - 11:28 PM

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andreduplessis
15 Apr 2009 - 1:06 AM

Many thanks to the EPZ team for the HC. Don't quite know who awarded this, however, this gesture is very much appreciated.
Andre Smile

Last Modified By andreduplessis at 15 Apr 2009 - 1:07 AM

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Garts
Garts  5 Australia
15 Apr 2009 - 4:15 AM

As good as it gets,wonderful b&w portrait and lovely story.Thanks for sharing.- Adrian.

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andreduplessis
15 Apr 2009 - 6:55 AM

Many thanks Garts, and Tom - great to receive your UA! Thanks & regards, Andre

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onebeautifulmoment

Thanks for such a superb portrait and equally wonderful narrative
Wayne

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Geraint
Geraint  7715 forum posts Wales34 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2009 - 8:56 AM

Congratulations Andre! So glad to see this pick up an award. For what it's worth, here's mine to add to it!
Geraint

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DaveU
DaveU e2 Member 81339 forum postsDaveU vcard England121 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2009 - 10:46 AM

Powerful imagery and eloquent prose to support it ..... a marvellous package.

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funkeldink
funkeldink  101592 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2009 - 11:06 AM

speechless

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Mynett
Mynett e2 Member 6137 forum postsMynett vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2009 - 11:07 AM

wonderful reportage excellent image

Linda

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bobalot
bobalot  7 England
15 Apr 2009 - 1:28 PM

real life real work, just wonderful.

Bob

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andreduplessis
15 Apr 2009 - 3:01 PM

Many thanks for the UA's and the nice feed back! Wishes, Andre

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AlleyCatz
AlleyCatz  8274 forum posts England6 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2009 - 10:46 PM

Congrats on your HC Smile


~Alley~

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andreduplessis
16 Apr 2009 - 2:47 PM

Thanks Alley!

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Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73818 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
16 Apr 2009 - 3:21 PM

Very moving and an awesome image

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jimmypaton
17 Apr 2009 - 10:09 PM

fantastic image

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andreduplessis
24 Apr 2009 - 12:09 PM

Many thanks Nick and Jimmy...

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tommythecat
26 May 2009 - 12:08 PM

Another superb image. Thanks for taking the time to share the story as well; both aspects of this series have been a pleasure to follow.

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andreduplessis
4 Jun 2009 - 10:58 AM

Many thanks for the comment. Paid Thomas another visit last weekend, but no pics this time. Just chatting. Too sunny, and the street was far too busy.

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Stenno
Stenno  7 England
8 Jan 2010 - 8:52 PM

Excellent image and I have to echo the sentiments of everyone as it's quite touching to know you have befriended this man, and are now probably the best friend he has ever had? Quite an uplifting story compared to all the bad stuff we tend to hear about only too often!

Geoff

Last Modified By Stenno at 8 Jan 2010 - 8:52 PM

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andreduplessis
10 Feb 2010 - 1:45 AM

Many thanks Geoff. Yes, I have maintained contact, and have managed to get his other picture published in a book which I shall get to him, hopefully soon.

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