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Sad Sight

By AlanBW
Probably the saddest sight that Tricia and I witnessed during our latest trip to Thailand was the one above. It is in complete contrast to the previous upload, 'Akha Mum And Babe'. In that shot, despite being poor, the young Akha mother radiates her joy for life and one very kind comment on the photo reads, 'This is one of the happiest shots I've seen in a long time'. The image above was taken on the morning of New Year's Day 2007 near the stairway to Sala Daeng Skytrain Station in Bangkok. Just a few hours before, this whole area had been witness to wild partying and celebrations as the New Year kicked in. I was deeply shocked to see this young mum and her baby lying on the pavement, apparently asleep, with a plastic cup in front of them for passers-by to drop in a few small coins. To me it suggested desperation. Unfortunately, begging is a common occurrence in many areas of the world and for the most part you have steel yourself to ignore it, but occasionally you come across a sight that really moves you - and this one certainly had a profound effect on me. There but for the grace of God ..................

Tags: Photo journalism Woman Travel Mother General Child Poverty Baby Bangkok Candid Thailand Portraits and people

Voters: Mr_Grimesdale, rocky41, limmy62 and 146 more

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lenslady 14 2
20 Feb 2007 9:36AM
Nice story so sad as well fetched a little tear to my eye I wish I could drop some money in the cup excellent work
Chant57 Plus
15 395 3 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 9:39AM
A thought provoking immage indeed Alan, and such a contrast to the previous posting of yours. Proof if it were needed that a picture speaks a thousand words.
Hanners 15 875 10 Ireland
20 Feb 2007 9:44AM
a good bit of journalism here Alan.

KatieR 17 6.2k 6
20 Feb 2007 9:52AM
yes, very sad.
I think your shot conveys all the necessary messages.
20 Feb 2007 10:02AM
Powerful and emotive.

Glynn Plus
15 1.2k 1 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 10:08AM

Very moving image and certainly makes you stop and think. Very sad my friend.

franken Plus
18 5.2k 4 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 10:18AM
A moving image and amn interesting story Alan.

TommyStr 15 9 3 Norway
20 Feb 2007 10:40AM
Have seen this too many times too Alan, powerful image
20 Feb 2007 10:40AM
Very thought provoking and moving image, this just goes to illustrate how unfair the distribution of wealth is in this wonderful world of ours
20 Feb 2007 11:07AM
A very moving shot Alan exellently captured.
Rock 18 10 2 England
20 Feb 2007 11:09AM
A sad but moving capture !

LauraBeans 15 32 Scotland
20 Feb 2007 11:11AM
A very powerful and thought provoking image.

20 Feb 2007 11:20AM
As you mention Alan, controlling your emotions is the hardest thing to do, a reminder of the inequalities we have all around us, excellent photo journalism, very moving, Adrian
Joline Plus
14 34 59 United States
20 Feb 2007 11:24AM
Very sad indeed...makes you wonder "why". At least she has the baby well swaddled and padded from the pavement. She apparently cares for him. Great photo essay.
sunshot 16 24 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 11:28AM
superb capture alan and a very intresting write up, well done.

daringdaphne 17 82 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 11:50AM
A very compassionate eye took this, and bless you for it. You see the good the bad and the funny.

Take care
Stewy 14 103 2 England
20 Feb 2007 12:09PM
You certainly see all sides of life on your travels.

20 Feb 2007 12:30PM
Alan, this is very moving - thank you!

GregorP 16 4 Slovenia
20 Feb 2007 1:31PM
Great shot Alan! You are so lucky to travel around the world...

iajacks 15 24 England
20 Feb 2007 1:47PM
THIS IS A SAD IMAGE. but it remind us of the privaliged lifes we have.

nice social commentry shot, ian
Endorse Ian's remark above .... very good Journalistic photography Alan.

20 Feb 2007 4:02PM
good catch as usual!
20 Feb 2007 4:19PM
Reminds me how lucky I am. Great picture.
gajewski 16 10 9 United States
20 Feb 2007 4:35PM
Alan, this is indeed so heartbreaking. It is difficult to compose an appropriate comment to leave here.
As difficult as it might have been to shoot, pictures like this need to be posted.
As you said, "there but for the grace of God. . ."
tull 17 181 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 4:38PM
I'm not ashamed to say this has brought tears to my eyes Alan a very powerful and thought provovking shot.

20 Feb 2007 5:03PM
Reminds me of the poverty I witnessed in India a few years ago.

20 Feb 2007 5:11PM
great shot and wonderful description...

PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
20 Feb 2007 5:28PM
Yes, definitely a heartbreaking shot. You want to take them home and make things right. And a well taken image too by the way.

Possum 14 148 England
20 Feb 2007 5:40PM
Great poignancy here, Alan. A slice of life as it is, not how we'd like it to be. Love the way she has her arm tenderly protecting the child.
liparig 16 233 United States
20 Feb 2007 5:42PM
I must say this is one of the most moving photos I have seen here in a while, great photo and capture of a sad situation. I also thought your moving description of the photo was also very nice. Well done
thorn 16 124 2 Scotland
20 Feb 2007 6:05PM
Hi Alan,
A very sad and moving picture,your description also is excellent.What a sad sight to see at any age and any time.What has the world come too.Take care.AnnSmile
Glostopcat 15 255 2 England
20 Feb 2007 6:13PM
A very poignant image depicting abject poverty. Really well captured and an excellent description to go with it
20 Feb 2007 6:15PM
Very thought provoking...saw this myself whe I was there 40 years ago - wished some things had changed. On the good side it looks like the mother is not mal-nourished. Excellent work!

20 Feb 2007 6:49PM
All I can say Al' is 'There but for fortune'
TonyA 16 11 Spain
20 Feb 2007 6:53PM
Yes it is a sad sight, specially when you see that she is so young. Great story behind the image.

Gaz_H 14 150 1 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 7:07PM
A very powerful shot - next time i'm moaning about nothing I will think back to this shot.
bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
20 Feb 2007 7:38PM
A thought provoking image,Alen..well composed and taken
20 Feb 2007 7:39PM
Nicely simplistic and voyeuristic.
Dotrob 15 Wales
20 Feb 2007 8:13PM
Very sad shot, makes us feel how lucky we are.
Pegon 15 78 1 England
20 Feb 2007 9:10PM
A sad and moving capture and story Alan that makes us realise how lucky we are. Excelent piece of photo journalism.
bunbeam 15 2 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 9:19PM
even i count my blessings, theres always someone worse off... brilliant shot and thought provoking story
20 Feb 2007 9:22PM
A very moving and thought provoking photo Alan and in sharp contrast to your previous upload. It makes me realise how very fortunate I am.
I do enjoy reading your descriptions.

DolphinLady 15 54 1 Wales
20 Feb 2007 10:27PM
A very sad contrast to your previous upload.
KKmoments 14 12 1 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2007 11:44PM
Sad and thought provoking..... personally what touched me the most was... the baby is by her side, she's poor and needy but her love for her baby shines through in this image... a real heart wrencher. Excellent photography
Karen Smile
JimV 14 6 3 Canada
21 Feb 2007 12:46AM
Life is indeed difficult for so many Alan, what makes me mad is that in many cases it is so unnecessary, we live in a world of plenty, but the wealth is being hoarded by far too few. Excellent candid and photo journalism.
Rgds., Jim
dotpix 17 5 Pakistan
21 Feb 2007 5:18AM
Thanx for sharing with us, Alan, I visited Thailand also, I shot manythings like this, and more... But Alas! my bagage, my new Sony F828, all Memory Sticks stollen at Bangkok Airport... I'm not sorrow about other things, I still sorrow about my all memory sticks which are full with Photographs... Sad

In future all EPZ members keep in this mind, plz take a good care of your bagages and off course Camera and its memory stikcs... I know camera and other things are worthless for EPZIANs other than Photographs Storage Memory Sticks...!


chrissd 15 304 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2007 5:41AM
what an image, what a story, your ability to capture the moment is breathtaking
Rogerex 14 32 12 Australia
21 Feb 2007 8:48AM
A picture that leaves a lot of unanswered questions, amd one that makes me appreciate how privileged I am in comparison with so many people in the world.
angelamary 15 6 England
21 Feb 2007 10:56AM
Good catch.

Very sad. What a life to live... and the babe wont get much of a start either, poor mite.
GeorgeRusky 15 1 4
21 Feb 2007 12:04PM
Interesting picture and description, Alan
Thank you for your comments.
BigK 15 8
21 Feb 2007 1:12PM
Powerful and emotive shot.

cat_mc 14 17 Australia
21 Feb 2007 1:21PM
you forget how different the rest of the world is til you see shots likes this, its appauling how sad her life is and the baby i wish i could reach out and hug her. i live in such an amazing country with endless oppurnities and support this picture has made me value that just a little more,i hope she finds somewhere warm and safe soon for both their sakes
tuhin 14
21 Feb 2007 1:28PM
Hi frend, Nice one & I am cring.Habe a one BABY.
edcat 14
21 Feb 2007 2:59PM
Emotive capture
shortski 14 3 1 England
21 Feb 2007 3:09PM
So sad....jojo
tmann 16 4 2 United States
21 Feb 2007 3:58PM
it does break the heart, doesn't it.
ElmsArt 14 82 1 Scotland
21 Feb 2007 4:28PM
Thank you for this Alan. Photography is an amazing hobby, and with the aid of computer programmes we can make a photograph say anything we want. But no amount of PS work could convey more poignant sadness.
May the find a home, and a heart that cares.
NevP 15 853 13 Canada
21 Feb 2007 4:42PM
Very moving Allan, I'm lost for further comment.
A Booth 18 11 4 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2007 7:00PM
an excellent record shot of the tragedies of humanity, well composed and recorded.
phototime 14 8 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2007 7:12PM
Life can be very unfair,very sad with the baby.

Portknockie 16 48 Scotland
21 Feb 2007 8:26PM
Alan have seen this all over the far East..

Lots do it for a living... some have no choice..

myrab 14 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2007 8:29PM
This is a very nice picture even though there is a sad element to it.
Alfoto 14 Wales
21 Feb 2007 9:16PM
Super emotive capture.
bricjen 14 United States
21 Feb 2007 10:04PM
holy cow. Speaks volumes.
Brilane 14 5 12 Wales
22 Feb 2007 1:13AM
A very poignant image. - Brian.
22 Feb 2007 5:57AM
this image really sheds some light on the many hardships people encounter...hope you had a coin for her...
ChiliMan 14 135 17 Singapore
22 Feb 2007 6:48AM
Oh dear...that IS a very troubling sight, Alan. I've seen many homeless people but never a young mother with a baby.

anthhope 15 1 England
22 Feb 2007 10:54AM
Another well captured photo Alan.
Guillaume 14 119 2 United Kingdom
22 Feb 2007 3:27PM
Moving and provoking photo! As always trully excellent capture, Alan. Click!


danbrann 16 640 17
22 Feb 2007 7:52PM
Great steet photography Alan and as usuual a very poignant story to go with it.
Malc_V 15 England
22 Feb 2007 9:25PM
Well captured image, Diem and I see a lot of extreme poverty in Vietnam, we try and make a little difference through childrens foundations in Saigon.

Good work Alan.

glazzaro 16 70 23 United States
23 Feb 2007 4:13AM
Its reality and can be seen in many flavors around the world, it shows us that there are still others out there that need our help. Spot on! Click!!!

panda 16 5 1 England
23 Feb 2007 10:17AM
Moving shot, reminds me of the poverty I saw in Morocco a few years ago, and a young girl with a baby, begging in a local market. Apparently they become total outcasts if they have a child out of wedlock.

Regards Phil
Maiwand 14 3 73 England
23 Feb 2007 1:54PM
This shot has caused me to stop and think and demonstrates so well the power of the photographic medium.
Carl40 15 18 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2007 5:36PM
Great story Alan and a powerful image to reminder us all how lucky we really are.

hebdens 15 5
23 Feb 2007 5:52PM
Poor mum and babe, she looks exhausted.Quite heart breaking to see.
23 Feb 2007 10:19PM
Well done documentary Alan - while it is sad, images such as yours brings focus and attention to the plight of others resulting in hopefully some form of relief
John_Humphreys 15 69 2 Ireland
23 Feb 2007 11:43PM
The baby looks practically newborn! That is tough. John
sputnki 16 10 Canada
24 Feb 2007 1:58AM
A thought-provoking shot, to be sure.

Buffalo_Tom Plus
14 2.3k 16 Wales
24 Feb 2007 11:50AM
A very sad image presented but glad you could share.Excellent Alan.
jan 1 17 12 Netherlands
24 Feb 2007 12:13PM
Hello Alan.
Superb snap.!
But TOO SAD. Think, I would have drop a 100 euro bill in the cup without waking her up.!
I cant pass such a 'scenes', without feeling kilty.
Thanks for uploading it.
24 Feb 2007 6:29PM
A very powerful and moving story and image.
CecilyC 15
25 Feb 2007 12:55PM
oh my gosh, so sad!! well captured; it's good to see pictures like this once in a while!

ginz04 16 281 20 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2007 9:35PM
a sad sight to see in this day and age
bricurtis Plus
15 2.4k 51 England
26 Feb 2007 10:00AM
Makes you realize the imbalance of human life.A sad sight indeed Alan.

The_Collector 14 4 1 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2007 1:23PM
A sad reflection on life Alan, now can someone please buy dotpix some memory sticks!

Eden 16 40 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2007 10:47PM
A strong and sad image! You really do capture life's important moments and provoke thought! thank you
starman1 17 61 United States
27 Feb 2007 3:34PM
A powerful image Alan, that speaks volumes.

PLCimagery 14 77 1 England
27 Feb 2007 7:39PM
like others have said - strong image!
graceland 16 2.5k 2 United Kingdom
27 Feb 2007 7:47PM
Nice picture sad way of life !!
chodge987 14 20 Scotland
28 Feb 2007 6:51AM
this saddens me alan, a very moving capture.

oppo 15 6 2 Scotland
28 Feb 2007 12:23PM
A very sad image indeed Alan. However it is an excellent candid and sensitvely captured. Well done.

Mavis 19 143 2 England
1 Mar 2007 7:53AM
So sad and beautifully captured . I want to gather her up and take care of the pair of them . xxx
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2211 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2007 10:17PM
If an image can raise all the above emotions and comments, it has go be good.
KevinMW 14 14 Wales
2 Mar 2007 3:20PM
You say it all in your comments Alan. The world is full of highs & lows and this image reflects the sad, pitiful situation which poverty can trap people in.

Libby_M 14 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2007 5:51PM
sad but all so true to live its a lovely picture in the colours and how you caught them
vparmar 16 7 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2007 10:00AM
very powerful image Alan

4 Mar 2007 1:21PM
Hi Alan, you certainly have a unique gift for spotting and capturing all of the moods and emotions of human life but this must be the most poignant one of all. Not only a good shot but it gets to you. Great work.
Paul_cats 15 61 22 Scotland
5 Mar 2007 12:28PM
A great journalistic capture but very sad.
DP_Imagery 16 24 6 Wales
5 Mar 2007 9:38PM
Desperately sad - but well documented. Bruce
10 Mar 2007 10:06AM
You've captured this well to make a truly thought provoking shot.

12 Mar 2007 10:58AM
A very sad picture, it must of broke your heart even taking it. Great capture though even under the circumstances.
jaspernina 14 1.0k Wales
22 Mar 2007 8:01AM
This is a very touching and moving piece of photo journalism. it is hard to believe in this day and age that we allow these things to happen. Although a sad image i believe it is hugely important that you've shown this image. It is easy to forget how good most of our lives are, especially when i think 'i'd like this lense for my camera or a new car', when some people just need security in their lives.

Well done

90125 15 3 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2007 3:29PM
Nothing really left to say!
Paree 16 616 3
23 Mar 2007 10:40PM
wooow what a photo, very strong emotions here
so well done
starliz 16 1.6k 3 England
23 Mar 2007 10:52PM
not much to add to this,an image I`m sure, not to be forgotten.
A photograph can bring all sorts of emotions to the front but to see this in reality must have been heartbreaking.
bradpete 16 1 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2007 10:57PM
Great capture of a very sad scene you have the position spot on shamefully this is becomming more and more world wide
a great picture well done
meadowman 14 1
23 Apr 2007 4:16PM
very sad,it definately moves you to see this kind of thing. lovely capture though.

imagio 14 12 1 England
27 May 2007 8:44AM
Very touching image, make one realise how rich we are in this country..
Juliet 14
28 May 2007 1:01PM
Yes, very moving, ver sad and very real. I have seen such scenes many times , too many and when you see it too often it makes you indifferent but this picture is really heart -breaking and causes you think that every single case like this should be treated individually and needs help. Talking about the picture itself, I love the soft beautiful colours and light in it. You are making great job Alan.
Ridgeway 14 222 2 Ireland
31 May 2007 10:22AM
This photo Alan is the kind of shot that makes you appreciate what you have in life,there is always someone having a worse time of it,regardless of how bad we think things are.
This is a real life moment , that portrays a life long ,every day struggle.
Its a photo I will show my daughter just to remind her not everyone has it so good.
Cheers Alan.
10 Jul 2007 4:05PM
Thank you for sharing your story, and the emotive capture.

Kind Regards.
bayleaf 13 8 United Kingdom
22 Aug 2007 8:21PM
Very sad but great photographic journalism. John.
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Aug 2007 7:18AM
Thanks John, much appreciated - Alan
HectorRivera 13 17 1 United States
21 Mar 2008 12:09PM
Excellent jornalism. It realy shows the unfairness of the world.
AlanBW 15 20 England
24 Mar 2008 10:08AM
Many thanks Hector, much appreciated - Alan
DaveCole 13 152 Wales
27 Sep 2010 11:44PM
Thats a very powerful image!!! I need say no-more!
Cheers Dave

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