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Vote 136
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Fat Cats

By david deveson  
While Lebanon crumbles, the fat cats in Beirut still live the good life...

I've added the original RAW files from which the final picture was created for anyone interested.

Tags: Photo journalism Black and white Portraits and people

Voters: rontear, Scottishlandscapes, andrewrit and 133 more

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rontear Plus
17 23 9 England
4 Jul 2008 7:24AM
The rich will always be unaffected David, sign of the times.Superb observation, excellent composition. Ron.
There is always someone looking into a phone as if the world will stop if they don't instantly reply, great observation David.

4 Jul 2008 7:37AM
Beautiful work and a superb portfolio too.
User_Removed 15 7 8 Netherlands
4 Jul 2008 7:43AM
the butler really makes this David. Splendid photo. The boredom if richess.
VIKI 14 18 1 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2008 7:44AM
Superb image.
Geraint 14 715 34 Wales
4 Jul 2008 8:08AM
I echo what's been said above. I especially like the hint of movement in the butler(?), and the painting in the background; even though the lady in the painting is looking at the dog, it seems that she is also looking disapprovingly at those in the hotel room. Great work.
Sahyadri 13 61 2 India
4 Jul 2008 9:10AM
15 degrees to right and you could have got the other two faces clearer sitting away from the lady ... but may be the image wouldnt look so natural.

brilliant shot and O! Boy!! I just love your title Smile
riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
4 Jul 2008 9:54AM
perfect image of an era I too thought had disappeared circa '72
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2376 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2008 1:14PM
The pre-revolution-French style picture is wonderfully ironic! Do they notice it, I wonder?
The light seems to catch the visible hands, and they're important. One in conversation, one on the mobile, one perhaps in default tip-seeking position. Absolutely love this one.
proz 16 205 United States
4 Jul 2008 5:09PM
wonderful piece of PJ David
came accross this earlier. In all my excitement I forgot to vote for it... and shortlist it... and fave it
challicew 13 1 1 South Africa
4 Jul 2008 7:11PM
Excellent work
dontforgetme 17 1.7k 7 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2008 10:35PM
Love this image!

paulstefan 16 509 1 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2008 10:54PM
The reality of the subject is shameful but the photography is a beauty.
Congrats on the HC, David.
deegee 16 181 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2008 7:27AM
Ever thus.

I have never viewed the world from such a lofty position.

I wonder how many of us would be strong/brave enough to act differently?

Facing the truth and adapting to change can be difficult at the best of times.

Superb work.
Geraint 14 715 34 Wales
5 Jul 2008 9:12AM
Congratulations on the EC!
Diana 14 2.0k 19 Netherlands
5 Jul 2008 10:44AM
the butlers back is what makes this for me and the movement suggests how busy he is ....while all as static around him

sad but true, great PJ

kitsch 15 439 4 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2008 11:14AM
just superb.....
5 Jul 2008 12:57PM
A picture that says it all. Brilliant in its form and content. Francois.
fossilized 16 79 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2008 4:56PM
funkeldink 17 1.6k 1 Australia
6 Jul 2008 7:41AM
MY FAVE ... incredibly strong shot ... worthy of all praise
Hoops 12 10 Thailand
7 Jul 2008 5:31AM
pennyspike 17 2.1k 29 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2008 3:14PM
Another excellent documentary of life.
I've just noticed the POTW Congratulations, well deserved.Smile
clevercloggs Plus
16 251 15 Netherlands
7 Jul 2008 4:42PM
great capture, congrats on the ec and potw.
like the toning and the angle.
your images keep getting better
tttfoto 19 592 Poland
7 Jul 2008 5:24PM
Exellent as ever, well done with the EC
dazzaman 14 631 England
7 Jul 2008 6:31PM
soooooooooooooooooooo well deserved.
well done you.
Goggz 14 2.3k 72 Wales
7 Jul 2008 6:55PM
I agree about the positioning of those people being a little awkward, but overall, this is a very strong image. The movement of the waiter is excellent. I'm guessing this was at the long end of the lense to avoid spoiling the atmosphere, so moving would have been outta the question.

Love the mono and lighting!
Well done Smile

Cheers, Goggz
SuziBlue 18 16.2k 10 Scotland
7 Jul 2008 7:07PM
Inspired. Talk about life imitating art .. spot on.

Have my personal gong Smile
GregorP 16 4 Slovenia
7 Jul 2008 7:57PM
Fantastic shot!

User_Removed 15 7 8 Netherlands
8 Jul 2008 7:51AM
that David, is just splendid. POTW so powerful, such a good study. Love it.
riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
8 Jul 2008 8:55AM
pleased to be able to award this
User_Removed 17 17.9k 8 Norway
8 Jul 2008 12:05PM
Need to see the large version to really see the quality here - it pours off the page. Congratulations on the EC and PoTW. Well deserved David.
ChristopherG 14 53 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2008 5:55PM
very crisp work
volare 16 2 Malta
10 Jul 2008 2:41PM
What strikes me most in this sot is the light which is marvelously controlled apart from every one in the shot is doing something. The blurred butler is the cherry on the cake. My vote is 10+
david deveson 16 62 2 Italy
10 Jul 2008 2:59PM

Quote:I agree about the positioning of those people being a little awkward, but overall, this is a very strong image. The movement of the waiter is excellent. I'm guessing this was at the long end of the lense to avoid spoiling the atmosphere, so moving would have been outta the question.
Cheers, Goggz

Hi Goggz, no long lense here, just sitting quietly in a private club, laid the camera on a table with the 28:200 zoom on quite a wide aperture if I remember correctly with no possibility to move around and clicked away until I was spotted and got some very very nasty looks.
A hasty retreat was asked for.
lampshuk 15 48 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2008 10:38PM
A great photo. The shutter click on the 1D must be a lot quieter than on my 20D. I think I would have been thrown out after one picture!

I would really love to see the faces more clearly. Even though it looks very natural like this I think the eye is naturally drawn to faces and feels "frustrated" when it can only see bits.

Beautifully detailed and marvellous light, too.
david deveson 16 62 2 Italy
10 Jul 2008 10:46PM
Ha lampshuk, the shutter click on the 1D is horrendously noisy... I just had fake coughing fits everytime I clicked....
User_Removed 13 736 4
11 Jul 2008 2:37AM
Utterly beautiful. The light is entrancing. The composition; impeccable. The atmosphere decadent, alluring and measured. But what I like the most is the harmony in movement/motion/direction (?) between the people and the picture behind them. It's yin and yang. The 'real' woman gestures one way. The 'painted' boy leans the other.

I'd fall on my sword if I had one (or thought it a really good idea in modern times, but you know what I mean - I am so in awe that I can't possibly see myself equalling this).

I'd swear at this point if I thought it appropriate. So, all I can say to punctuate this is 'Bravo'.
kokobrown 16 1.9k Scotland
11 Jul 2008 12:41PM
This is gorgeous.
The description really makes you think, the photograph is beautifully composed, lit and exposed.

Well done.

Have 100 votes.

Laura x
IanFlindt 16 740 21 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2008 3:45PM
A remarkable image, and so deserving of its many, many awards.

Although the image is in B&W and is of an interior you wouldn't perhaps normally associate with him, this reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting....especially in its thumbnail format. Perhaps it's the woman's hairstyle which, from afar, looks as if it might have been designed in the 1920s, 30s or 40s!
old timer 16 55 1 Scotland
12 Jul 2008 5:53AM
Superb photojournalism, David. A wonderful image, with all the elements hanging together perfectly, and with a fantastic tonal range. I'd never have the nerve to try a shot like this.

Sorry to be late in my commenting, but as you know I'm not on ePz so much these days.
12 Jul 2008 9:01PM
RC, EC, POTW and so many User Awards they had to install a scroll bar to show them all. You should be utterly ashamed of yourself Mr. Deveson Grin
david deveson 16 62 2 Italy
13 Jul 2008 7:44AM
Never had a scroll bar to myself Mr Belgikskenikske, makes me feel quite humble... take care
photoion 12 59 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2008 6:31PM
I would be curious to know exactly how did you decide to take this whot. what was your first instinct or the exact reason that made you to press the shutter.

congratulations, well done.
david deveson 16 62 2 Italy
21 Jul 2008 6:36PM
Hi Photoion...
I'm afraid I do it all the time... sitting around with a camera watching waiting, I was just waiting for my aperitivo and watching these 'fat cats' totally unaware of the world around them... I loved the light and just gave it a go... I often do... I guess it's a case of don't do, don't get and anyway the light was beautiful, good enough reason for any shot
photoion 12 59 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2008 7:15PM
Ah, I love this type of light, mysterious, excellent interpretation of it in this case. I am glad that it was the element that commenced this picture, the aspect that made you to think (and risk) about this shot.

I hope my question did not trouble you in any way but I am really interested in this type of b&w shots especially in what was the "primordial" element that produced the shot (composition, light, curiosity, voyeurism, or sometimes nothing of these - just a mistake).

well done again. I just love this shot.
MDaniel 14 3 3 Ghana
23 Jul 2008 11:18AM
Super image Dave
23 Jul 2008 3:21PM
Many congratulations on your multi awards, I would cherish the Andy Dippie award very much.
Tramper 13 3 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2008 7:10PM
Great photo, very Hopperish.
User_Removed 17 16 1 United Kingdom
26 Jul 2008 8:16PM
well done on everything! :O)

Daisymaye Plus
12 23 18 Canada
4 Feb 2009 2:51PM
This picture is so natural, her hand held up, the butler busy, the fellow in the left corner looking interested. The fellow on the right looking bored. The picture which makes me think of wealth. It is such an interesting capture. Love it.
riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
1 Nov 2009 3:56AM
well worth yet another revisit, like the addition of the extra version, thanks

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