Elderly carer

Elderly carer

This is a woman living in relative poverty in Kinshasa in D R Congo.

I took this photo on 9 November 2007 whilst on a BMS filming trip. We had come to this area to get some general footage and our hosts, who knew this woman, had taken along some food for her.

We know little of her story other than for many years she had cared for children, despite her own poor situation. In doing so she had probably given many a chance in life they would otherwise not have had.

It’s an unusual angle of view but I wanted a character shot that said something of her role and condition in life. By selecting a low viewpoint I wanted to photograph her from a child’s perspective. The bucket and basket in the foreground speak of her labour in keeping things clean and the background is the wall of her home. The moment she turned and looked at me was the cue to take the photograph as I saw her expression, which seemed to say so much.

For those interested, the photograph was taken on a Nikon D70s using a shutter speed of 1/80 sec at f13 on ISO 500. The focal length was 18mm.


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