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Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 8 August 2008 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

models: August (hands) & Machaon (face) - 2008

My salute to today's opening of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

yz from Hungary

Great image, very nice lighting! And I think it is also very true...

8 Aug 2008 8:14am

Anthony from Germany

Nice portrait !! I peronaly think that sport and politics should not be mixed.

8 Aug 2008 8:37am

@Anthony: It is a difficult proposition, yet I agree. The 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Germany being the ultimate example. Ideally, a permanent site in Greece - where it all began - makes sense. Have it there every four years. Except, the air pollution and heat in Greece are similar to that of Beijing in summer.

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

A political image, Stephen! I like your idea and honor your creativity. Very good!

8 Aug 2008 8:50am

Kylie Greenan from Richmond, Australia

A very creative composition, love this in b&w, well done Stephen!

8 Aug 2008 9:06am

kerfendal from Paris, France

like a sculpture of Brancusi, great work

8 Aug 2008 9:35am

Thomas Griffioen from Bocas del Toro, Panama

Indeed a great image Stephen, very creative and a political stand!

8 Aug 2008 9:38am

Eric Fry from Houston, TX, United States

A visually stunning photo made even more so by its purpose. My hat's off to you!

8 Aug 2008 10:06am

Lorraine from Canada the mood, wow Stephen

8 Aug 2008 11:43am

Marcie from United States

Very creative way of expressing a controversial topic. All round - well done. Bravo!

8 Aug 2008 11:48am

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

Like your style! Not sure which is the more powerful...the image or the comment!

8 Aug 2008 11:51am

Baz from Teglia, United Kingdom

Excellent photo and message!

8 Aug 2008 11:59am

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Find this a strong provocative image whether I could follow or agree to the message...

8 Aug 2008 2:37pm

@hugo poon: I sent our friend, Hugo a personal note on this posting. It is a complicated matter and I fully appreciate that the perspective of the Chinese people are quite different than that of the west. I support anything which keeps alive the respectful conversation.

I see much fault in my own nation in support the ideals set forth by its founders. On matters of human rights - the administration for the past eight years has been nothing less than disgraceful. I condemn the war in Iraq. I condemn the illegal detention facility in Guantanamo, Cuba. I condemn the abuses of our guaranteed freedoms in the name of security.

And I would (happily) say this to the faces of those who championed these abuses - without fear. And I would defend with my life the right to do so.

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

I like the idea of political message by the way of photography. Dramatic but so significant composition....

8 Aug 2008 4:18pm

@Evelyne Dubos: Your post immediately recalled to me - the image of the little girl - naked along the road in Vietnam where her village had just been 'Napalmed'. That single photograph contributed more towards tuning public opinion against the war - than all of the protests at home had managed to that time.

DonLon from Providence, RI, United States

Very well done. Good work.

8 Aug 2008 5:14pm

dj.tigersprout from San Bruno, CA, United States

oh wow! Stephen, this is just overwhelmingly amazing!! :D there are so many levels to this picture, of course! simply amazing, simply hopeless, simply devastating -- it just continues -- all of humanities hopes and fears, visions and ideals, downfalls and evils reside here -- just spectacular and disturbing! an excellent tribute to today's giant step forward for the US, for China, for the United Nations... for the diplomacy of civilization past and present... i pray we all find a positive way forward together... bravo! bravo!

8 Aug 2008 6:54pm

@dj.tigersprout: many thanks my friend. More than a few times I've read where the father of the hydrogen bomb, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer - considered himself an optimist on human consciousness. His reasoning being simply, "I have to be."

My own view is this: To see life as a precious gift causes us to lift and elevate ourselves toward making it more valuable. Failing this perspective - we are doomed. Each time I see a weed having pushed its flower above the crack in the sidewalk - I have hope.

Laurent from Lyon, France

Very provocative indeed.
I fell so sorry for the athletes for the way there games will be hold hostage by politics.
And I fell so ashamed of the Olympic comity that show games after games how corrupted and how far from the Olympic spirit it is.

8 Aug 2008 8:32pm

Ron from Saint Louis, United States

A very strong and provocative statement, Stephen! Very creative ...

8 Aug 2008 8:38pm

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Dear Stephen, how wonderful of you to send me that personal note! I'm touched. Not only have you explained your thoughts but even more important, you've shown your warm concern for someone and how he might feel though he's a "friend" you have yet to meet...

Couldn't agree more that "politics" is complicated and different people would view things differently depending on where they stand... It's a sad reality that the past two hundred years have been the dark ages for Chinese people. And only until the 80's that they finally felt the hope and started to make progress again. Despite all the existing faults, imperfections (socially and potically) and tragedies (earthquakes), Chinese people are in a rarely great spirit today. This is what I read this morning from the Reuters on the Beijing's Olympic Opening Ceremony:(it was) "about China for at least the next 17 days becoming the world stage. The Chinese, accustomed to humiliation, real and perceived, by foreigners for centuries, are secure enough these days that they were willing, even eager, to share the spotlight." Los Angeles Times

Have a great weekend my friend!:-)

PS. Since the ancient days, Chinese people have had no difficulty in differentiating between their mother country and the government that might be ruling, a benevolent righteous king and a tyrant...

9 Aug 2008 4:07am

@hugo poon: Hugo - I am so happy to have met you through AM3 - I very much enjoy your imagery - but more importantly your spirit. And so many others in this community seem to embrace that spirit as well. So here is to growth and respect to all. May the Olympic flame illuminate a path for all of humankind to find expanded insight, serenity, and grace - in facing challenges outside of themselves - as well as within. So, for China - and so for each of us. The outside world can learn much from China - as China can learn much from the outside world. Miracles happen - when we work together.