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A Cautionary Tale

Posted by
Bettina (Los Angeles, United States) on 14 November 2010 in Documentary & Street and Portfolio.

I was taking pictures in a neighborhood of LA and these three children were walking home alone together. I saw them down several streets and found them so touching. It's very rare to see children walking alone in LA. Sadly it's just not considered safe. They were walking home, apparently after a party, as all three were swinging little party favor bags. The older boy walked ahead and held the little boy's hand up until just when I took the picture. That's when a car began to pull out of the driveway ahead and the boy stopped and turned to check if the girl was safely behind him.
Still catching up with work.

NIKON D60 1/1250 second F/5.6 ISO 100 405 mm (35mm equiv.)

Chris Pereira from San Jose, CA, United States

I read your description, that's cute, i can't count the number of times i've almost gotten hit because a car blindly sped out of their driveway in reverse D: both walking and riding my bike, once I braked so hard my front wheel began to lock up and my rear wheel went airborne (I caught it in time and stayed on the bike). i gave the driver that "evil glare"

14 Nov 2010 6:17am

Bill Brown from California, United States

Very nice capture! I agree, in this day it is not safe for young kids to be walking alone.

14 Nov 2010 6:42am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

In Japan, I sometimes saw small children going to and from school. In Kyoto, my wife and I saw this tiny girl with her little backpack riding the subway unattended. I can't imagine that happening here. That's a great shot you got.

14 Nov 2010 6:50am

Pavan Kaul from Mumbai, India

A lovely composition with great beauty, innocence and color! I love your choice of focus here Betty:)

14 Nov 2010 7:13am

Sam from Chennai, India

Good capture. Nice colours and light. Yes, kids are to be cautious ...

14 Nov 2010 8:02am

San G. from Encino, California, United States

Cautionary tale, indeed. I grew up here in L.A., and it was typical to walk to and from elementary school ... alone or with other kids (even crossing big streets). In Chicago, when I was even younger, we'd even walk home from school for lunch. It was fun to "kick-the-can" for as long as we could. I remember throwing dirt clods at telephone poles. Nowadays, it's hard to even FIND a dirt clod. Ah, for the good ole days! Your image is so sweet, and thanks for sharing the story too.

14 Nov 2010 8:08am

@San G.: Where have all the dirt clods gone??

Yvon from Orleans, France

lovely shot, Betty

14 Nov 2010 8:36am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

It's going the same way here...Mums driving their kids in armoured(Not quite...yet) 4*4's to a school 1/2 mile away. Really sad, really really sad. I'm really not sure why. That aren't any more pervs, drivers have the same level of visual acuity. What exactly are we scared of? Fear itself?

14 Nov 2010 8:55am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Better be careful thats for sure... A nice capture Bettina, I like the colors and the focus. Have a lovely sunday :)

14 Nov 2010 9:13am

The Mouse from Glasgow, United Kingdom

I'm with celiotec on this one, since the blame culture arrived we have lost community and become look after yourself people:(

14 Nov 2010 9:13am

@The Mouse: It's sad. But it's really not safe here either. There are so many missing kids on cartons. It's weird.

✿ Anina ✿ from Auckland, New Zealand

It's so true, and sad, that children can't walk alone anymore. It's such a great shot. I love the colours and DOF.

14 Nov 2010 9:15am

Soheil from Tehran, Iran

nice photo
well done

14 Nov 2010 9:18am

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

cracking image, love the DOF

14 Nov 2010 9:19am

LB Vision from PARIS, France

Jolie composition et belle lumière ! peace !

14 Nov 2010 10:01am

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Very nice image, colors are splendid, the largest monitors the others! Good day.

14 Nov 2010 10:36am

silver from Iran

i guessd it was nikon and i was right this beautiful colors and children is so great

14 Nov 2010 10:55am

@silver: Thank you!

Sally from Glasgow, United Kingdom

Love it.

14 Nov 2010 11:04am

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Very nice street shot. I like the saturation a lot

14 Nov 2010 11:15am

reza from kermanshah, Iran

nice shot

14 Nov 2010 11:56am

JJ from Jersey City, United States

A sweet shot, but times have sure changed, I remember when growing up it was o problem to walk to and from friends even a few blocks away, but now we have to be so careful with children, and when you see kids walking on there own like this we almost get concerned and want to follow them home from a distance to make sure they get home safely

14 Nov 2010 12:51pm

@JJ: You're right. I felt strangely nervous for them. It was such an anomaly.

STEED from Somewhere, France

A nice today's tale......Curiously international.....But where's the right way to do,actually? Curious Times.....

Nice picture,Bett'....

14 Nov 2010 1:03pm

@STEED: Curious times, indeed, Mr. Steed.

Sonia Nansid from Barcelona Stockholm, Sweden

So touching!

14 Nov 2010 1:21pm

clodagh smith from Sacramento, United States

I walked to elementary school by myself and took the bus to high school, a city not a school bus. My mother took the subway to her schools in NYC. So sad that now kids have to be so sheltered but it is necessary in today's world. Nice shot

14 Nov 2010 3:08pm

@clodagh smith: It's really sad. I don't even know why it is the way it is.

Don from Spokane, United States

A timely capture of these youngsters behaving in a way we now consider unsafe. It's a fine action shot with a key moment caught very well.

14 Nov 2010 4:04pm

PATRICK from miramas, France

very great capture

14 Nov 2010 4:21pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

I like the words as much as the shot.
Another part of modern life is that if a male photographer shoots kids like that he is likely to be arrested.

14 Nov 2010 5:09pm

Céline from New York City, United States

Cool shot ! I like the off subject DOF !

14 Nov 2010 5:17pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

A beautiful captured Bettina! A very sad commentary on our society when we live in fear of having our children play in the neighborhood. Well seen and captured! ;-)

14 Nov 2010 5:26pm

Isidro from Barcelona, Spain

lovely shot, beautiful colors !

14 Nov 2010 6:13pm

NaDu from Köln, Germany

Alarming story in big contrast to the shining idyllic scene.

14 Nov 2010 6:29pm

@NaDu: True. It doesn't look so bad.

Pixim from Nice, France

I love the strong contrast and the saturated colors, while a story is being set up in advance and a playful spirit ;)

14 Nov 2010 6:30pm

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

A striking and very beautiful composition Bettina!. I like the pictures with the players back. They are very inspiring to me! . The contrast of light and color is excellent. Very good picture friend! Best regards, Adela

14 Nov 2010 6:36pm

Melocoton from Salamanca, Spain

preciosa imagen, betty, un saludo pablo

14 Nov 2010 7:14pm

Gary from Cochise County, United States

Yes, I can see the protective look. Chivalry is not dead!!!!! It is so sad that children can't hardly walk alone anymore. Exploring was my favorite thing as a kid.

14 Nov 2010 7:28pm

The Dark Dude from Maestoso, United Kingdom

hey duderowiezowie
now if youda put this tune on it....
great shot
great description...

14 Nov 2010 8:51pm

@The Dark Dude: Duderfright, blowing my mind, this was the day before Halloween...

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

It's a good cautionary tale, and isn't it sad that the wonderful free days of our childhood cannot be safely experienced by children today, no matter where we live.

14 Nov 2010 9:02pm

Laura Sederberg from Chico, United States

Nicely captured and shared, Bettina. A cautionary tale, these days, huh? I remember back when I was those kids. I walked from point A to point B without a care in the world. But perhaps you are right, my big sis was always looking out for me, even way back then. They look safe enough, don't they. Must still be warm weather.

14 Nov 2010 9:35pm

The Dark Dude from Maestoso, United Kingdom

hey dudercarljungerette
now duderladyooder, tell me this wasnt taken in south pasedena....

14 Nov 2010 9:48pm

@The Dark Dude: Nah, Dudacious. This is Pacific Palisades.

Richard from Duns, United Kingdom

You're so right on the description. Lovely photo too.

14 Nov 2010 9:59pm

ORBIT from Kerman, Iran

I really love your explantions,
You tell us what happened when you take pics,
and I can imagine that moment. Good job, Bravo. : )
I can't speak English well
so I hope, understand what I mean. : )

15 Nov 2010 1:45am

Steve from Atlanta, United States

This is almost nostalgic to me in that I used to walk everywhere. We, as kids in Detroit, would disappear on Saturday morning and return in time for dinner Saturday evening and parents would not even think twice about it. Now, kids can't even play in their own front yard by themselves!

15 Nov 2010 1:49am

@Steve: It's true and so sad!

P. Morris from Toronto, N.Y.C., and Saskatoon Canada, Canada

Great to hear these children are watching for their safety. a great picture.

15 Nov 2010 1:59am

Becky from los angeles, United States

Oh yes - I think this all the time when I see children out walking -
it's sad. We use to play all night long in the neighboring yards and in the carless streets - kick the can and such - Wonderful text and image!

15 Nov 2010 3:07am

flyingwind风飞扬 from Bridgetown, Barbados

This looks to be an alley and not the lane for vehicle, so looks not very dangerous mabe! But very impressive and glad to have your special attention to the children's safety! Great DIARY shot!

15 Nov 2010 3:52am

rem_la from Villiers, France

superbe ces couleurs saturées !

15 Nov 2010 6:26am

peter.K from blue mountains, Australia

these can be sad time in which we live, we are always worried for our children, strong colours you have achieved here...

15 Nov 2010 6:32am

k@ from Paris, France

Very touching sibling-like story of freedom defying unsecure grown-up tales & telling below a sunny sky. The focus over the super bright bush of flowers seem like a benevolent mother-like presence, the trunks on the other side like fathers, they can walk in-between with no fear (plus Bettina's close ;) Have a super week*

15 Nov 2010 6:59am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Great capture of the moment - timed to show the turning head just as the car moves out of the drive. Yes, a cautionary tale - although hard to believe from the bright world we see in the image.

15 Nov 2010 7:03am

DULCIE from Danville, CA, United States

Wonderful for the pathos of a time quickly passing when children could walk alone on the streets.
It was a formative part of my life...sad how children are cheated in many ways,
of life's experiences, these days.

15 Nov 2010 7:09am

Goddess from Tehran, Iran

like the scense of image .. :)

15 Nov 2010 9:12am

danou-yepa from Nice, France

beautiful capture and good title !!!

15 Nov 2010 9:50am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Beautiful shot.. lovely DOF and colours..

15 Nov 2010 10:20am

olivier Paillet from toulouse, France

A shiny shot for a sad situation !! Well done !

15 Nov 2010 10:27am

Christian Devoise from Mantes La Jolie, France

When I was ten, I gone to visit my gandmother in the north of Paris. I came from the south suburb, took the bus then the subway. I knew the road. I never had a problem and was never afraid. And I felt safe. I liked the smell of the subway and long corridors. My children have never had the same experience so young. It was too late for them, the society had changed. Certainly, it's sad, but we have also a responsability: to be unable to accepts the risks of a real coexistence.. We want to share with everybody but safety (behind a computeur for example) but staying in our own ivory tower, well protected us ..... May be, THAT is sad.

15 Nov 2010 11:08am

BeLTxA from Menorca, Spain

Here for the moment still safaty to walk children alone.

15 Nov 2010 12:09pm

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

The most joyful and colorful dreamlike image... yet the saddest and horrible story of today's real world! How your fabulous capture has reminded me of the happy childhood. Aren't little boys and girls supposed to play outside in such a beautiful day like this!!! What more can I say my dear friend... I'm so struck!

15 Nov 2010 12:31pm

@hugo poon: I remember walking to school as a five year old by myself. This is inconceivable now. I would spend all day on my bike in the neighborhood. Not possible now. So sad. The boy's quick responsible behavior moved me in this moment.

Mhelene from Paris, France

Wonderful colors and composition ! It looks like in old times !

15 Nov 2010 1:00pm

S from Sala al Barro, Italy

Thanks for telling us stories with your images, that's the best photography.

15 Nov 2010 3:16pm

mo.langel from Courtelary, Switzerland

Beautiful street scene! Wonderful colors and light!

15 Nov 2010 3:37pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Your story is so true and image is so wonderful...this story has hopefully a happy ending but I know you are right aboutthe safety issue... Back this way, although we do not really live in a rural area, you would think that we did, kids are allowed to roam, ride bikes, etc into the streets with absolutely no conccern for oncoming cars..and our neighborhood is pretty high density with condos as well as single family is scary how these kids - little kids - seem to have no knowkledge of safety, Barbara and I are conditioned by this to be ever vigilant when driving but still I worry every time....parents, where the HELL are they and what the HELL are they (not) thinking??

15 Nov 2010 4:31pm

Véronique from Here & Now, France

A great picture with a lovely atmosphère. Touching too.

15 Nov 2010 8:08pm

Sarah from Suisse, Switzerland

I can't believe no one called the police to report some strange woman following these kids while taking photos of them!
har har

15 Nov 2010 9:47pm

@Sarah: Har dee har har. I was wearing a ski mask just in case.

Howard F. from South Pasadena, Calif., United States

I hear ya! That's why I always walk my dog at night when I can see light coming out of driveways. Very nice story.

15 Nov 2010 11:08pm

Tomix from landerneau, France

very touching and careful boys! greatlight and strong colorful shot!

15 Nov 2010 11:59pm

Earnest from Oklahoma, United States

I know what you mean... where has our innocence gone? Great catch.

16 Nov 2010 1:34am

Wild Mustang Photography from Carlisle, Massachusetts, United States

Very sweet capture and very true! You never know how safe your children are. Beautiful composition and touching story.

16 Nov 2010 4:19am

DowsherVision from PARIS, France

Superb colors !

16 Nov 2010 4:25am

1/1250 second
ISO 100
405 mm (35mm equiv.)