What you need to know about this photograph...

This past weekend Lindsay and I went to Saratoga in northern California for a Pastel workshop Lindsay had been looking forward to attending with a world-class artist.
While Lindsay was perfecting her pastel skills during the day Saturday and Sunday I went exploring with my camera. Saturday I drove into San Francisco to photograph some of the street life. Before covid, Lindsay and I had been there and we were overwhelmed with how horribly filthy the streets were. I thought it would be a good exercise for me to explore the streets with my camera and my new Canon “Nifty Fifty” RF 50mm f/1.8 lens. I haven’t used a 50mm since high school. It was only recently I had watched a couple of YouTube videos of photographers using this new RF lens and raving about it. I limited myself to using ONLY the 50mm while in the city. I enjoyed the challenge, shooting mostly from my hip. My hit ratio was small but with practice, I am confident I will get better.
This gentleman certainly had an impact on me. Seeing him made me feel sad, yet as I approached to photograph him I could see he was in good spirits offering me his crack pipe for a hit. I declined graciously. He didn’t mind. His life today is not a choice I would make for myself but it is a life he has chosen for himself and he was at least content. It is easy for us to look on and want to help him have a better life. Years ago that’s what I tried to do, only to be educated that the gentleman I wanted to help did not want my help, that he had had the “ideal life” successful architect, loving family and he CHOSE this life on the streets. I think we should let people choose how to live their lives, it’s their life to live. It is not up to us to judge and certainly not up to us to change their path.
While I did not spend much time with this man he certainly was not looking for sympathy. While clearly high, his generous nature shined through. For now, he is living his life as he chooses.
The settings for the shot are as follows: Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens shot at f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO-640, white balance set for clouds.