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Posted by
Ralph Jones (Detroit, United States) on 31 July 2011 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

Mission Statement:
To document the city in an attempt to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the uniqueness of Detroit, her buildings, and her people.

Meet Michael, he is perhaps Detroit's most famous pan handler. He's often seen Downtown, near the medical center, or the eastern market area in his wheel chair. Michael lost both his feet due to frostbite years ago. Most people look at Michael but few really see him, or perhaps they would prefer not to see him. He's a really nice and friendly guy and he likes photography and to be photographed. He also understands how compelling he looks and the power of his green eyed gaze.

Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.
We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.

Mission Statement:
To document the city in an attempt to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the uniqueness of Detroit, her buildings, and her people.

Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.
We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

What a wonderful portrait this is of your friend Michael ... God bless him, and you for reaching out!

31 Jul 2011 12:27pm

Mariana M. from Waterloo, Canada

extraordinary portrait ! beautiful face and eyes !

31 Jul 2011 1:29pm

Enzo from Lausanne, Switzerland

Félicitations, ce portrait est merveilleux et le personnage sympathique!

31 Jul 2011 2:38pm

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Such an unforgettable face and warm soul through your lens Ralph! Delicate and brilliant portraiture!

31 Jul 2011 2:52pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Michael has a beautiful and almost regal face. I always see the Michaels in my city, and give them eye contact and verbal responses as well as what spare change I may be able to offer on a given day. Frostbite takes a lot of digits from these people. We have volunteer based organizations that actively seek out and implore these unfortunate citizens to get indoors at night during the harsh winter months. I gave a pair of expensive Marmot gloves to a man once who I saw sitting on a subway vent with grotesquely blue fingers... he thanked me profusely and yet only a couple of weeks later he was bare-handed again. When I asked, he told me they had been traded for a bottle of red wine. Such is the harshness and flux of reality for these people who deserve to be seen and listened to. Plenty of them were once me, or you, or others. GREAT portrait and post, Ralph. Bless you, Michael, and good luck.

31 Jul 2011 3:42pm

Sandy Weston from Madison, Maine, United States

Wow...those green eyes are very prominent! What a wonderful face full of expression! I hope Michael is watched out for more now since his horrible loss!

31 Jul 2011 3:51pm

M@ndy from London, United Kingdom

What a wonderful image, in so many ways.

31 Jul 2011 4:53pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

A beautiful proud profile shot Ralph! Yes, his green eyes are captivating! ;-)

31 Jul 2011 5:40pm

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

A handsome guy. Seems to have a good bit of charisma.

31 Jul 2011 7:21pm

Olivier from Manage, Belgium

An fantastic ^ortrait , this man is cool!

31 Jul 2011 7:26pm

foto forte from Phoenix, United States

Ralph, this is a beautiful portrait...such kindness in the eyes....such beautiful detail and clarity....magnificently done! Bravo, bravo, bravo! :)

31 Jul 2011 7:42pm

Bettina from Los Angeles, United States

He has an amazing, a very kind face and striking eyes. It's a beautiful portrait and story.

31 Jul 2011 7:48pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

This is a beautiful portrait. He has amazing eyes. The story of the homeless everywhere is so heartbreaking.

1 Aug 2011 12:04am

LauraS from Chico, United States

Ralph, this is a great share. Love the comments, too, and just added Rick to my blogwatch, because I like what he had to say about your photo. Peace, brother, keep up the great work (which I know is just you being you). Thanks, too for the email response to me yesterday email.

1 Aug 2011 12:48am

Gary from Cochise County, United States

Wonderful image and story, Ralph. The way only you can share it. You have a great soul.

1 Aug 2011 1:17am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

He has a good face and beautiful eyes.

1 Aug 2011 2:31am

JCJ from Troyes, France

great portrait. congrats.

1 Aug 2011 8:48pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Way2Go Ralph ! I saw this first thing this AM but didn't get a chance to comment but what went through my mind was "Ahhh Michael...I remember this wonderful face!" Beautiful Ralph...congratulations on spotlight award but you should be spotlight pretty much every day anyway in my opinion...Congrats!

1 Aug 2011 8:51pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

Oh, Ralph, I'm delighted to see Michael made it to the Spotlight! Congratulations ... and now you'll have to tell him he was "published."

1 Aug 2011 11:49pm

David from Detroit, United States

Wow! Congratulation on the spotlight!

2 Aug 2011 12:43am

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria


2 Aug 2011 2:46am

Kelsey Vaughn Thomas from Detroit, United States

This is a Man. When I've looked into his eyes and said Hello, he always answers back. And truly means it. Learn.
Much love for this photo. A Detroit Icon.

2 Aug 2011 3:48am

foto forte from Phoenix, United States

Congratulations on spotlight, Ralph...well deserved!:D

2 Aug 2011 8:41am

Mhelene from Paris, France

Wow ...extraordinary ! A superb portrait where his kindness appears ! Congratulations !

2 Aug 2011 8:57am

Mariana M. from Waterloo, Canada

Feels great to see Micheal's face on a Spotlight . Congrats to both of you ;)

2 Aug 2011 12:17pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Dropping by to offer you congrats on the Spotlight. Well deserved for this great portrait.

2 Aug 2011 8:38pm

Dokmateo from Spain

Congratulation...this is a very strong portrait, well deserved for spotlight! Excellent clarity and tones.

2 Aug 2011 10:42pm

rose from France

congratulation !! it's a beautiful picture !

3 Aug 2011 9:07pm

J.R. from Ginowan, Japan

WoW!!! Super portrait the eyes look kind, the face looks as though he's seen more than most of us can imagine

4 Aug 2011 5:48am

Punit from Somewhere in, India

Fantastic portrait here..! I love that line " Most people look at Michael but few really see him, or perhaps they would prefer not to see him." - many things within our cities are like that - we look at them but don't see them. Glad to "see" them through your eyes, your photos.

4 Aug 2011 7:14am

houshang from hamaedan, Iran

superb shot well done indeed

5 Aug 2011 5:26am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Extraordinary image.

5 Aug 2011 6:19am

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Great and very nice portrait. Congrats to the spotlight

5 Aug 2011 9:02am

ManuelaR from Hainburg (Frankfurt/Main), Germany

Congratulations! Excellent portrait.

5 Aug 2011 4:20pm

Elena Kotrotsou from Drossia, Greece

Excellent portrait!

7 Aug 2011 1:15pm

Albert from Sweden, living in Hamburg, Germany

Congratz to the spotlight! Well deserved. Great portrait.

7 Aug 2011 5:53pm


beautiful portrait & nice Smile (^ __^ )

9 Aug 2011 5:03pm

Hilde Morin from United States

Great portrait and beautiful subject!

9 Aug 2011 8:42pm

Tomix from landerneau, France

sorry to have missed this fantastic spotlight!
beautiful light on his eyes!

10 Aug 2011 7:36am

eversmile from Aix-en-Provence, France

That's a beautiful portrait with a lot of soul. Michael is certainly a character by himself, but you have your part in this successful portrait. The sharpness is excellent, with a good variety of textures ( hair, skin, sweat on the face) . The colors are good too. Congratulations.

25 Dec 2011 3:08pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice!

4 May 2012 3:33pm