The beauty of "About Resignation", in my eyes, is not just the bluntness of the theme itself, its the subtle coherence that pours out from every single bit and piece of this photograph - it is not just a narration about this person, but a narration about his society, the world he lives in... and in the end, about ourselves, and why we are, in essence, unable to understand that resignation is not an absolute term, but a relative one.
It is relative, because: the environment is obvious enough - the cap, the cardboard box, the sweater, the fetus-like position to keep from the cold... but look at the other things as well; he's an old man, so he must have really hit rock bottom - a place all of us are bound to go at some point of our lives... its not till you are beaten to the ground do you realize how much we are all worth; the bottle is clean, and in stark contrast to the man himself... clearly, the society of the twenty first century (any society in general, for that matter, of the twenty first century) is falling on the brink of recession and openness... there is a lot available, but that availability is ours to choose from; which is where the shopping bag comes into play... we have become victims of consumerism... as a result, we are our own worst enemies.
But we can stop it... if we can only understand, its a vicious cycle... once we resign to the realization of what we are capable of, and once we accept it, then, and only then, will we be able to not only help this old man out, but become better human beings.
After all, there've been so many people like him at that spot before he came... eventually... they moved on... so, hopefully, will he...
Always interesting writing a critique for you, your captures always differs alot from the previous. Which is a good thing, I wish I could vary my own work more than I do
Photographically: It seems to me that you've used a flash for this capture, this reflects too much for me in the flask. Personally I prefer working around this with decreasing my shutter or increasing the iso/aperture. However the point is that the flask steals some of the storytelling here. I'll get to this in the post-processing part. I applaud you again for doing photography like this and I think that since you're brave enough to try, you're also brave enough to work angles. To quote Scott Kelby "No proffesional photographer goes to a scene and clicks one time and end up with gold". I'm sure you as me would interefere with people in the sense of moving their posessions, so doing different angles might help you telling the story.
Post-Processing: As I mentioned above; the flask. I would brush down the highlights here, because It's not supposed to be the mainsubject here, I think. I like the idea of the vignette, howver I think it's a tad to strong. Vignettes will give you a eyecatching effect even at low strength. Also I'd love to see a highcontrast black and white edition of this with the mentioned post-processing done.
To sum this up: I think you've done something few photographers would dare and I applaud you for this. I like the clarity in the capture as it makes it more rough, which is true to the nature of the capture. Keep up your experimentation, Paul