Welcome to the results of this month’s “Loved Ones” challenge. The idea was to send in photographs of things, objects, ideas, places … we love and fear might one day disappear out of our lives. Or about loss and disappearance themselves. Not only that, but photographs made in such a way that the love would shine through the photographs to the readers viewing them, even those who feel nothing about the subject.
Once again, this was very difficult. Not only because you were asked to reveal something about yourself, something intimate, but also because it is so hard to convey an emotion to someone else when we are ourselves locked into it and lack the objectivity to think formally.
I love those practical exercises. They are infuriatingly hard but so efficient to push us upwards. Always the educator at heart, right 😉 Kinda strange, coming from someone so bad at being educated himself 😀
Anyway, as always, I am blown away by what some of you have sent in. To me, the ability to convey a variety of emotions while retaining a consistent style is the hallmark of a great photographer and that’s what I’ve been observing in many of your contributions over the months. Some are moving, others are thought provoking. Great work.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to create/find images and sending them in for us to enjoy. Since the photographs on this page are very personal I will refrain from any commentary and simply publish whatever texts authors agreed to link to the images. On with the show.
(as always, I’m stressed out about forgetting someone’s work. Last time it was Kristian and this time, I have the feeling someone sent in just one photo, and can’t find it, and it’s nagging me. Please accept my apologies if your contribution isn’t in here and just drop me a line in the comments so I can correct my mistake …)
Philippe writes : “Here are my first pictures. They embody or symbolize, or represent nature. The unbelievable, almost painful, unbearable beauty of it. I worry that, one day, most probably through man’s folly, it will be gone like the dodo bird…
The second theme is Paris. The song says, “Paris sera toujours Paris”. But if Notre-Dame can burn, what is really safe, really there “forever”?
The third theme is: beautiful fast cars. Could it be that, in order to perserve what is left of our planet, we have to give up these extraordinary objects of beauty, desire, thrill and freedom? Could it be that I have been part of the last generation to have ridden a Ferrari at 265kmh on a motorway?
The fourth theme, of course, and it ought to be the first, is my mother, who will in just over a week turn 98, God willing. I love her, and, know for a fact that she won’t be there forever. I hope you will forgive me fo not putting up her picture, which I consider private. Nah, the real reason is, the years are not always kind to faces of loved ones. And she, for sure, would not forgive me, for putting up a picture of her in her old age, when she was once so radiantly beautiful… And the Bard said “hell hath no fury like a woman posted on DS against her will….
Michael writes: “a photo of a place dear to me – the lake close by where I grew up I Denmark – where I spent my youth fishing, swimming, kissing and more…”
Jean Pierre writes “The first was taken with my Pentax, c. 2002 – my second Dobermann, Chloe. I’ve always adored this photo, and in fact it’s my screen saver, in front of me every day. It’s not 100% SOOC, but it hasn’t had much post processing, because in those days I had limited access to post processing software (ONLY PS Elements, in one of its early iterations) and very little knowledge or experience with digital processing. Actually it was scanned onto the computer, from AGFA color negative film and given a bit of a touch up from there. I love the colours, the bokeh, the typical expression on her face – and she was my best friend, except for all the others.
The second was one of many, taken at a time when my friend Kath’s older Dachshund Bella seemed to me to be nearing the end of her life. Without wanting to alarm Kath, I started taking photos of Bella on a regular basis, so that when the inevitable happened, at least she would have some decent photos of her little girl, to remember her by and to ease the pain of losing her.
My present Dobermann, Cris – taken with the D500 and a zoom AF lens (AF is an overwhelming reason for not going with the larger gear, like the D850 and the Otus’s)”
Brian Writes: “I have always wanted one of the classic thunderbirds. We lived in California around 2000 for about 5 years. I was driving my wife’s car by myself and say a late fifties red thunderbird convertible approaching in the opposite direction. It was like a scene out of American Graffiti. I did not notice traffic has stopped and I drove into the back of a 70’s Volvo with the giant bumper that wiped out the grill and rad of my wife’s car. I have even more emotion now when I see a pristine thunderbird.”
I suppose starting with the most endangered is probably the most in line with the challenge.
So wildlife it is. I love wildlife and the outdoors. My life is largely indoors, these days, but recent hiking photographs by my son reminded me just how much I miss it. Anytime something is wrong, being out with (friendly) wildlife just makes it all go away.
Art. Probably not at any risk of disappearing. Our societies are crumbling faster than sand castles at high tide at the hands of populist devils. It’s sad and will only get sadder as the years pass.
But the great news is that art thrives in those conditions. Not paintings made for oligarch wives (although the concentration of money in the hands of a few does make that market happy as well). Real Art, made by people freed of their smartphones and tired of Facebook. People willing to think about life’s meaning from up close.
I love London. It’s a ridiculous city, architecturally, with stuff sticking out of other stuff in every which direction. “A man tired of London is tired of life” wrote Samuel Johnson and that’s certainly true from a photographic perspective. A hundred times or more, I’ve visited, never have I made the same photographs twice.
Traveling. I love it. Particularly with family. Environmental concerns make it a little harder to enjoy without feeling some guilt these days, but it is probably the last luxury I would like to give up 😉
Astronomy made it easy for me to cruise through school. Whether we had a lesson about some murderous hero of the past or about the damping of springs or about some really important protein that makes monkeys fart (I wish) or about the dative of comounds, my note books were full of drawings of telescopes, and buildings, and telescopes and planets, and telescopes and stars …
To me today, astronomy symbolises time. The time I’m no longer making to observe and read about the heavens is time stolen from thinking about the deeper meaning of things, stolen by the mundane and unimportant. Life slipping away.
Oh, and what’s life without a cat? Why not forfeit cookies and milk while we’re being barbaric. I mean …
Bob writes : “The sarcophagi in Key West, FL are not buried, as the water table is too high. So the burial chambers are stacked like cord wood so they will not float off. A weathered flag keeps watch.
Jim used to rent a “villa” every winter in the Conch Republic, aka Key West, Fl. I memorialized his veranda during his last visit.
I took this picture of an abandoned fish house from around the corner where I once lived in Pamlico County, NC, an un-destination if ever there was one.
How many childrenonce traveled to school on this relic, now forgotten,in Florence, NC.
Family cemeteries tell their own stories.”
Paul sends this series of portraits without words of this wonderful land he has to leave behind for a while. No words are needed.
Nancee sends those 3 gripping images of desolation.
Lad writes: “The Chessie Trail lies below our property, and I walk it frequently. It’s a converted rail line (the “Chessie” was short for “Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad”) and winds along the Maury River, a tributary of the James River. Here are four shots taken at different times and places that express my affection for this “nature trail.” There are many more…
Hope one of these strikes cords of affection in your heart too.”
They sure do …
Kristian’s series is entitled “Forest, left alone”.
John writes: “They are all shooting locations and will need some explanation.
The Richmond Night Market was a Street Photographers wet dream. Lots of action in a limited space, great lighting exotic atmosphere and great street food. One of my all time favourite shooting locations.
The old parking lot had a fantastic mural along the length of one side and a poster covered wall at the end. The wall behind the poster wall was covered in graffiti and vivid paint. After a rain there would be pools in the parking lot to reflect the mural and there was always lots of reflections in the car windows and metal surfaces. A fabulous place to shoot.
The umbrella shop was one of only two stores I’ve ever seen that specialized in umbrellas. Their window was always colourful and being under a bridge the light was always soft and even … perfect for catching the reflections of passing cars and pedestrians. Another much loved location.
Sadly they are now all gone … “
Nope, that is not the name of a contributor. April Flowers, Theresa May, June Challenge, July Andrews … ya know …
No, this is the RFP (fancy!) for your photographs for the new DS challenge for the month of June. Just sounds better the short way. June agrees.
Now, in the past months, we’ve explored serious, almost heavy, topics such as things we love and fear to lose (not the city, Paris and London are enough for one page), Haiku, vital energy … I’d like to do a fun and silly one for a change.
Antropomorphism would be the appropriate name for what I have in mind, but it feels a bit too serious for the fun mood of the challenge. How often have you seen objects or shadows or plants or … that look like human faces? Sometimes funny, sometimes spooky, sometime interesting … if you’ve made pictures of those, please send them to me (pascal dot japppy at gmail dot com). In the example above, the box on the left, the guy with the 66 bow-tie eying pretty pink June, actually seems more interesting than the overly obvious one on the right.
So bring it, or bring them. Juno, I can’t wait to see what you found 🙂
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