#867. “Loved ones” Challenge. Your results are in.

By pascaljappy | How-To

Jun 05

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.

 
Incy Wincy
 

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 Berend

 

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 Fleischer

 

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 Guaron

 

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 Nicol

 

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.”

 

Pascal Jappy

 

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 Kruger

 

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 Perton

 

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 Rostad

 

Nancee sends those 3 gripping images of desolation.

 
 

Lad Sessions

 

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 Wannebo

 

Kristian’s series is entitled “Forest, left alone”.

 
Shot with DxO ONE
 

John Wilson

 

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 … “

😢
 
 

June Challenge: and now for something completely different

 

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.

 
Carter and June
 

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 🙂

 
Email: subscribed: 4
  • Paul Perton says:

    A great collection Pascal – I think we all broke a sweat with this one. And thanks for thinking of the topic. June’s submission follows…

  • Michael Fleischer says:

    Hi Pascal…you are right – I did send you a black&white lake/boat photo 20/5, maybe you can find it or I`ll send it again ;-).
    This is an amazing collection – very special to view peoples intimate pictures.
    Need to look some more…!

    • pascaljappy says:

      Oh, drat … I knew it. So sorry Michael. I’ve now corrected my mistake. Thank you for being so understanding and for the wonderful photo (and the saucy description 😉 )

  • Cliff Whittaker says:

    Great collection of very interesting and very well done photo art, Pascal. Hate to sound like a suck-up but my absolute favorite is the wetlands scene with the white egret that didn’t catch my attention until I had moved into the photo and walked around in it a bit. Then the flying egret appeared as something of a surprise, as egrets often do.
    This is the type of scene I’m always looking for but seldom finding in the marshlands. I love the earth tones of the late season vegetation. That captures my attention right off. Then the the water catches my eye and I follow the transition from blue sky reflections in the “close-in” area to the bright, pastel sunset reflected in the “exit area”. Along the way I am happily surprised to discover the elusive egret escaping in the same direction. This one would make a beautiful wall-hanger behind a large couch.
    Hope I can find a scene somewhere this fall that pleases me as much as this one.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thanks Cliff 🙂 That photograph was made near Aigues Mortes, in an area called “La Petite Camargue”. It’s on the outside of the Rhone delta, rather than inside, like the “real” Camargue, and is the land of horses and bulls. And birds. Lots of wetlands and lots of herons, egrets, bitterns. I love that area, it never disappoints, and hope you find a similar one this fall 🙂

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Hi Cliff – interesting – Lad’s third shot, Kristan’s first and last shots (no bird – but similar impression) and Michael’s misplaced but now found shot (again, no bird) all had a similar effect on me (as well as reminding me of what “more” meant to me, when I was younger – I’m quite sure it wasn’t what my grandmother meant when she told me I couldn’t have any “more”, I’d had enough already 🙂 ). It can’t be the water (I prefer wine, actually – probably because dad was a winemaker and I grew up on the stuff), because they don’t all have water in them.
    I love Philippe’s (as always) – I sent a similar shot of an orchid to my friends in America, a while back – the reaction I got back from one of them is too awful to repeat! – I think the author of the remark in question has an obsession about something, which is too improper to share. I don’t know if the comment about the Ferrari is true – my only experience of travelling in one (as a passenger) was in Italy, 45 years ago, during the 1970’s “oil squeeze”, when the Italians had an 80 KPH limit throughout the country, to avoid wasting precious fuel supplies – and I was treated to a run on the Autostrada, at 180 KPH – nowhere near your idea of motoring, Philippe, but enough to make me cringe!
    Paul’s are masterpieces of landscape – and not a tourist in sight! – that should give other members of the team (Pascal, perhaps? 🙂 ) some kind of inspiration. BTW – thinking about other ways to avoid including tourists in your shots – and realised it often leads me to taking detail shots, instead of “views” – or pointing the camera upwards (or, sometimes, downwards), instead of straight ahead. I was thinking the other day how people like Pascal and Ming can use their MF beasts to take shots of interesting cloud effects, without the need to include at least some land as a foreground, to make the composition work – because MF does highlights and shadows better than anything from FF downwards. But looking at Paul’s, I seem to be wrong – he didn’t really need to include South Africa – the skies in those photos are stunning. Never mind Paul – there are all sorts of things you’ll still be able to photograph instead, in London 🙂 – just ask Pascal.
    Bob’s first photo has finally explained to me why so many Americans are in denial about the climate crisis**. Nobody would appreciate it, if all those things floated off into the Atlantic Ocean! I don’t believe in funerals and burials anyway, I think the land would be put to much better use as playgrounds for children and the whole notion of fooling around with corpses is a hangover from neanderthal times – which will probably make me unpopular, saying such things – as far as I’m concerned, when I die, what’s left will simply be garbage, to be disposed of before it gets smelly. I don’t think of anyone I care about as “dying”, as long as I keep them in my heart and in my mind. Just saying! – and everyone’s entitled to whatever point of view they like, this just happens to be mine.
    ** Our newly re-elected Prime Minister apparently doesn’t believe in the climate crisis either – pity he’s been away on an overseas junket, amusing himself with a trip to the Pacific islands and then on to London, to have “talks” just after Trump did – while he’s been away, Sydney Harbour has been treated to 5 metre high waves, so bad they had to cancel all the cross-Harbour ferries that take people to work and bring them home again – and the east side of the country has been dumped with snow, even in the “Sunshine State” of Queensland, nearer the equator. I never knew politicians went on overseas trips to avoid reality, but there it is – now we know!
    And Pascal – no, you don’t have to give up travel – catch electric trains till they introduce electric aeroplanes, and travel guilt free! The opening shot is stunning – I wish I did more birding, but until recently I’ve never had the lenses or the tripod head (gimbal) I’d need to do any serious bird photography.
    Enough, already – someone else’s turn, to take to the podium and say how wonderful Nancee’s shots are – time for me to take my puppy Cris for a walk- she’s been sitting here beside me, waiting for me to get up and do something useful, ever since I opened Pascal’s post. 🙂

    • Kristian Wannebo says:

      > “It can’t be the water (I prefer wine, actually ..”

      There were the three brothers called Brown,
      who always had wine at the Crown.
      But when water was named,
      they said what a shame,
      that stuff is what makes people drown.

      [ .. from Swedish (a little clumsy though):
      Det var tre bröder Montgomery,
      som inte drack annat än Pommery.
      Men när de fick se vatten,
      så sa de fy katten,
      det är sånt som man omkommer i.]

      Cheers, Jean Pierre!
      🙂

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        ROTFLMHAO – thanks, Kristian – maybe next time I want to detour from France I should try Sweden 🙂

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thanks Pete. Not sure about electric planes, but who knows? I don’t feel *that* bad about traveling. We have a near passive house, we compost, we recycle, we have almost zero waste, we buy stuff that lasts forever whenever possible, I work from home and our land is a haven for birds, insects, snakes, wildlife in general. So I can tolerate my global footprint being sullied by the occasionnal flight to visit family or distant lands 🙂

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Well done everyone! This challenge resulted in an amazing group of images, each one a personal expression of love & loss. I found something to admire in each and every photographer’s submission. The most evocative for me – a very subjective judgment, mind you – were Michael’s “lost, then found” serene lake scene from his childhood memories. Pascal J.’s birds flying in formation and the moody tree reflecting in water really spoke to me. As always, Paul’s lovely images of his beloved SA reminded us all of the impermanence in our lives. The action and colors of the Richmond Night Market were perfectly captured by John, reminding us to grab our cameras and start recording what we love before it’s gone forever.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you Nancee. We’ve talked about this privately, but let me reiterate how impressed I am by the consistency of your photographs and yet the wide range of emotions they capture. Amazing work 🙂

  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    Pascal,
    That (double) cat photo,
    cats *do* know how to relax … even between floor boards.
    ( I’ve noticed that cats just love to squeeze into the smallest possible places.)

    I am reminded of a duet from Gerald Moore’s farewell consert in 1967.
    It was attributed to Rossini, but someone else wrote it.

    Obviously, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Victoria de los Angeles aren’t only singing…
    ( I’ve later heard other versions, but none like this!)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aArt7iNUYSY

    (To bad that advertising may spoil the beginning!)

    • pascaljappy says:

      That’s hilarious 😀 😀 😀

    • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

      Strange how perspective affects what you experience in life. I have always obsessed over music – drove my mother nuts, because from the age of three I demanded to be given piano lessons – eventually ended up spending several years at the conservatorium. So when I listen to this piece, yes I do hear the singers – but my focus is on Gerald Moore – who was perhaps the finest “accompanist” of the 20th century! Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau would probably me agree with me on that!

      Thanks for the URL, Kristian – it brings back many happy memories, of listening to a truly great pianist! Too many of the people I have loved or admired or treasured during my life are no longer with us. Recording – on tape, on film, in print, or by any other means – helps. A bit.

  • Kalea Chapman says:

    The whole sequence of this post is very nice, particularly going from Paul to Nancee.

  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    > “.. a truly great pianist ..”
    So he was!
    I heard that a piano teacher suggested he could become a great accompanist instead of competing with all solo and concert pianists. I imagine it takes great humility to always so completely let one’s art serve the singer(s).

    • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

      I never met him, of course – but in the musical circles where I was mixing in those days, popular folklore was that Gerald Moore thought there were too many soloists already, and that he could do better as an accompanist, which every other aspiring pianist at the time overlooked, thinking it was a second class position – whereas he stood out from the rest of the accompanists, because he was head and shoulders and torso – probably things as well – above them.
      Not sure if it works for everyone, being the standout act amongst a crowd of nobodies. But he shone. Soloists in other fields, like Fischer-Dieskau, apparently insisted on him, because their performance was enhanced in an unprecedented manner. A diamond in the bottom of a bucket of water is practically invisible – but a diamond set in an 18 carat gold ring, on the finger of a beautiful lady, stands out like dogs’ balls, to use a rather vulgar Australian expression. 🙂 And being 18 carat is nothing to be ashamed of!

      • Kristian Wannebo says:

        Yes, that’s how he was introduced when that farewell concert was broadcast on the Swedish radio.

        And all the great singers were there, and if I remember rightly, asking no fee!

  • Mel says:

    I love the concept of the photo challenge. I might like it even more if each person submitted just ONE photo with a story about the photo that reflected the theme. For example, the photo and story of the dog “Chris” were so moving that I did not need the other dog photos. I guess I’m saying, More contributors, fewer photos, insightful stories. If you have to chose just ONE photo, it sets the mind to thinking.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Mel, that’s actually very true. It’s the “more contributors” part that’s more difficult. The challenge is still new. When more readers contribute, I will limit to one or two photographs to get the very best out of each.

      Stories are also important but I don’t want to impose because some photographers feel their pics should be able to stand in their own.

      To me, there are several ways of making an impact : 1 very strong image, a very consistent series or a small series (that can be just one) with an associated story. Maybe we could select only one of the 3 for every challenge. I just feel contributors need to feel more at home before I start bullying everybody 😉

      What do you think?

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