Monday, February 7, 2011

Editing II

Shot after shot, the chief appeared in my viewfinder. I didn't notice him too much at the time, I was too busy focusing on the subject of the image, not the background. It wasn't as if I could do much about the background anyway.

I have known him for years, we came on the job within a few years of each other. He has always been a warm and caring person, happy and content.  Although we are not close, I know he has been going through some tough times lately. Tragedies from within his agency and from without has made this year the worst of his career, if not his life.

I didn't realize how this year had affected him until I edited some images from a function that he and I both attended. The chief I know as a warm, happy person was not present that night I don't know if I will ever see him again. The man in the chief's uniform who did show up was a man filled with pain, pain that appears to be taking it's toll on him. He will never share with us the extent of his turmoil, but we all know it must be tremendous. When we think about our own situations and compare ours with his, none of us can begin to imagine how bad his must be.

The shutter of a camera remains open for only a fraction of a second. During that brief moment in time, the world as we see it is captured, frozen as it was at that particular instant in that particular place. Sometimes, that instant is one of beauty, sometimes it is of terror, or shock or even serenity. That day every instant my camera captured, was one that contained sadness and fatigue. Fortunately the chief was not the focus of photos, otherwise my images would be ruined. I cropped him out of many of the pictures, blurred him out of others.

For those who will see the finished project, the chief will be in the background, his demeanor will not be noticed and the joy of the occasion will shine through. But as I saw every image before it was processed, I could see how the chief was hurting. What others suspect, I know. I just hope he can recover.

Thanks for reading,

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing how in a split second a photo can capture so many things. That is why I love photography but I enjoy working in the darkroom more. It is seeing the images slowly develop. Kinda like unwrapping a present. You don't know what you have until it reveals itself. It is also amazing what you can do to manipulate the photo. I wish I could have seen your photo but understand.