Mourning Someone

Mourning Someone
Last night I turned to one of the most beautifully written and introspective reflections on September 11th: Tom Junod’s expose on The Falling Man. For me, the piece has 2 striking takeaways. It explores the extraordinary power of a photograph. More importantly, it reminds us why that tragic day remains in our hearts and minds: because regardless of how closely affected we were, we each had a fundamental connection to the events twelve years ago.

“Is Jonathan Briley the Falling Man? He might be. But maybe he didn’t jump from the window as a betrayal of love or because he lost hope. Maybe he jumped to fulfill the terms of a miracle. Maybe he jumped to come home to his family. Maybe he didn’t jump at all, because no one can jump into the arms of God.

Oh, no. You have to fall.

Yes, Jonathan Briley might be the Falling Man. But the only certainty we have is the certainty we had at the start: At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky — falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame — the Falling Man — became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew’s photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soldiers everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.

That we have known who the Falling Man is all along.”

The full piece is more than worth a read: The Falling Man

Fishing Boats

Fishing Boats
President Obama is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard this week, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite photos from when I visited Martha’s Vineyard late last summer. We caught a ferry back from the island at sunset and as we sped across the sound I captured this shot of two fishing boats basking in the final golden rays of sunlight.

Bright Yellow Hot-Rod

Yellow Car B+W

The above photo is my current Facebook Cover Photo. With two eye-catching bright yellow objects: the distinctive car and the double yellow street lines, the picture was the perfect candidate for selective color removal. Making the rest of the photo black and white really brought those two subjects out and increased contrast added a whole new feel to the entire scene.Yelllow CarHowever, the photo I wanted to showcase here is the full color version of the same photograph. Taken in the mid-afternoon under partly cloudy skies, all the colors really popped–not just the yellow car but the green trees, copper grates and hot pink Victoria’s Secret awnings as well.

Some people may be surprised to learn that this was not a carefully-composed shot. When I first arrived at the outdoor mall, I saw the car and knew it was a great photo subject. What was not immediately clear was how to take a photograph of it that would be interesting (A close-up shot of just the car seemed too obvious and much too boring). After walking around the shops for awhile, I found myself doubling back over the car. As I walked through the crosswalk, the shot became instantly clear. I raised my camera and snapped, hardly even slowing my pace. Having the car in the middle-ground taking up only a small portion of the frame and allowing room for its surroundings proved to be the much more interesting photograph.

 

Baltimore x SW

Baltimore x SW
Flying into Baltimore Washington International Airport just after sunset on Sunday, July 14, 2013 provided the perfect opportunity to capture the city lights from the air. The view out the plane window was dark. With the plane moving so fast, I knew I needed to push the limits of my camera. It was the first time I ever set the ISO to 16,000. Even with the risk of severe noise, the camera delivered this beautiful shot.

Wall of Heroes

Wall of HeroesWashington, DC offers so much opportunity when it comes to photography. My two favorite locations to shoot are without a doubt the US Capitol and the World War II Memorial. Both locations offer tremendous potential under any conditions, but they are in their prime at night. In this shot, one of the most somber parts of the World War II Memorial recedes into darkness with a mirror-life reflection.