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A Camera Can be a Powerful thing....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Doug Barber, May 1, 2005.

  1. Greetings all:
    As some of you will know I was asked to photograph an event at Cambridge University in England a few weeks back. This event allowed me access to areas that most photographers don't get to shoot in. But more important it allowed me to document ate an event that was very important to the people involved.

    I must admit that it was fun to be on the inside looking out and watch press people and onlookers being hampered by large fences and security. At one point I counted (22) people with long lens pocking them through a fence to try and get a shot. When I'm sitting on the inside asking the famous person (that these guys are photographing) to move out of the way so I can get a better shot of my subject.

    As I continued to take image after image I got thinking about what I was doing and what story I REALLY wanted to tell. Well in this case I was photographing a person who was graduating with a PHD from one of the world’s best Universities.
    But what was the story?
    Was it the Grad or was it a bigger story?
    Well in this case I think it was a bit of both....
    For this guy has two daughters that he raised himself as his wife died when the girls were very young. On top of doing a great job of raising his girls he kept his **** together well enough to work full time, raise a family and get a PHD.
    So what is the story????
    Well in my mind it’s the journey that these (3) have taken together as they traveled the world (Scotland, Norway, England, India, France, Germany) not just getting an education but supporting each other along the way.
    For them the journey started when the girls were 4 and 8 respectfully with the death of their mother. But yet they stuck it out and supported each other as they moved along.
    For my part, I'm just the guy clicking the shutter... But the love that these three have for each other is unshakable and inspiration to behold.
    As we all know a camera has the ability to capture time and hold it still. Well in this image I (tried) to tell a story and stop time all at the same time.
    In my mind, the photo breakdown is as follows:
    > The back end of the bike indicates that their travels will continue. But that this is just part of their story... Hence only part of a bike.
    > The initials carved in the brick wall tell all who view this image that the love of the parents will last forever. And that the girls are a result of that love that only grows stronger with time.
    > The brick wall tells viewers that this is a ROCK SOLID commitment to each other.
    > The Pipe indicates relaxation and contentment.
    > The backpack on the ground tells the viewer that life is a series of journeys and one should be prepared for them.
    I hope this does not come through as a “book”… But I felt it was important to layout what went into the making of the image.

    (NEW) Photo posted Below
  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Excellent pic and great story Doug.

  3. A wonderful story of three incredible people. Credit to the father. Oh and your image isn't bad either. Scratch that, your image is great.
  4. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    A very touching photo story.
    You can see the greatness in your photo.
    It was a pleasure to read.

  5. Thanks guy's....
    After looking at the image a little more I decided to change the lighting a little and to move and change the initials.
    I (think) this version is a little more up-town.
    Thanks again
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  6. GMolotsky

    GMolotsky Guest


    Great story and I like both versions of the pic, but I do think the second one is a bit better. The initials have much more impact in the second photo.

    Well Done,

  7. Love it, Doug. Love the pic, love the story.
  8. Moving initials is against the Photo-Journalist's Code, Doug... but it sure makes for a better picture :lol: .

    There's another layer to this story. You grew beyond being a guy with a good camera and technical skills
    when you dug into the story of these three pilgrims. The empathy your developed for your subjects shows
    clearly in the picture, and elevates it to something very special.
  9. Uncle Frank beat me to it, but I also have a bit more to add.

    1. You picked out where the REAL story was at this "event". Not the "famous person" but the story of the life travels of this family.
    2. You make very obvious that the focus, pun intended but serious as well, of those outside the fence was the "famous person", not the real story.
    3. In your story you don't even mention who this "famous person" is, it is not important.

    But what is most important to me is that this all points out how shallow we are as a global society, that the "famous person" is the interesting point for the press, and what we will see, and not this incredible story that you have allowed us to share.

    Doug, you made a comment to me the other day regarding "seeing", and guess what, you could not have given me yet another superb example any better than this.

    I can only hope that should I ever have the honor of such a task, that I have the ability to see beyond and through to the "real story".

    Thanks, Doug.
  10. Thanks Gregg I agree the second version is better than the first. I really should learn to look closer at images before I post them. Oh well I'll try to do better next time.

    Thanks Sandi, It will be fun to follow these three as their lives unfold in the future.

    Well Frank, (As you know) there is always more to a photo than one might see right out of the gate. That being said, I'm trying to train myself to look a little deeper.
    Thanks again for the kind words.

    Hi Bill:
    I'm glad you noted that I did not mention the "Famous person" even if they were REALLY FAMOUS... Because I agree that the story is the three of them. They are the ones who have a story to tell. The famous person simply is famous because of birth and what they will be as a result of that birth.
  11. Doug, and what I think is so important is that neither I, nor anyone else, gives a rip about the "Famously Famous Person", because you did such a grand job with the "real story".

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