April 10, 2010

Capturing Conflict

Here is yet another Photography exercise I was working on over the past few months. The goal was to "capture conflict". I find that I often only photograph the things that I think are peaceful, memorable or beautiful. Through doing this exercise of documenting "conflict" I found that there is often an even deeper, more powerful story found beneath the surface. The conflict speaks volumes all on it's own and can draw us in to want to know more about the story.

In this first series of pictures, my son is doing a morning chore. He is on a mission to find some Night Crawlers for the fishing date he and his grandpa have for later that afternoon. With Tupperware in hand, his frustrations builds as the worms have escaped his capture. But not for long. It was "mamma to the rescue" to dig under some muddy buckets. At last, we hit the jack- pot. At first Luke didn't even want to look at the slimy gems I held in my hand. As I lifted a worm up high in the air, as if to feed a baby bird, it was to my dismay that my nature boy eagerly opened his mouth. The conflict was now mine!


Now for the conflict that arose for the actual fishing adventure. This was no ordinary fishing date. As for a little back ground: My dad nearly died last year. First in a house fire then from septicemia, due to a major infection in his hip. Long story short, we are INCREDIBLY blessed to still have Papa Doug here on earth with us. It has always been my dads dream to fish with each one of his grandchildren, by the pond that he built, on the farm where he and my mom live. My daughter had already had the chance to fish with grandpa and now it was finally her little brothers turn. The images are very powerful for me to even look at, as I reflect on the past year and a half my family has faced together. My dad is lucky to be alive, but beyond that he has beat all odds and is once again standing on his own two feet. At one point in his journey, the doctors had told him he needed to have his right leg amputated up to his hip, to save his life. My dad has a lot of fight in him and he fought like mad to keep his leg. The end result, was removal of some of the infected femur bone. This left him with his right leg 4 inches shorter than the other. He found himself completely incapacitated and reliant on everyone around him for everything. It has been a long road to recovery and accepting a new reality of a life that is forever altered. He now wears a special shoe that balances his stance and has allowed for him to spend countless hours in physical therapy learning to walk again. From his death bed to a wheelchair, from a wheel chair to a walker, from a walker to a cane, from a cane to a special "very cool" shoe, to walking with his grandchildren toward his very own pond to FISH!

While I was taking these pictures I was capturing a dream come true for my entire family. They caught 4 fish that day and I caught forever images to cherish for a lifetime. Before the fishing adventure was to begin, my dad and Luke went to buy tack. It was my dads first "brave" outing toward facing the world with his new reality. This was so HUGE! As if this wasn't enough he then wanted to take the kids to the beach, to watch them play. Do you see my dad? He is walking out on the ocean beach...truly a beautiful sight to see. He has his binoculars in one hand and his camera around his neck. He is stepping back into life and I was there to captured the moment. What a gift! So Thankful for you dad and so very Proud of you! Thank you for working so hard to stay with us and live life to the fullest!


This last little series of photo's, I'll throw in for fun. I had the opportunity to go on an overnight with my daughters Girl Scout Troop a few weekends ago. The amount of conflict that arose while these lovely young ladies prepared the Saturday morning meal was PRICELESS!


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