Children enjoying the play area at the Southland Lifestyle Center.
A few thoughts about this image as I cannot for the life of me think of a haiku at the moment. Total haiku writer’s block this evening.
On a Sunday afternoon we headed out in search of a playground to let my daughter Penny “get her wiggles out”. We ended up at this water fountain and playground in a place called the Southland Lifestyle Center. The temperature was well into the 90’s and the fountain was bustling with kids looking to cool off.
What interested me in this image, is that the boy you see just under the armpit of the kid running through the frame was wheelchair bound. He had just gotten out of his wheelchair and was crawling around the play area. In my mind it was a nice moment to witness.
I imagined how it must feel to be bound to a wheelchair at such a young age, and I admired the boy’s perseverance and ability to enjoy life despite his disability. I’m glad my daughter was their to witness it, to get exposure to a child in a wheelchair and not have any preconceived notions about it. She played right alongside him as if nothing was different about him at all, and I am proud of her for that.
Normally I would not go into long detailed explanations about my images, as I feel there is some validity to the notion that good photography should stand on its own with no need for explanation. I think tonight I am just feeling unsure of myself. I’m having one of those moments as a photographer where I have a large body of images that I’m sort of drowning in. I think I might need a couple of years away from them in order to really understand and appreciate what I have.
I am emotionally attached to this image, which is why I think it’s good. I have an interest in Journalism and a desire to do something worthwhile with my passion for photography. I watched a documentary on Paul Strand this evening called Strand: Under the Dark Cloth , and I really enjoyed the story as well as his work. I thought he had a lot of very poignant things to say about being a photographer, and this is one of my favorites:
“Look at the things around you, the immediate world around you. If you are alive, it will mean something to you, and if you care enough about photography, and if you know how to use it, you will want to photograph that meaningness. If you let other people’s vision get between the world and your own, you will achieve that extremely common and worthless thing, a pictorial photograph.” – Paul Strand
I love this quote. As a student of photography it really hits home for me. It should serve as a reminder for us all. It’s okay to emulate your favorite photographer’s style, but remember to put your own stamp on it. Think about what you want to say about the world with your photography and put it out there. What is the worst that could happen? Someone will tell you it’s crap? Who cares. In the end someone is judging you no matter what, so just say whatever and put your art out there for the world to see.