Wednesday, October 17, 2007

you made me forget myself.

mother nature is making me her bitch on this trip west.

a very nice man lent me his cabin in a scenic part of nebraska (yes, they exist). i was intending to get some nice nature shots... too bad it rained. at least i was able to start a fire to fend off the cold while i read.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

all the players came from far and wide.

i had an assignment to shoot a wide shot of the coliseum in lincoln for husker volleyball. volleyball tickets are much much harder to get than football -- they will have their 99th straight sell-out next weekend. i have shot a ton of wide shots in the past, so i tried to do something different. michael from the lincoln journal star had the same idea-- put a few pictures together to make a panoramic shot. he is good at that stuff, and he spent a fair amount of time on it. i look forward to his image. this was mine...

unfortunately, in the paper, it was cropped to just the team. so it goes.

Friday, October 05, 2007

the hardness of this world slowly grinds your dreams away.

so a less-funny post than normal...

in the spring, i was sent to take pictures at arlington national cemetary for the paper's memorial day package. i spent about half the day in the section where soldiers from iraq and afghanistan were killed. i left feeling heavy. i wrote a little but decided not to post it. a number of wives, children and parents came to visit the graves. i talked to one. but mostly just walked around, reading the notes. looking at the mementos left.

later that day, i took an impromptu portrait of a young nebraska vet, 24, who was at walter reed. he always wanted to be a marine. they would not take him. so he joined the guard instead. got hit three times in one month. he thought he was fine. he was not. head trauma.

then last week, i went into d.c. early in the morning. since the museum i wanted to see did not open until 10a, i got coffee and walked around the mall. i drank coffee. listened to the national. mermaid avenue. springsteen. i walked up and down the mall. sat the the ww2 memorial for a while. then walked up to the wall. i have been there twice. in fifth grade we took a family trip, and in college i went with the husker fb team when they met president clinton. anyway, i had not spent much time there before.

the names on the wall are in the order of death, but there are alphabetical books to help you find certain people. the last name "miller" took four pages up four pages. my uncle was in vietnam, but we were lucky- his name is not in the book. neither is my dad's. apparently, he had a really low number (if i understand it correctly) when the u.s. started to pull out.

since it was early, the memorial was pretty well empty. some workers were doing some maintenance on the wall. some asian tourists were taking pictures. one man took a hat from the ground, put it on and posed for a photo.

near the end of the wall, one man was kneeling with his head down.

i gave him some space (much like i did this spring at the cemetary). i took some pictures of other stuff. he came and asked me to take some photos of him next to his buddy's name. i shot some pics with his rebel and iphone. he thanked me, then started talking. his best friend growing up was killed. apparently, he saved some lives. the man told me how he had a tour, as well. i took a photo of his friend's name, and he asked if he could take my picture. anyway, i am not nearly eloquent enough to share what he told me or how he talked or looked. as we parted, i heard him start talking to his buddy's mother on the phone.

i googled the name and found this:

"Let us not forget Specialist Four Richard Steve Pennamon, casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Army, SP4 Pennamon served our country until April 19th, 1968 in Quang, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was not married. Richard died from multiple fragmentation wounds/mine. His body was recovered. Richard was born on December 13th, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois.

SP4 Pennamon is on panel 50E, line 052 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for one year."

now back to our regularly-scheduled posts.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

i stood stone-like at midnight.

spent a long weekend in d.c. and baltimore. one highlight was the national museum. mostly went to check out the edward hopper exhibit. pretty cool. buzzed through most of the rest of the museum, as well. for some reason, i liked this guy taking a shot of the nude statue, kinda like jock sturges.

more photos in the next few days.