I would not consider myself a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but I can appreciate carefully set photos with good composition and extraordinary lighting. If I had had my way, I would have bought a nice camera and taken a couple of photography classes while at Clemson. Alas nice cameras cost way too much money, and I simply never had the room in my schedule for a photography class without burying myself in semester credits. The other day Stephanie over at An Organized Mess (My Life) posted this link on Twitter. What an amazing number of moments, captured by photography.
It's cool that people have the mind to be there for important happenings, and that that's even sometimes their job. To memorialize it and set that moment in stone for all eternity with a picture. But the pictures I like to take are not just ones that look cool, but something that exudes emotion. That when you see it, you feel something. I'll post one of my pictures to explain what I mean:
On that link I posted above, two pictures really stood out to me (and you'll have to go check it out because I tried to download them and the whole string of photos is all linked together):
The first is the one of a parent at the World Trade Center Memorial, on his knees, head on the rail, hand on his son's name. Having just been to this memorial myself over this past winter break, this is exactly what the designers had in mind. It's perfect. I didn't see any names I knew.. but being able to touch the name and run your fingers over it really gives meaning to it. The memorials are spectacular, the waterfalls just massive. It's really worth going to see.
The other picture that really touched me is of eight-year-old (Christian Golczynski) receiving the American flag for his father at a memorial service. What a hard thing that must be to do. My dad has one from his father's service, and my grandmother has one from her husband's. The look on the boy's face screams anguish and sadness, but that he's doing his best to be strong and hold it together and not cry. Been there.