My friend asked me to shoot his beloved Jeep. Sport model, 4wd, 6 cylinders, 242 cubic inches, naturally aspirated, Chili Pepper red. Their adventures together had spanned more than 20 years, two hundred thousand miles, and hours on America's open roads listening to songs on an in-dash radio cassette player. Now, he was letting go, selling his 1998 Cherokee and he wanted pictures for his sales ad.
We planned the shoot for morning light in a local park. I promised him 15 images, and gave him a download link in advance. Then, I did some thinking. I thought about a Guy Tal webinar I saw, and ideas from Guy's book called More Than A Rock. A powerful idea reappeared: a photograph is both 'of' something, and, significantly, it is also 'about' something. I pondered what the experience was about for my friend.
After I photographed the images for his ad with my Nikon, I asked my friend a favor. I told him to sit in the driver's seat and hold his hands just above the wheel as I raised my Leica to my eye and made this photograph. It's titled "Letting Go."
Our photographs are "of" things, but they can also be "about" memories, emotions and our life experiences. And those of our friends.
Florida, Punta Gorda, Waterford Estates 2021: On May 8, the community development corporation cut down our "forever wild" area. As homeowners, we were told the purpose was to remove invasive species, so we watched a backhoe mow a 40 foot wide swath just behind our home. Like a sword of eternity, its sharp blade struck a gopher tortoise and I found its cleaved shell a few days later. My heart grieved. The next month, after hurricane Elsa's rain, plants grew up and a dragonfly perched next to the turtle's resting place. Seeing its wings shimmer the morning light, I thought of darkness and light, and our ever-changing living-dying moments. Things pass away. Others live on. Sometimes, death is the mother of beauty.