Thursday, January 14, 2010

Human suffering: The roll photography plays and the impact it shares.

By now news of the devastating earth quake in Haiti has made the headlines of all major news and media outlets around the world. Human suffering is part of every society. It is around every corner, in every city, in every part of the world. What makes this situation so different? Quite a lot actually. With social networking so easily accessible it allows for more people to connect and make a difference. Spread all over facebook today and most of yesterday I have been reading comments about making donations to the Red Cross. As a photographer, I feel so compelled and even some what obligated to photograph such events. There are some serious moral and ethical implications that come with the desire and feeling of obligations to document such horrific and tragic losses. As much as I desire to be in a place of disaster, seeing human strength, survival, and people coming together to save one another,  I am unable to be there. It takes a certain type of photographer to be able to detach themselves from a situation to be able to share what they are seeing. I have seen a few photographs that have been made during the past two days. Images that can make me stop, think, and feel, are the kinds of images that I strive to make. Even if they are not about a disaster. But, I can not say that given the chance to be sent to a place such as Haiti I would turn it down. I think it would be a chance to grow as a person and see what it is like to experience human struggle, strength, and survival.

Until there is a chance for me to be placed in a situation like what happened two days ago, I will have to continue responding to smaller acts of human suffering. In the last 6 months I have responded to 3 major fires that have resulted in people losing their homes and everything they had. It is a sad situation and sight to be watching people’s belongings, memories, photographs, and home go up in a blaze. In the past 6 months all three of these fires have been in one small city. Holyoke, Massachusetts. Holyoke is where my career in photography has initially begun. The first time I was published in an article based on a Holyoke baseball team. Since then I have gone on to co found a photography business/studio. Holyoke being my community I feel a sincere obligation to document what happens in the city. Below are three photographs (panoramas made last night) from the most recent fire. I am also providing a link to a very small blog that I post on. See The Brick it is a photo blog for Holyoke.


Pano 1

Pano 2

 Pano 3

On my blog you may read that we are setting up a fund to aid in the families that have lost so much. We are setting up this fund to help aid the families now, the families that are in dire need of help. This fund will remain in existence for future tragedies that may occur. We feel a social obligation to help out in our community. We feel that as members of the same community that we need to help out and try to make a difference. Whether it be big or large, making a difference still makes an impact.

Human suffering will never cease to stop. There will always be an event, tragic act of nature, or act of another type that will lead to human suffering and loss of life. That is part of the human existence. As painful as it is, it brings people together, gives them a sense of community, and a sense of appreciation for other humans that do step forward to make a difference. Photography plays an immense roll in a situation like this. Washington Post Images.. Images inspire, create feelings and emotions that bring people together to form a community of volunteers. I would, given the chance, volunteer my time and talents to be a part of what is taking place in Haiti. My final thoughts are as follows, donate your time, open your wallet to make a small donation, donate some blankets, clothing or even a pair of gloves. Making any sort of donation will make a difference.

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