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Thread: My Dad.

  1. #1
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    My Dad.

    My Dad.


    My Dad.


    These are 2 shots I have taken of my 84 year old Dad while he has been in Hospital. I have weighed up the moral implications of taking pictures of a dying man but I didn't take any of my Mum in her last weeks and days and I now regret that deeply. There is great beauty and digniy in the human form right to the end of life and I think that should be celebrated.

    He has just had 2 very good days and I plan to take these pictures in with me 2morro to show him. Given the circumstances I obviously haven't lugged in the DSLR and tripod and set up decent lighting ..both these shots were taken quickly..with my little Ricoh Cx5 point and shoot and I am extremely proud of them.......as I am of my Dad who continues to mean the world to me.

    I just wanted to share them with you my dear friends and I welcome all comments.

  2. #2
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    You've not just preserved but amplified his dignity. HIs battle is already won.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    They are, I think, very, very good images. But they go way above and beyond that in terms of what they are and what they mean. It's questionable (or arguable) that we, who have seen the text and know the context, can say that these are full of emotion and passion. But, trying to cut out what I do know and view them purely as images, I think anyone would know that these are much, much more than mere images of the hands/arms of an elderly person. I think they're too emotionally charged to be just that. And they're full of dignity.

  4. #4
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    Sharon, these are very strong images that are full of emotion and speak volumes. You have captured the beauty and dignity in these images very well.

  5. #5
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    Re: My Dad.

    Hello Sharon,

    I've thought about this since I read your post, and I want to respond - though I'm not sure I'll get this right. Everything is my opinion, so I'l dispense with "I think", please take it as read.

    You haven't crossed any moral boundaries. Once, bells marked our passage (think the rather maudlin "Jimmy Brown", or better "les trois cloches" from Edith Piaf). Perhaps now photographs are an appropriate way to mark our journey.

    You have not disturbed your dad's dignity. Especially the first image, with its hospital id band, summons someone lying and waiting.

    I hope everything happens in peace and tranquillity. In any event, I, and your other friends, are here for you.

    Dave

  6. #6

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    Re: My Dad.

    Very powerful and moving shots, Sharon.

  7. #7
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    Very touching images Sharon.
    Your dad will be very proud of you.
    My best wishes to you and family in difficult times.
    Regards, Greg

  8. #8
    Marie Hass's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    Dear Sharon,

    These pictures made me cry. I lost my dad unexpectedly 2 years ago. He was ill in the hospital and told me not to waste my time coming home unless he was dying. He died that very day, and since I did not have a chance to say my goodbyes, I have had a hard time with grief.

    That said, I love your images and the processing you have done in that they evoke the grit and grief of preparing for a loved ones passing. By looking at them and even just touching the images on the screen, you have captured the universiality of death and dying - these pictures speak the same language to everyone and need no interpreters.

    Marie

  9. #9
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    Sharon, you captured a moment in your father's life, and all that it implies. I commend you for that.


    Bruce

  10. #10

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    Re: My Dad.

    I had the incredibly good fortune to live with my mother for three months taking care of her as she died. She viewed death as part of life and your photos of your father help remind me of her thinking. Very well done on many levels.

  11. #11

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    Re: My Dad.

    Sharon, I just want to say, my thoughts are with you !

    Love,
    Griddi.......

  12. #12

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    Re: My Dad.

    Sharon, you managed to capture the best of two worlds: great images in themselves and deeply meaningful to you in terms of your relationship with the subject.

    When I first joined Cambridge I posted a picture of my mother's face. She was still alive but obviously at the end-of-her-life. It made some members of this group a bit uncomfortable. I think what your first image captures is what I did capture in my mom's face but without making anyone uncomfortable.

    Best wishes to you dad.

    karm

  13. #13
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    I must admit to being more afraid of the responses to this post than for any other.... ever. I should have known better than to worry. You folks are the best.

    I am extremely touched by each and every single response and I feel both supported on a personal level and validated in my choice to keep shooting on an aeshetic level

    Karm, I am so sorry you didn't get this response to the photo of your mother. Not all the people around me at home supported me in taking these shots and I know how badly that can make you feel at a difficult enough time.

    Thank you.

  14. #14
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    Sharon,

    First off, I must say that these photos actually give life to your Dad, rather than the opposite.

    They have given us a very private insight into your grief, but makes me question why it becomes uncomfortable and taboo? It is the one thing we are all assured of in one way or another, and whilst it would be far better your Dad wasn't suffering, I think you have created some very special images in your own inimitable style, that hopefully will be a comfort to you in some way.

    I tried doing some shots, during a dark period (not on a par with yours) that made me realise that whilst I have taken many thousands of shots over the years, none have ever been taken to purely reflect my mood (mainly because clients and editors are not interested in that), but it was clearly enlightening and allowed me the chance to use the session as a form of therapy. It is also much more difficult than at first it might seem. I can clearly see why you use it as such and I would just like to say thank you for inspiring me.

    You are an inspiration in shooting and whats more, sharing these photos, and I think that it proves that it is the photographer, not the camera or equipment that develops truly great pictures. You have certainly achieved that accolade.

    ...and thanks to your Dad for allowing you to take and use these pictures. We are, I am sure, all thinking of him.

  15. #15
    James G's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    Sharon,
    I see nothing to make me uncomfortable in your photography and I think these are deeply moving images. We easily photograph the 'great occasions' of our and other people's lives', and as long as they are happy, we are comfortable doing so with a photograph. Sad events are more difficult, but then, this is something of great moment in your life, and I agree with your view that it should be celebrated.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, James

  16. #16
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    Quote Originally Posted by James G View Post
    We easily photograph the 'great occasions' of our and other people's lives', and as long as they are happy, we are comfortable doing so with a photograph. Sad events are more difficult, but then, this is something of great moment in your life, and I agree with your view that it should be celebrated.
    James...that totally sums up everytning for me. Thank you for viewing and for commenting with such great eloquence

  17. #17
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    [QUOTE=You are an inspiration in shooting and whats more, sharing these photos, and I think that it proves that it is the photographer, not the camera or equipment that develops truly great pictures. You have certainly achieved that accolade.

    ...and thanks to your Dad for allowing you to take and use these pictures. We are, I am sure, all thinking of him.[/QUOTE]


    Thank you for your really well considered and thoughtful comments.....much appreciated.

  18. #18

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    Re: My Dad.

    Sharon,
    Both of my parents passed years ago now. I wasn't with either one of them in their final days. From my own experience I would say you will some day much more regret the photos that you don't take or the conversations that you don't have vs second guessing now whether you should be doing it. The hands of time only travel in one direction. From time to time, albeit briefly, photography can at least give us the illusion that it is otherwise.

  19. #19
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your dad Sharon. I know in future times you will cherish these images.

  20. #20
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: My Dad.

    Beautiful, compelling images, and truly special... All my best to you and your family.

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