Survivor's Guilt (part II)

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by Efergoh, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

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    I first shot this last summer, and posted it here:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59826

    It was originally shot with 35mm. Looking at it now, it seems amateurish. Granted, I was taking an Intro to Photography class at the time, but still...

    It was pretty personal for me, and I had an idea for a series, but couldn't bring myself to actually shoot it. I recently got my paws on a Deerdorf 8x10 camera, and decided to face a few personal demons.

    Please pardon the lousey (and dusty scans), my scanner isn't the greatest. I may take them to the campus and scan them there.

    There are more to this set, but I think these are the strongest...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

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    ugh!

    Wasn't paying attention...I thought this was a gallery forum.
    Could a Mod move this to the general gallery please?

    thanks.
     
  3. cjm

    cjm TPF Noob!

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    This is a much better one then your first image on the other thread. It looks a lot less set up but buddy, if you are really having survivors guilt or something, please check yourself into a hospital or see someone because shooting yourself is not the answer. You survived so live for your friends sake, live a full life for them and dont give up. Best of luck. :)
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Done. :)

    I didn't see your first series, with 35mm.....but these are both wonderful. Very moving. The second one elicits a strong emotional reaction from me; is there higher praise? ;)

    I really like your stuff. When you get an idea, good things seem to come from you. :thumbup: I like your style.
     
  5. brighteyesphotos

    brighteyesphotos TPF Noob!

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    I've seen these in person and I have to say, they are powerful. Very well done.

    Then again, you already know what I think of the series.
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I like this second set better, too. Of the two posted, I enjoy the second one more. I'm not sure why--you've done something to the neg to make it distressed and I like it. One idea, and I'm not sure how you would set this up, but it would involve a double exposure. First shot is you in your uniform and the second is you out of uniform. I have the idea in my head but I'm not sure how it'd all work. It may help tell the story even more. Or maybe it wouldn't. It's an idea, though...

    Good luck! :)
     
  7. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

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    No worries there. I've already dealt with the issue. I have zero intentions of plugging myself.

    I just thought that this was something that needed to be done. I've written essays, and spoke publicly about the things that go through a soldier's or a Marine's head, but being a photographer, I thought that am image would would be more powerful than words on paper or words spoken.

    It is not my intent to take this thread down a political path. Frankly I could care less about anyone's feelings on how right or wrong the current was is, war is a fact of life.

    Governments claim lofty notions of liberty when they fight wars, but this is is never the true case. Governments only fight with other governments for control of resources or to ensure soverignty. Only men (or women) fight for intangible reasons. We volunteer for patriotic reasons, but we fight for our friends who are with us in the trenches.

    We fight like savages and we perform acts of brutality and violate God's commandments, in some cases damning our souls to hell's kitchen to ensure that our loved ones at home continue on as they are, and to see to it that our comrades in arms see another day, if for no other reason than to perform future acts of brutality on another day for our own benefit.

    Some of us only return home through the grace of God himself, but many of us come home because the man to our left or right did his job.

    War is hell, and it leaves a mark on a man that, for the better or worse, he will carry with him for the rest of his days.

    What I found to be the most troubling, personally, and I'm sure others in my shoes feel the same way, is that I was plucked from the war, and abruptly discharged with little ceremony and returned to the civilian life where I was expected to be...well...civilized. I had no one with whom to talk that could understand or relate to me. I could not decompress properly, so I kept what I had inside. The sort of things I needed to get off my chest could really only be understood by another man who knows what the inside of a human being smells like. Since I am where I am, I do not have such a luxury, hence these photos...

    If this photo does nothing more than make you reach out to a combat veteran and thank him for his service, then I have done my job. After all, it is not for our own glory that we fight, we fight for our countrymen.
     
  8. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

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    I scratched the neg with sandpaper (nice thing about the large format, it is big enough to manipulate the negative itself), but it didn't really translate very well when I scanned the print.

    Ah...that would require that I both shave and get a haircut...something I have not done in over three weeks. Double exposures are pretty easy to do with large format cameras, and most mediums. I actually considered it for this series. I'm actually planning one that involves a national cemetery, but I am going to wait until spring to shoot it.
     
  9. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    Your photos and thread have sadden me this morning..........

    Thank you for sharing and God bless you.

    Paul
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You have earned the right to have this attitude. Honestly, I don't look at these images and think anything political at all - for me, these are emotional (in particular the second one) because they are such a devastatingly personal offering.

    I meant to say, too, I think the distress marks are an added touch and help drive home your point. :thumbup: Very well done.
     
  11. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    This is an interesting and insightful comment.

    I had exactly the same experience in a prior unpleasant war.
    40 hours after lying under cover during a rocket attack, I was back in a small town in Massachusetts, unarmed and with no one standing guard.

    I stayed in the service, retiring as an O-6, but it wasn't till long after retirement that I was able to exorcise those demons. I went back and sat on the exact place where my hooch had been and it was only then when it was finally over for me.
     
  12. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

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    Weird, isn't it?

    I came home on Independence Day. I was standing in my mother's back yard with my step-father. She was showing me her garden when one of the neighbors lit off a brick of firecrackers.

    I never did get those grass stains out of those blue jeans....
     

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