Monochrome Monday #34

Happy Memorial Day! I hope this Monday is full of remembrance and bar-b-q. For me, it’ll consist of ice cream, a water balloon fight, and homework. I could totally do without the homework part, but because I was out and about all day Sunday, my plans to get my homework accomplished failed miserably. Also, as you can see at the top of the page, I have an awesome new banner that I made for the blog. I’m trying something new. There may be quite a few changes made to the layout of the blog over the course of the next few weeks/months, but we’ll see. Anyway. Onward to today’s new Monochrome Monday:

Before I go on, let us take a minute to stop and admire how I was on “creeper status” when this was taken. Don’t worry, I am not really a stalker. I was actually in the process of testing my camera settings when this shot was taken. I mean, it was purposeful yet an accident all at the same time. Let me explain:

This photo, entitled Kidnapped, was taken during spring break 2011, shortly after I had received my new camera for my birthday. The actual photo shoot was meant for Julie and Zoe, but I always test the settings of my camera before I ever actually start shooting. We were at the park, just a few blocks from my house, and there is, as you can see, a dried out creek that runs through it. This little girl had climbed down into it and was playing around. Because I had a cool new camera to experiment with, I decided to test out the zoom. (The zoom on my camera is the most incredible thing ever.) I had taken a couple of random shots of this girl running about, climbing on the rocks, but it was time to get out, and she was having trouble, hence the hand helping to pull her out.

What I love about this photo is that the viewer has no clue if that hand helping the child belongs to a parent or a complete stranger. (Just for the sake of helping all those innocent mothers who are freaked out by this to relax and not have a heart attack, the little girl’s mother was the one helping her up. Her siblings were the ones who even got their mom’s attention to help her. No need to worry.) It’s that air of mystery that surrounds the shrouded adult. It’s actually kind of scary just thinking about it, even when you know that it’s the little girl’s parent helping her up so that she can leave.

I guess that in the world we live in, so many bad things happen to children. And it’s that mystery, that scariness that we aren’t doing much about. I remember when I was little, the murder case of JonBenet Ramsey was HUGE (talk about cultural icon…). And I thought, even as a young girl, that it was sick and twisted for scary things to happen to innocent people. And as I get older, it just makes me angrier that horrible things happen to little children, or anyone for that matter.

But that’s just the negative side of things. You can choose to look at this photo and be freaked out by my street photography skills and the mysterious hand grabbing this child. Or you could choose to look at the brighter side of things. Instead of taking this in an eery sort of way, I choose to look at this photo as that mysterious, faceless person helping to lift a struggling child. She really was having a hard time getting back up after she had climbed down. And everyone needs help from time to time, especially children. In this case, her mom happened to be the one to provide that help, to help pull her up out of a potentially sticky situation. But anyone can be of help. A teacher, a sibling, a soldier (oh, check out that Memorial Day reference).

You never know what’s going on. There are two sides to every story, to every photo. The photographer gets to decide what the viewer gets to see (for me, I just happened to want to show this kid getting hoisted out of a giant ditch, but just happened to get stuck behind a tree in the process). The viewer decides how they will interpret the piece. Will you be negative and see the world of hatred and sickness in which bad things happen to innocent people, or will you be positive and see beauty in the help that is given to those who need it? (You’re all probably just like, “What is with this woman and her Jedi mind tricks?”)

Have a great Memorial Day!

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