Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Dark

Do you ever see darkness fill the light?  No, it never does.  Light, however, fills the darkness, chasing it away like the scared thing that it is.
I bring light with me wherever I go.  I have to bring at least one flashlight since most of my photography is at night and the lights are not always on.  The bright flash from my camera illuminates an entire room to such a degree that it looks like daytime work.
I’ve had things come out in the final print that were not obvious during moments I floundered around, trying to catch my footing; writings or stains on the walls you’re glad you didn’t touch, and something else I’m not allowed to talk about yet.  Let’s just say some things get missed.  I’m glad that particular job didn’t come back to bite me.
Going to sleep after a long day is a big part of the darkness for me.  There are times when I just dither about, looking at cat videos and finding geological stats on things like the Marianas Trench that I’ve long since forgotten.  
Experience has brought about some new fears for me.  I try to tamp them down to plain weariness. Experience is the best survival tool anyone can have.  Unresolved traumatic experiences have the opposite effect.  They rob your life of the ability to truly live.
I received a call to photograph a house that had been tear-gassed in order to remove its occupants. SWAT, our Special Weapons and Tactics team, has an awesome array of less than lethal techniques they use to safely detain distraught people.  They’re really good at it.  It’s one of the things about them that never seems to make the news, but greatly impresses.  
Fresh tear gas is not my idea of fun.  My anxiety attempted to take me over as I came up towards the house.  I reminded it, in not so gentle a fashion, just who was in charge.  Me.  I bring the simple light of documentation to a scene.  I rest on that ideal a lot.
The simple truth is photographs don’t lie.  I fill the void so often created when truth and sincerity are absent.  I carry light.  So can you.

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