10th Cameraderie Photo Challenge: The Backstory

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
This is slightly different this time. Your entry this time will be a photo AND a caption explaining why it means something to you, and you're being judged on the effect of both of them together.

The whole point of taking all these pics we take is to produce an image that moves people. Many times, we take a photo of something that's incredibly moving to us personally, but others don't know the backstory, and when they see it, it doesn't translate to them the same way. This is your chance to bring us with you by explaining. You'll want to write more than a sentence, and less than "too much." I won't word count you aggressively, but if you go on for TOO long you'll lose us. :) Special people / animals, special moment, special place... think about why it hits YOU so hard, and see if you can make it hit US that hard. This could be a picture of the best cup of coffee you ever had, if you can make us smell it with you. Even if your English isn't great, go for it - I'm excited to have perspectives from other places!


The challenge will close on or Halloween, October 31st.
All the usual Challenge RULES will apply, including:

1. Either take pictures that match the nominated theme or select some from your portfolio. You must be the photographer that created the images in order to enter it.

2. Only one entry per person, please. If you want to withdraw an entry and replace it with another, that is OK, but you must make it clear in the post containing your replacement pictures that this is what you've done. You can add or change the title and add to the edit line to let everyone know.

3. The decision of the curator at the end of the challenge is final - don't give him/her a hard time about it: this is just a friendly photo-challenge, after all!

4. The winner will assume the responsibility of curator for the next Challenge, and as soon as possible post a message in a new thread in the SC Photo Challenges forum, with details of the new theme. Don't forget - that opening message must include a copy of these instructions, which also double as the rules.

5. The curator cannot enter his or her own salon
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Most of you know Tom. I'd been posting photographs of him quite regularly since joining the forum until his death on August 25th, 2014. Its about this that I wish to speak. The photo was taken some months before he died, but its the one in which I see Tom as he was... an expressive, loving (as much as a cat can be), but sometimes sad little kitty. He came to me as a 2 year old, having made friends with Ms Smoochie. Smoochie passed away in 2010 and Tom was utterly bereft. He became my shadow, not wanting to be far from me, even when outside. We had four years, then, before he was taken from me, by way of something called F.A.T.E. (feline aortic thrombo-embolism). It was two hours from the time he walked out the back door that Sunday morning, until I found him unable to walk, slumped at the side of the house. Another hour to get him to the emergency vet, and him with labored breathing because apparently he had multiple pulmonary emboli. He could not be saved, he was in agony, and it wasnt a very hard decision to let the vet do that awful deed. It was a completely brutal end to a little life deserving of more. I still miss him, even though I have Toby now.

Pretty sure I have posted this in the past, but I reprocessed this morning with Snapseed "Noir"

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bilzmale

Super Moderator Emeritus
Jul 17, 2010
124
Perth, Western Australia
Bill Shinnick
My granddaughter Katrina has been studying and working in London for the last couple of years. She is a pastry chef and met her fiance when they worked in the same restaurant. They planned their wedding for June this year but Kat had to leave the UK and apply for a new visa permitting her to marry and work in the UK. This shot was taken in March when they and Felix' family visited Perth for the engagement celebration. Felix then flew back to London and Kat waited for the visa to arrive. A week before the wedding Kat's parents and sisters flew to London (as booked) leaving Kat alone to wait for the visa. Yes, you guessed it, no visa - it was refused so in London they held the planned and paid for reception without the bride. :(
Kat had used an immigration lawyer in London who found that the Home Office had refused the visa because one item of paperwork was 'missing'. The lawyer was able to produce the document duly stamped by the Home Office so the visa was finally approved a month late. Semi-happy ending: Kat and Felix will marry on 11 Oct in a registry office and keep saving to renew their vows with bridal gown, bridesmaids etc and a re-run of the reception in a year's time.

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theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Jan 7, 2013
124
Cheshire, England
Martin Connolly
My granddaughter Katrina has been studying and working in London for the last couple of years. She is a pastry chef and met her fiance when they worked in the same restaurant. They planned their wedding for June this year but Kat had to leave the UK and apply for a new visa permitting her to marry and work in the UK. This shot was taken in March when they and Felix' family visited Perth for the engagement celebration. Felix then flew back to London and Kat waited for the visa to arrive. A week before the wedding Kat's parents and sisters flew to London (as booked) leaving Kat alone to wait for the visa. Yes, you guessed it, no visa - it was refused so in London they held the planned and paid for reception without the bride. :(
Kat had used an immigration lawyer in London who found that the Home Office had refused the visa because one item of paperwork was 'missing'. The lawyer was able to produce the document duly stamped by the Home Office so the visa was finally approved a month late. Semi-happy ending: Kat and Felix will marry on 11 Oct in a registry office and keep saving to renew their vows with bridal gown, bridesmaids etc and a re-run of the reception in a year's time.

View attachment 187635
The UK Home Office seem to be going for the world record in incompetence with stuff like this. They also seem to positively relish saying “no”, often for no apparent or justifiable reason. Only having to wait another month was doing well!
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
124
Lexington, Virginia
Steve
This is my daughter's dog Lukas. She adopted Lukas when she was in the Peace Corps in Benin. We watch him when my daughter and her family are traveling, which is often. We buy these cow bones from our local butcher for our dog Daisy. In their fresh form, they make Lukas sick, so he can't have them. Therefore, he collects them when Daisy is done and puts them on this dog bed which he has claimed as his own territory. Daisy has no interest in them once he claims them. He likes to go sit with them and revel in his riches.

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Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
This one is from 2013. My mother-in-law did a pretty good battle with brain cancer.....but in the end the cancer always wins. My wife spent many weekends doing the 4 hour drive up after work on Friday and the 4 hour ride home Sunday night to get back to work. She usually took our dog Lucy along as a companion since her mom was sleeping most of the time.

Then, when the end was near, the whole family was there....and both of our dogs. She passed late in the afternoon and the funeral home came by and collected her that evening. The dogs felt the heaviness and sadness. They cuddled extra close to us that night. The next morning some flowers started to arrive, and Lucy seemed to be taking the loss as hard as the humans. I know they have tiny little brains and they do not have the capacity to reason. But I'm sure she was mourning the loss.

mourning in the morning
by Luke, on Flickr
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
This is my daughter's dog Lukas. She adopted Lukas when she was in the Peace Corps in Benin. We watch him when my daughter and her family are traveling, which is often. We buy these cow bones from our local butcher for our dog Daisy. In their fresh form, they make Lukas sick, so he can't have them. Therefore, he collects them when Daisy is done and puts them on this dog bed which he has claimed as his own territory. Daisy has no interest in them once he claims them. He likes to go sit with them and revel in his riches.

View attachment 188027
Wonderful story, gave me a smile which I desperately needed :)
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
This one is from 2013. My mother-in-law did a pretty good battle with brain cancer.....but in the end the cancer always wins. My wife spent many weekends doing the 4 hour drive up after work on Friday and the 4 hour ride home Sunday night to get back to work. She usually took our dog Lucy along as a companion since her mom was sleeping most of the time.

Then, when the end was near, the whole family was there....and both of our dogs. She passed late in the afternoon and the funeral home came by and collected her that evening. The dogs felt the heaviness and sadness. They cuddled extra close to us that night. The next morning some flowers started to arrive, and Lucy seemed to be taking the loss as hard as the humans. I know they have tiny little brains and they do not have the capacity to reason. But I'm sure she was mourning the loss.

View attachment 188029mourning in the morning by Luke, on Flickr
They know. They really do. They may not know what or why but they feel loss as much as any human.
LOvely tale, Luke
 

donlaw

Hall of Famer
Sep 14, 2012
124
Texas
Don
This one is from 2013. My mother-in-law did a pretty good battle with brain cancer.....but in the end the cancer always wins. My wife spent many weekends doing the 4 hour drive up after work on Friday and the 4 hour ride home Sunday night to get back to work. She usually took our dog Lucy along as a companion since her mom was sleeping most of the time.

Then, when the end was near, the whole family was there....and both of our dogs. She passed late in the afternoon and the funeral home came by and collected her that evening. The dogs felt the heaviness and sadness. They cuddled extra close to us that night. The next morning some flowers started to arrive, and Lucy seemed to be taking the loss as hard as the humans. I know they have tiny little brains and they do not have the capacity to reason. But I'm sure she was mourning the loss.

View attachment 188029mourning in the morning by Luke, on Flickr
Luke, for some reason the photo doesn't load for me. Touching story.
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Jan 27, 2012
103
Los Angeles
John
This started as a photo of my youngest of three boys, Gabe. He was born in 2006. I had decided that I could justify the purchase of a dslr by recording his infancy and childhood. In a sense Gabe's birth birthed my long time passion for collecting gear and enjoying photography.

Almost exactly five years to the day I photographed Gabe in front of the same wall. It was by chance that his older brother Jake saw the second photo and remembered the first and thought it'd be cool to collage them together.

It reminds me that kids grow up too fast - my oldest will turn 27 next month. And that I better cherish each day before the third shot in a few more years when all three of my boys will all have become young men.

 

Matero

Top Veteran
Jan 28, 2014
104
Helsinki, Finland
I gave thoughts for this for long time, but decided then to be courageous and share the story. This picture relates to crazy year 2015 when it seemed that nothing is enough. It started with heart attack of my uncle, and he couldn’t be saved, resulted brain injury and waited just unconsciousness the last moment in hospital. I decided to visit him to say goodbye.

When I was packing my car to drive to hospital, my mother called. We had talked that I’ll visit the uncle and she would join to say farewell to her brother. But it wasn’t that, why mother called. She called because daddy had taken to the very same hospital in the night, brain stroke. So they were there in the same hospital, two buddies, my dad and his brother in law. And my uncle did last favour for my dad, unless he wasn’t in the unconscious state after his heart stroke in the hospital, my mother would have been travelling with her friend, and no one would have helped my father and I had lost him, too.

The reason for my father’s stroke and other symptoms with the bad memory already for long time found out to be the blockage in the veins in the neck. The veins in the neck area were 90% blocked and brains were suffering constant lack of oxygen, dammed. No wonder his memory did tricks and personality changed.

This picture is mid of the hospital round. Day after operation where they opened the neck on the right side, took out the veins, cleaned and filtered the blood, and sewed everything back together. And after few weeks they repeated the operation on the left side. Daddy has recovered now a bit, driving again car, but suffering complications of the brain stroke for the rest of his life. But at least he is still with us, which has required multiple miracles during his life, but that’s another story. And the crazy year 2015 did other tricks as well, but that’s also yet another story.

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ionian

Regular
Nov 25, 2016
28

2017 was a pretty crappy year for my young family. I had what can only be described as a mental breakdown at the end of 2016, my wife had been diagnosed with cancer and finances were precarious. The future was uncertain to say the best.

Trying to protect (or at least minimise the impact on) our daughter from our deepest, darkest fears was difficult and exhausting. But we tried to made the best of those moments of sunshine. This picture of my daughter was taken on a trip to the coast at the end of the summer when financial uncertainty was perhaps at its worst.

The reason I love the shot is first and foremost the unbridled and unposed joy on her face. It means so much to me. From a photographic perspective I love the fact that the colour pallette is so neutral adding emphasis to her glasses and smile, and the shallow depth of field reflects the focus we had on our daughter at this time - the rest of the world existed but only on the periphary as we concentrated on that which was most important to us.

I guess it's easy to ascribe meaning to a picture in hindsight but this one has always had a special place in my portfolio. I'm glad to report that my wife is currently cancer free, I have new work and a fresh and healthy outlook on life and my daughter continues to grow into a smart, funny, intelligent and settled individual that we have nothing but pride in. But I still look back at this photo, which hangs above our fireplace, with both sadness and joy.
 
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Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
View attachment 188287
2017 was a pretty crappy year for my young family. I had what can only be described as a mental breakdown at the end of 2016, my wife had been diagnosed with cancer and finances were precarious. The future was uncertain to say the best.

Trying to protect (or at least minimise the impact on) our daughter from our deepest, darkest fears was difficult and exhausting. But we tried to made the best of those moments of sunshine. This picture of my daughter was taken on a trip to the coast at the end of the summer when financial uncertainty was perhaps at its worst.

The reason I love the shot is first and foremost the unbridled and unposed joy on her face. It means so much to me. From a photographic perspective I love the fact that the colour pallette is so neutral adding emphasis to her glasses and smile, and the shallow depth of field reflects the focus we had on our daughter at this time - the rest of the world existed but only on the periphary as we concentrated on that which was most important to us.

I guess it's easy to ascribe meaning to a picture in hindsight but this one has always had a special place in my portfolio. I'm glad to report that my wife is currently cancer free, I have new work and a fresh and healthy outlook on life and my daughter continues to grow into a smart, funny, intelligent and settled individual that we have nothing but pride in. But I still look back at this photo, which hangs above our fireplace, with both sadness and joy.
This is the most gorgeous photo of a child I have seen in a long time. Thank you for your story.
 
May 6, 2017
69
This was on our way (by car) to Lourdes in France from Moraira in Spain, ultimate destination home in London.
We stopped at Canfranc estacion at the Spanish border in the Pyrenees.
The station has a famous history and is about to be re-opened. (Canfranc International railway station - Wikipedia)
This is a view opposite the many famous pictures of the station. (Bronica ETRSI and fuji slide film).
The fresh air and the scenery is something else.
The 5-day drive was just fantastic.
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donlaw

Hall of Famer
Sep 14, 2012
124
Texas
Don
Last year the Houston area was pounded into submission by Hurricane Harvey. The storm sat for days dropping 60”+ of rain. While we had to evacuate our house due to the proximity of the Brazos river, only the streets around us flooded. Our house was safe.
As you probably know this was not true for thousands of others.
When we were in process of evacuation, we made the choice to go back to the house to secure one more carload of stuff in case the house flooded. It turned out we were too late and the car flooded out on the way to our safe house (an empty house our daughter’s friend parents had on the market). This photo was taken with a mobile phone while walking from the flooded out car during a short break in the downpours to the safe house.
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bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
From an image quality POV, this might just be the worst picture I ever considered a keeper - but it's the only picture I managed to take at one of the most magical experiences of my life.

As some of you know, I had a 4 month backpacking trip in West Africa, way back in 2014 (I still haven't finished writing down my stories in my blog...). Perhaps the most memorable country on this trip was a Sahara-meets-Atlantic wonderland called Mauritania. It's incredibly authentic, which provides beauty (surviving nomadic culture) and sadness (poverty, lack of development, and continuing slavery) in equal measure.

To tell the actual backstory of the photo, here're some quotes from the blog:
Finally, more than two hours after its scheduled departure, the train arrives. Three diesel locomotives chug by; five minutes later, the lone passenger car, at the very end of the train, becomes visible. Inbetween are somewhere between 1.6 and 2.3 kilometers of open-topped freight cars. This is Mauritania’s economic lifeline; the iron ore train – one of the longest trains in the world – on a continuous journey back and forth between the mines of Zouerat, deep in the Sahara desert, and the port of Nouadhibou. I won't join the battle for the few good seats in the passenger car; in fact, I won’t bother with the passenger car at all. I haven’t paid for a ticket anyway. I will join the commuting mineworkers travelling to work for free, riding in the open-topped freight cars.

I spot two friendly looking guys climbing into one of the cars, and decide to join them. The freight car is all rust-coloured metal, with a few holes here and there, and a thin layer of reddish iron ore dust on the bottom. Other than that and our personal belongings, the cars are completely empty. One of my newfound travel companions is named Mustapha. He’s half Mauritanian and half Senegalese, and used to be an Army Engineer. He’s now working at the mines in Zouerat, while his family lives in Senegal. I never find out the name of my other travel companion; judging by his appearance, he’s a white Moor, but he doesn’t speak French and I don’t speak Arab.

(...) After sunset, it’s time for some socializing. The nameless fellow trainrider has brought a blanket which he spreads out on the floor like a carpet; we all settle down on it and share some peanuts, dates, and water. (...) It’s dark now, and the nearest street light is probably several hundred kilometers away, but I decide to stand up and have a look at the desert anyway. I’m absolutely blown away by the view that greets me. My great luck is that the moon is full, and it lights up the pale sand enough to see a couple of hundred meters into the vast night landscape through which we’re making our way. At the horizon, the desert blends into the deep blue sky. It’s the most magical view I’ve ever seen. I don’t know for how long I stand there, staring at the desert; I feel a bit like a silly tourist for it. However, when I finally do look to my left and right, I see Mustapha, the nameless fellow trainrider, and every single person in the other cargo wagons, all silently staring out at this mesmerizing beauty. I’ve never felt a stronger sense of shared humanity in my life, despite the massive cultural differences between myself and everyone else on this train.
mauritanian magic
by bartjeej, on Flickr
 
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