Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Power of Photography

David Griffin, the photo director for National Geographic, tells us that the power of a photograph is in its ability to tell a story. The story of Annie the elephant will break your heart. Or consider the "crucifixion" of a shark to describe the depletion of the oceans fish life.

David tells a poignant story of how his young son was about to be overcome by a powerful wave at the seashore. Father rescued son, and years later in recalling the moment with his son, both were surprised at how each saw the moment so differently.This story connected with me personally as I remember a similar dangerous moment with my young daughter and younger son, swimming in the middle of the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry. In the middle of this immense river, we floated on flimsy air mattresses bought at Walmart and hour earlier.The weather turned cold, a storm swept in, and we were there in the middle of the river with lightening crackling around us. How I wish I had a photograph of that moment.

David Griffin also notes that photography can bring us hope as well despair by showing us photographs of injured Iraqi war veterans regaining their lives. The story being that we are all human beings who experience pain and pleasure, and, sometimes, just want to be understood.

This reminds me of the simple verse, "All God's creatures big and small, the Good Lord loves them all."