Monday, March 8, 2010

No words required.

In Indonesia on June 27, 2008, I was walking down a sidewalk and trying to attract as little attention as a 6'3" guy can in a place where outside of the team I met only one other white guy . . . and he was far from 6'3" I might add. Myself and a few other of the team leaders decided we would head down this road and see what we could find. I got distracted by some small children and ended up behind the others in my group (as photographers in groups usually do) and had some ground to cover to catch up.

I love looking for human interest type images. Images of people just living life as though I don't exist with my camera. The thing is, it is often impossible. And I DO exist!! lol. Anyways, I came upon this elderly lady who was just sitting in the shade near her table of goods I'm sure she was selling for her daily bread.

It was kind of funny, because when I first noticed her, I took the picture as best I could before she knew I was there. But SLR cameras tend to make a rather interesting sound and that caught her ear, as you can see in the pictures below. The thing that makes this series special to me is what happens between the second and third image. There is a story I would like to remember so I thought I should write it down here. This way not only can I look back and remember it but hopefully you too will find this simple exchange pleasurable.

This lady did not speak a word of English. I don't speak a word of Indonesian. But I love how the digital world has opened doors for simple communication immediately. After the second image where you see her looking straight at me, she turned around and hid her face. It was like she feared that I was just trying to take a picture of a freak, an old and wrinkled lady or some nonsense. But when I was able to show her the image on the display on the back of my camera, she got a big smile and nodded her head in approval. Not only did she like what she saw, but she then sat straight up and smiled again as though she wanted me to take another, so I did. I personally didn't like or want that one as much as the first image I had already taking but it wasn't about that anymore. At this point it wasn't about the images. It was about making a quick connection with someone that I will never meet again. To somehow brighten her day was my goal now.

I like the feeling of knowing that her impression of me was something other than annoying. Something other than just someone trying to stick a camera in her face. Instead, someone who cared enough to stop and show her the images on my camera screen. Someone who cared enough to do it right. And even knowing that I wanted to take her picture seemed more like an honor to her now.

And there was a connection made with the power of a simple image. No words required!

The progression.

Photographybybritton-4 done

The image I was after, the first one.


Signing off for today. God bless your socks off,

Capture. Create. Discover.
Something Amazing!


  1. Ahhh, LOVE this! I love what happens on the mission field with the camera... it's like a totally different opportunity opens up!