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Pause for Thought…

Apr 14

In Thanks, Thoughts at 10:33am

We are goofing our way across the country, in our last week of life on a bus. It’s been a fun ride, mostly because of the people we have met, the passion we have encountered, and the incredibly warm welcome we have received from Seattle to NY to Grand Rapids to Atlanta to Albuquerque. We have taught, laughed, screwed up, thrown flashes in the air, logged over 11,000 miles (so far), and just in general, made light (ouch!) of everything. Just a bunch of bucketheads on a bus. Then, in the midst of a laugh, you get a note that’s like a quick snort of smelling salts. It clears the head, and removes the fog that sometimes descends after a bumpy night’s sleep in a rolling, two foot wide bed. It snaps you back to the wonderful reality of just how being involved in picture making on any level gets into the very marrow of your bones. If life is a patchwork quilt, photography can be the stitching.

From one of our attendees……

True Story about the day…

4 weeks ago the light of my life, business partner, and ongoing source of… umm… determination; was diagnosed with terminal, incurable, ultra rare, neuro-endocrine cancer. 2 weeks ago when we were meeting with the oncologist to discuss treatment, Eric informed his doctor that he refused to start any kind of treatment until after April 12th because he didn’t want to be ill for the date. I have been a follower of Strobist since I stumbled accross it a couple months after Strobist began. Eric has worshiped Joe McNally for years and we now own all his books. Off camera Nikon strobes is what brought us together. Between the 2 of us; the event of Joe and David finally coming to the Midwest to speak was a nearly religious experience.

So to Joe, thank you. I was the one with the snarky comment that you gave the disks to, it made me happy and it overjoyed Eric. We had already decided that we couldn’t afford the DVD’s. That was a gift with a double whammy that will make the trip to Indy so special for us for the time we have left together. I really can’t thank you enough or tell you how happy we were to be there. Neither of us are the kind to gush over celebrities and I NEVER write to them; but, thank you, thank you, thank you.

To David….. OMG I got to stand near DAVID HOBBY, the man made of light! And shake is hand! Seriously, it was funny sitting there listening to you and to have Eric lean over to me and say, “I understand why you think he’s so cool, he’s been hugely influential on every aspect of your photographic philosophy”.

Thank you all so much for a great day of laughter and light!

You get a note like that, and it is humbling, overwhelming, and motivating all at the same time. It makes you want to shoot better, teach better, and just be better. It makes you want to call your wife or husband. It makes you want to take more pictures of your kids. It reassures you that this lark we’re on has a good reverb.  It reaffirms that as a shooter, it’s about being in the trenches, keeping your eye in the camera, pushing through the mistakes and the misgivings and the slumps. It’s about sharing knowledge, and pushing each other. Giving back is so much more important than pixels.

Kat and Eric…sending light your way…..more tk….

58 Responses to “Pause for Thought…”

Michael says:

on April 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

i had a good time in Madison, even when i look like an incompetent boob in front of hundreds of
people with an SB-900, oh well, i guess. I’m glad Drew open his mouth so the idea of
the Flash Bus Tour could happen. again i had a good time. i hope you do this again!

Thanks, Michael

nando says:

on April 21, 2011 at 8:16 am

This post is one of those, Joe.
Thanks a lot for sharing.

Arno says:

on April 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm

My heart goes out to Kat and Eric, I hope you find comfort remembering these shared times as you proceed on your tough tough journey.

I was on the other side of the coin. Flashbus was the first all day event that didn’t bring me to my knees. Even two years after brain surgery I still feel the effects of the brain tumor every day. I thought it was a tribute to the teaching styles of both these guys that I was able to make it through the whole event.

My heart goes out to the two of you. I wish you much strength and hope you can find the strength to enjoy each other one day at the time.

Barbara Thorbjornsson says:

on April 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Kat and Eric, please receive loving thoughts as they come your way.
Joe, thank you for thinking of others.
Does anyone know if Joe has released his instructional DVD’s yet?

Glyn Dewis says:

on April 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm

OMG…how incredibly powerful and humbling!
What else is there to say other than ‘Good on you…Joe and David for putting this all together’…clearly this has meant alot more to folks than you first imagined.

Best wishes to you all,

Jack Rigby says:

on April 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I really enjoyed the Pittsburgh Bus tour stop. Thanks a lot.

Jack RIgby
PS: Joe, do you have a brother named Randy?

Eric says:

on May 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I sort of had to read these all and think a while before I could say a word, you see, looking through the tears was a bit difficult…now, perhaps, I can.

Wanting to be a photographer since I was a kid I never really had the chance till later in life, my late 30′s. Now in my early 50′s I realize what I actually want to do…but may not have the time to do it. Now…remembering Maplethorp… perhaps I have all the freedom in the world… yet time is trying to stop me.

To all those who left words and those who thought about it…my humble thank you!

As for Joe…words cannot tell you how much you’ve taught and guided me having never even known of me. Your willingness to show others the light gave me the freedom to do the same. Showing those who are wanting to know and hardly know which end of a camera to point at a subject, or how to frame them, or how to…

Now that none, but a few souls, will ever see this post, all my love to those who care to take it.

Joe, you mean the world to so many people in your life, those you touch daily, those who touch you and those you’ll never know. (Pull your head out, Joe, this was a compliment, not a…)

Thanks, Joe!

littlechild says:

on May 19, 2011 at 2:15 am

I really enjoyed the Pittsburgh Bus tour stop. Thanks a lot.

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