Wow, talk about a weekend for digital photography… I had driven down to Elephant Butte, NM to meet up with a friend of mine from work and see about taking pictures of him during his participation in a 9/11 Memorial Display, flying the Colors over Elephant Butte Lake…, just a few miles outside of another town you may or may not have heard of, “Truth or Consequences, New Mexico”. That’s right, the town named after a game show. Well, after popping up early on Sunday morning, I got out and made contact with some of the hot-air ballonists, just getting a feel for what was going to take place during the course of the morning, when one of the balloonists mentioned they were short crew members for getting the balloon up that morning. Even though I had just stopped in for some information, I was asked the question, “So, do you want to crew for us?” I couldn’t resist. So, I spent the next hour or so helping out with setting up a hot air balloon and snapping photos in-between jobs. It was as blast. After the balloon was set up and ready to launch, the next question asked was “Who wants to go for a balloon ride?” I was patient, I bit my tongue, I really wanted to go up, but I waited for anyone else who might want to go up as well. When nobody jumped up, I decided to go on the trip. I was not disappointed. The temperature was comfortable, the company was entertaining and knowledgeable, and the view was spectacular!!!
When asked about why I enjoyed photography as kind of an introductory questionaire on my recent trip to Maine Media College, after a little thought on the subject, it hit me. I am not now, nor have I ever enjoyed being a spectator at anything in my life. For some the enjoyment of pro football, pro baseball, tennis, wrestling… All make very interesting spectator events, depending on your interests. I’ve just never been that into spectator events. For me, photography allows me to be an active participant in any event, whether it’s recording my memories or someone else’s, creating a mood, or documenting an event. Photography takes me from the spectator role in any given event and magically transforms me into an active participant.
So, even though I wasn’t able to connect with my friend from work, I was able to connect with another old friend that presents itself from time to time, Once again I met opportunity, and I was not disappointed. The biggest refresher/lesson I got from this weekend… Life’s about more than just standing by and watching interesting things take place around you. It’s really about taking advantage of those rare opportunities when they present themselves and using them to make great things happen.
For me, the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 was about much more than remembering the sacrifices of those who risk their lives daily for others, it’s also about celebrating living. And what better way to do that than by participating in life instead of just spectating?
A new gallery: 911 Aerial Tribute Elephant Butte, NM