I've been sitting on this photos since I took it over two months ago. I thought I'd keep it until I had something to really "say" about my life up to this point. Well, two months later and I just turned 50 years old and I still don't have anything to really "say." I've been an artist all my life but will never be known as one. After years of experimenting and working in a variety of mediums I eventually choose photography as my means of expressing myself. Unfortunately this coincides with a time when being a photographer is greatly devalued. This has resulted in my never having become rich or famous (which was never a goal to begin with). It has also caused moments of self doubt and feelings of worthlessness at times. Being an artist still has power over my identity. It's changed over the past ten years from being what medium I working in to how I live my life on a daily basis. It's no longer so much about the method of how I create something but about experiencing life as it unfolds and trying to really appreciate what is happening around me. Life seems to keep placing me in the exact right places at the exact right times. I don't take any of it for granted. I'm a very fortunate man indeed, even though I am not wealthy or popular. My barometer is my family, especially my daughter. I'm also constantly amazed at how my timing seems to just "work out." Take this photo for instance. I've come to this dock at night for many years just to think. I ended up here randomly after a night in self reflection, listening to the drums of the Tuchux as I sat nearby their encampment. I happened to have my camera and tripod and decided to take a self portrait. By the time I took this shot, holding still as I meditated, the moon had risen above me. I left feeling resolved to continue trying to be the best father & husband I could be. It's how I stand against the darkness in the world.
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So I ended up going to Pennsic War 46. While I was onsite during of the 2 weeks of the event, I mainly spent time running around visiting my immediate family. It was a whirlwind trip, and at first it was a bit disorienting. One minute I'd be somewhere in "Time." The next I'd be with those whom I don't spend enough time with. It was all amazing though. As I write this my mind is flogged from the over 12 hour drive home (yay for road construction on 80 west!). I just needed to process and post ONE photo. It's not the best of them. I will need time to sort and review everything. I shot this as I was walking around the lake on a clear summer night. The moon was shining brightly having been totally full the night before. I began with this photo location, which is way at one end of the event grounds, and I meandered all the way to the "Castle" at nearly the other end. I can't wait to share the really good ones!
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One of the events that I looked forward to the most while I was at Pennsic War 46 was the Tuchux Charity Tournament. While watching the big battles where thousands of people in armor bash each other is fun, I really like watching the one on one matches of this tourney. Basically it's MMA in armor and using weapons made of wrapped rattan with high density rubber warheads. It's an awesome display of martial skills. Within the first five minutes I pointed out the Knight on the left to my kid. I told her, "you watch that guy, he's going to make the final round." There are four "bear pits" in which an evenly divided number of fighters are grouped. The are randomly paired and the weapons randomly handed out. The fighters never know what they'll get, it could be a spear, a sword, an ax, etc.. Then through displays of martial skill, ferocity and guile they try to beat each other. The winner stays in the pit and gets a mark. They go many rounds until the top two of each pit then fight. Eventually there are only two fighters from all four pits left. This shot is of the winning blow being delivered by Sammick, clan leader of the Red Lions Tuchux. All proceeds of this event go to support the Drop in the Bucket Foundation, an organization that grants wishes to chronically, and terminally ill adults.
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