Prayer Flag

Prayer flagsRoxbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Just where Route 67 crosses the Shepaug River is a cluster of old buildings that was once a lumberyard. They have been empty for years. Some of the windows in what must have been the yard office are broken, but the buildings are still in pretty good shape. One afternoon I decided to explore a bit and parked the car on the side of the building not visible from the main road. What caught my eye was the remnants of some plastic tarps that were blowing in the breeze. They reminded me of Tibetan prayer flags, and I especially liked the way they worked against the weathered wood siding which was highlighted by the low glancing light.

A curious thing happens to me at times like this; there is a desire to photograph something because it reminds me of something else. Why this is I don’t know, but I have a fair number of images that were made for just that reason, and there are probably a lot more where I wasn’t aware at the time I was doing it.

It seems only natural that in a world so full of images (I’m speaking of graphic images here), that one would see something familiar everywhere one looks. It’s also understandable that we should each remember different things. What I find interesting is the need to call your attention to my remembrances; but I’m clearly I am not alone in this desire. Other photographers and artists do the same. The internet is awash in sites where you can share your images. Is it a way to find relevance in our work; my work becomes relevant because we have something in common, or is it more to do with wanting to feel connected to others? After all if I can present you with a photograph that resonates in your memory as it does in mine, we must have something in common, a bond. That is a powerful motivator. Being social creatures we want to find things that bind us together; it’s where we get our strength, and these days anything that helps hold us together instead of driving us apart is a good thing.

Perhaps that is the best reason for people to put their photographs on the internet. We discover that we all have a lot more in common than we realized. We’re all just trying to get along, and we need all the prayers we can get.

Pentax K10D, with kit zoom, processed in Photoshop CS4.


6 comments on “Prayer Flag

  1. Joe says:

    Great image Steven 🙂


  2. Thanks Joe. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.


  3. Thank you for your cogent thoughts about connecting through photography — to memories in ourselves and to others. I always wondered why you titled this image in this way. Now I know! (And I should have asked.)


  4. thelmacrape says:

    Thank you for your thoughts. Makes sense to me.


  5. Marc Isolda says:

    great composition and subject matter and a terrific use of light!!!! wow!!!!!


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