Sunday, September 07, 2008

Photo Collections from Denver

"Where do you want to go?"

A photographer that I was chatting with on the mid-afternoon frying pan that was the floor of Invesco Field asked me this question, over and over - as if to drive it into my head that eventually I would have to make a decision about the direction of the pretty much aimless existence that I have called "my life".

"Where do you want to go?"

I looked toward the stage and the people that were busy preparing a scene that would be viewed later by millions of Americans. I was witnessing history, a day in American history, and the profound implications of that weighed on me to the point where I was both giddy and a bit numb from anticipation. Go somewhere? From here? Hell, I dunno what to say to that. The question didn’t make much sense to my over-loaded brain.

"I'm here. I want to be here. There is no place else I would rather be."

"No, where do you want to go?" He was messing with me, and I knew it, but I didn't much care. I just smiled. The heat, the exhausting pace of the past few days, had stripped away any semblance of ability on my behalf for the usual witty banter that goes on between strangers. My emotions were raw, and right at the surface. All I knew was that I had that day, that series of moments in time, and I was going to soak it all in as best as I could – and fire that camera at everything that caught my eye.

"I'm here."

The future would have to wait. I'll deal with it later. For once in my life, I am going to live in the “now”.

And that I did. All week long, actually, as best I could. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been trying to play catch-up with the life that went on without me while I was gone, the life that seems to be rushing at me now with Kwame and the Republicans and everything else that has happened this week – and all the while pouring through the couple of thousand pictures that I took, and reliving it all, moment by moment.

I feel like I haven't had time to even breathe in literally weeks now. The prep for the trip, the trip itself, the aftermath.... everyone sit still for a moment, OK? But they don't. Alright. One step at a time. I’ve got close to 400 pictures up on my Flickr account now, and I’m still working on them. The Rockies game, a few from a Friday trip to Boulder, more politicians from the delegation breakfasts, the trip home (because I know you are just dying to see the Amtrak station in Lincoln, Nebraska, with its CFL bulbs in the ancient train platform structure), endless funny pictures of Jim Blanchard (no, I guess I won’t publish those. Goes against my credo) – all are still to come. But since I’ve had a bunch of people bugging me about this, here are the links to the specific collections that I have done so far-

Denver Democratic National Convention 2008 - this contains the trip out, a couple from Coors Field, a few from the Big Tent; basically it's a catch-all for now.

Michigan Delegation Breakfast Monday - I replaced a bunch of these when I got home; they looked awfully red when I went back and viewed them later. Did I mention I'm not a professional? But I'm learning.

Democratic National Convention Monday - From the outside perimeter to Michelle Obama and points in-between - I walked all over the Pepsi Center. Come see.

Michigan Delegation Breakfast Tuesday - Yea, my governor is here. I still have more from this morning that I want to get done, but these will do for now.

Democratic National Convention Tuesday - Hillary was amazing. So was the entire day.

Michigan Delegation Breakfast Wednesday - Finally got this in a set.

Democratic National Convention Wednesday - Cordelia went into the mosh pit, and I hit the streets of LoDo. Walk with me up the 16th St. pedestrian mall, where the vendors and the protestors mingled. Gets a little touristy in places (I loved the Colorado Capitol Building and park in front of it), but it's a walking tour of what I saw on the outside of the convention.

Michigan Delegation Breakfast Thursday - I just got to these this very day - and there are more I will get to eventually. It was an all-star morning.

Democratic National Convention Thursday - This event I will definitely revisit again and again. Gore, Biden, Richardson - still have a bunch. Night shooting is tricky, and seeing Obama was even trickier through all the signs and flags and very enthused, screaming, jumping up and down Democrats, and I need to put some serious work into those.

The thing I love about photography is that it is honest. As you know, and let's be blunt here, politics is a pretty dishonest world. But pictures don't lie. Catching politicians in unscripted moments (and even the scripted ones) is magical to me - better than anything I could ever write. This was the shoot of a lifetime. My thanks to all that made it possible.

"Where do you want to go?"

I'm still haunted by that question. I just don't know right now. Maybe I never will. But I have a great record of where I have been - and I hope you enjoy it.