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Thread: Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

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    Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

    Just wanted to share about some very tough things going on recently...somewhat Leica related, but admittedly not really. But most of the relationships I have developed in these forums are specifically here in the Leica subforum, so I hope you'll let me slide just this one time...

    Some of you may know (or maybe not) that I am a graduate student working on a Ph.D in molecular biology. The relationship between student and mentor is very unique in this setting - the mentor is much more than just a boss or supervisor. Perhaps it's the difficulties and struggles of the work and science that creates the unique bond. Most of these relationships end up lasting an entire lifetime, definitely deeper than just work or career level.

    Last week, my mentor passed away due to injuries from a car accident. Her husband was driving them home from the airport in middle of the night, close to 1am. As they made a left turn into their gated community, a police car (responding to a call, but driving with no lights or sirens on) slammed straight into the passenger side of the car, where my mentor was sitting. We don't know exactly how fast the police car was going, but there were a few hints that indicated it was at an incredible speed, at least for the small neighborhood street they were driving on: 1) there were no signs of the police car breaking, and 2) from the estimated point of impact, the police car pushed their car 40 yards forward.

    Well, you can imagine the pain and grief all of us are experiencing right now. However, I am deeply regretting a missed photo opportunity from just several weeks ago. Occasionally, I bring my M9 to the lab with me in case I have some extra time during lunch to walk around and shoot. One morning after our group meeting, I noticed the conference room had such beautiful light, and I wanted to ask my mentor if she wanted a photo there. The setting would have been perfect - beautiful light, conference room was decorated with shelves upon shelves of scientific journals, would have given it a very scholarly and classy look. But, I suddenly because just a bit shy and thought my mentor would have thought I was nuts (although she was one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, I have no clue why I became shy). So, I figured there would be another opportunity for me in the future and ask her again later.

    And here we are today. I missed my opportunity. Not only did I miss the opportunity, but I'm imagining what a great contribution I could have given to our school, my co-workers, and most importantly, her family if I had taken the shot. I'm certain even if I didn't do a good job, her family would have cherished any recent photos of her. I am just kicking myself over and over because...well, isn't that why I purchased the M9 to begin with? To be able to carry around a high quality camera with me everywhere for any photo opportunity?

    So, the reason why I am sharing this with all of you is so hopefully none of you will make the same mistake as me. Especially photos of those people who are close to your heart - don't hesitate, don't be shy, and just shoot away because you never know when is the next time you'll get a chance to, and what kind of impact your photo may have in the future.
    Jerry
    Flickr

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    Re: Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

    Jeez, man. So sorry to hear this, Jerry. Sounds like a profound loss on many levels.

    I had a similar experience a couple of years ago. I went to visit my mom (who had moved back to Germany) for her birthday as a surprise. I took a bunch of photos, but nothing too serious (it was a fun, informal trip, etc.). I flew back home and got word later in the week that she had fallen ill (or perhaps more ill than when I was there - nothing too serious at the time) and admitted to the hospital. Apparently things got worse; much worse - I later got word that she passed away... So back to Germany I went. Turns out that one of the photos I took during the first visit was probably the best, last photo I have of my mom. It was printed for use on the "Trauerkarten" (condolence/sympathy card and notice of passing) that was sent to family and friends, printed large and framed for the wake/funeral and fresh copies are regularly placed at the grave. Who knew? All I know is, I can't possibly be more happy for that snapshot.

    So yes, when in doubt - shoot!

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    Re: Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

    Jerry, a very poignant & powerful point! Im very sorry to hear this horrific story. Your intentions were there & your heart is in the right place. I try to not take anything for granted. Our time here is short. Thanks for an important wake up call. My sincerest condolences to you & her family.

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    Re: Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

    Accept my sincere condolences, Jerry. What a sorry story, though I share and sympathize with your shyness. Thank you for reminding us how dear time spent with those important to us is.

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    Re: Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

    Our sincere condolences in your lost of a dear friend.

    Decisive Moment.

    There are many times when I wished I had taken the picture/s... too shy or hesitated.
    There are many times I wished I had brought my camera.... Duh!

    I am also glad that many times I brought my camera and took the picture/s w/ feeling as if I am imposing.

    You are correct, "don't hesitate, don't be shy, and just shoot away"... I always tell my self... "you know, moments like this will not come again" Carpe Diem.

    BTW.. it is not a mistake, but a lesson & Thank you form reminding us why we bought the cameras & lens in the first place.

    Robert.

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    Re: Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

    Jerry,
    I am sorry to hear this.

    Some months ago my grandfather died and we needed an image of him for the funeral. I was happy to find some few very nice images.
    I realized that I have thousands of images showing some people and very few from others. I would allways photograph my grandma playing with the grandgrandkids but not so much my grandfather sitting in his chair.
    Specially things in our daily life we allways think we can take this shot later or its just normal life we dont have to photograph it. However its often only dayly life for a certain period and years later it is nice to have such memories.

    Dont went to get philosophic but its even more about doing certain things in life and not allways waiting for an even better situation.






    Quote Originally Posted by panda81 View Post
    Just wanted to share about some very tough things going on recently...somewhat Leica related, but admittedly not really. But most of the relationships I have developed in these forums are specifically here in the Leica subforum, so I hope you'll let me slide just this one time...

    Some of you may know (or maybe not) that I am a graduate student working on a Ph.D in molecular biology. The relationship between student and mentor is very unique in this setting - the mentor is much more than just a boss or supervisor. Perhaps it's the difficulties and struggles of the work and science that creates the unique bond. Most of these relationships end up lasting an entire lifetime, definitely deeper than just work or career level.

    Last week, my mentor passed away due to injuries from a car accident. Her husband was driving them home from the airport in middle of the night, close to 1am. As they made a left turn into their gated community, a police car (responding to a call, but driving with no lights or sirens on) slammed straight into the passenger side of the car, where my mentor was sitting. We don't know exactly how fast the police car was going, but there were a few hints that indicated it was at an incredible speed, at least for the small neighborhood street they were driving on: 1) there were no signs of the police car breaking, and 2) from the estimated point of impact, the police car pushed their car 40 yards forward.

    Well, you can imagine the pain and grief all of us are experiencing right now. However, I am deeply regretting a missed photo opportunity from just several weeks ago. Occasionally, I bring my M9 to the lab with me in case I have some extra time during lunch to walk around and shoot. One morning after our group meeting, I noticed the conference room had such beautiful light, and I wanted to ask my mentor if she wanted a photo there. The setting would have been perfect - beautiful light, conference room was decorated with shelves upon shelves of scientific journals, would have given it a very scholarly and classy look. But, I suddenly because just a bit shy and thought my mentor would have thought I was nuts (although she was one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, I have no clue why I became shy). So, I figured there would be another opportunity for me in the future and ask her again later.

    And here we are today. I missed my opportunity. Not only did I miss the opportunity, but I'm imagining what a great contribution I could have given to our school, my co-workers, and most importantly, her family if I had taken the shot. I'm certain even if I didn't do a good job, her family would have cherished any recent photos of her. I am just kicking myself over and over because...well, isn't that why I purchased the M9 to begin with? To be able to carry around a high quality camera with me everywhere for any photo opportunity?

    So, the reason why I am sharing this with all of you is so hopefully none of you will make the same mistake as me. Especially photos of those people who are close to your heart - don't hesitate, don't be shy, and just shoot away because you never know when is the next time you'll get a chance to, and what kind of impact your photo may have in the future.

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    Re: Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

    Jerry,

    My heartfelt condolences on your loss of more than a dear friend. A mentor is for many, more than just a passing acquaintance but a lifelong friend who's lessons and teachings stay with us throughout our career and personal life. So many wonderful people are unfortunately taken from us before their time here on earth and luckily there are people like you who both cherish and honor their memory.

    I think your message hits home with many of us...to not hesitate and take the time to photograph those around us, especially those that mean the most. For myself, it was my dad...who never liked being photographed and my mom who constantly said " that's enough picture taking for one day" as I snapped away as a youth. Yet for all the complaints of excessive picture taking...it was those images taken of him as his time drew near, that today are deeply treasured by close family and myself. Regardless of ever changing technology, pictures today are still a powerful way to capture a persons essence, a timeless reminder of who they are and a wonderful way of sharing a part of that person with others, especially when accompanied by words and stories. Today I am going through much the same thing with my father in-law...only I've learned not to hesitate and respectfully capture those memorable images. It's not a matter of whether they are technically perfect...just something to have an everlasting memory by.

    Jerry although you hadn't gotten around to photographing her that particular day you mentioned...keep in mind you do possess that one photographic tool that ever beats a Leica M9 in imagery...and that's your memory and the indelible images and thoughts you have of her. That alone and passing on stories of what an incredible person she was to you and others, is possibly the greatest gift you can share. I think those reading here your posting on GETdpi, now have an good idea how much she meant to you. Thank you for sharing!

    David (D&A)

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    Re: Take every opportunity...(somewhat Leica related)

    Thank you everyone for your sympathies and encouragements. Thank you to those who also shared your own similar stories.

    We had a memorial service at the school for my adviser last Thursday, and it was really painful and difficult. I don't think there was a single dry eye in the auditorium when her sons came up to delivery the eulogy.

    I hope I will forever remember to take advantage of photo opportunities for the loved ones around me...
    Jerry
    Flickr

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