It has always interested me how some folks can look at a painting and see deep meaning and social commentary while others look at the same picture and see…well…nothing except a hodge-podge of lines and colors that may or may not even go together. I tend to belong to the latter group and am highly suspicious that as someone sits and stares at a painting with a solid black background and a small white stripe in it that they see something like the story of racial struggle, or of good or evil, or of class warfare or the meaning of life itself. I have begun to think that photography is about the same. I belong to a Facebook group for people who have my model of camera and they encourage people to upload photos for the rest of the group to see and enjoy. I’ve uploaded some and had them shared, but I’ve also had some that I thought were good pictures that they rejected! So, I just console myself by talking to myself and saying that it’s all in the eye of the beholder. If you enjoy your photos, that’s what matters. If they have captured an instant in your life journey, they are automatically infused with meaning to you and the others who were there. If they bring you joy then you’ve taken a great photograph! Today I’m sharing two photos…identical, except one is color and the other black. I’m curious: which do you prefer? ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1945 on this day, Operation Detachment, the U.S. Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima, was launched. Iwo Jima was a barren Pacific island guarded by Japanese artillery, but to American military minds it was prime real estate on which to build airfields to launch bombing raids against Japan, only 660 miles away. The Americans began applying pressure to the Japanese defense of the island in February 1944, when B-24 and B-25 bombers raided the island for 74 consecutive days. It was the longest pre-invasion bombardment of the war, necessary because of the extent to which the Japanese–21,000 strong–fortified the island, above and below ground, including a network of caves. Underwater demolition teams (“frogmen”) were dispatched by the Americans just before the actual invasion. When the Japanese fired on the frogmen, they gave away many of their “secret” gun positions. The amphibious landings of Marines began the morning of February 19 as the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal, accompanied by journalists, surveyed the scene from a command ship offshore. As the Marines made their way onto the island, seven Japanese battalions opened fire on them. By evening, more than 550 Marines were dead and more than 1,800 were wounded. The capture of Mount Suribachi, the highest point of the island and bastion of the Japanese defense, took four more days and many more casualties. When the American flag was finally raised on Iwo Jima, the memorable image was captured in a famous photograph that later won the Pulitzer Prize, though the photograph itself was a re-enactment of the real flag raising.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: When a blue whale dives into the water, its head is already deeper than most scuba divers dare to go before its tail leaves the surface of the water.