Here's the colour version of the original. Thank's everyone for your extensive comments in the 2008 Posthumous side tournament - the references to Andre Wyeth, and my first award, too! My head is spinning. I loved hearing about the various responses the image evoked.
This was a shot I captured on my visit "down home" this summer in Ferryland, Newfoundland. I am taken by the contrasting body language of the children in the photo. A carefree boy saunters behind a more determined leader eager to seek what's over the horizon. When I named it, I was thinking of the metaphorical "light" that childhood represents, a time of freedom and carefree innocence. The happy accident of the foreground arm nicely cancels the boy, whose stance may suggest he's a little older and, perhaps lost to the present moment. It's we who are the keepers of the light, entrusted as adults not to have those in our care grow up too soon.
Kali Nikon D70s 02/06/2009 05:26:30 PM
I like the outstretched arm... it keeps it from appearing cliché
tnun Panasonic DMC-FZ10 02/06/2009 04:19:33 PM
Like the Andrew Wyeth feel to this. Not sure about the lighthouse because this seems to be about the boys and the landscape, their abandonment in trekking up the rise, which for me IS heightened by the arm swing; indeed the more I look it is about the casual grace and pace of the armswinger about to embrace his companion and the view of the top in his overlong sleeves.
undieyatch Olympus E-10 02/05/2009 01:45:49 AM
B&W, boys trudging this steep hill; one composed, another irregularly brisk, keeping up by his fastest route, arms balancing stride on uneven earth.
tph1 Olympus E-410 02/04/2009 08:58:05 PM
You know, it is so interesting the multitude of interpretations a good photo can inspire. I don't want to say they can enhance an image, but they certainly inspire more thorough viewing.
My first reaction is the children are the light. And I am taken with the sense of anticipation that is evident as they crest the dune. They can't see the water, and neither can we. We know its there, and its big and empty and different from the land. When I am taking my little boat out of the marina, I am always up on my toes, straining to to see over the breakwall at the Great Lake that I've seen many times before. It never fails to calm me, unless the the waves are up then I worry a bit. This photo brings back that feeling to me. The arm in question adds to the anticipation. Great sand beach surf boat shot, and there isn't even any water in the photo.
ubique Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1K 02/04/2009 05:12:17 PM
Goodness! I think that this picture is all about the arm! That arm is the one element with some figurative significance, in an otherwise studiously realistic and emotionally mild scene. I'd like to think that this could have been something the late Andrew Wyeth might have painted, if he'd taken one more brandy than was wise, and was indulging in a little bit of self-mockery.
I wouldn't hang it on my wall either, but that's no place for good photographs anyway; they belong in books.
I really enjoy this photograph for the disquieting questions posed by the arm. Among other things, it seems to ask the viewer, "Can you really look away now, when something extraordinary is perhaps going to happen?" For example, the curious and slightly unsettling presence of the arm might indicate some portent that the view from the top may not be what the boys expect; they may find something or someone there that they don't want to see. The arm is a signal; a cypher. (Maybe I am unduly influenced by my military days ... the arm held out, palm down, was a signal of an unease sensed but not yet specifically identified)
The effect here is to suggest that this is a photograph of a moment just before another moment about which we are left to wonder. Thus it's not necessarily as heart-warming and wholesome a scene as it first appears.
This 'arm' motif may have actually happened accidentally (as I suspect that some of the most revered of photographs did ... some of those 'decisive moments' were surely, pardon the pun, 'posthumous'), but even if it was just a happy accident, your selection of the image for publication here was not.
This is my choice of the Best in Challenge, and for the award of the Order of the Thumb:
Message edited by author 2009-02-04 20:36:41.
chromeydome Nikon D90 02/03/2009 10:01:16 PM
I like this. The title seems to attempt to convey upon this image some weight that it cannot carry. The image speaks (to me) more of carefree childhood.
wheeledd Canon EOS-5D 02/02/2009 04:45:51 PM
This is a wonderful vacation picture. It captures the feeling of having taken your kids to a new place and letting them discover new things over every hill.
Maybe you meant that the kids are the keepers of the light--that they are our hope for keeping the future alive. They certainly won't be doing it in lighthouses; I don't think there are any left with living keepers. But this interpretation puts much too heavy a take on a light-hearted image.
Bear_Music Canon EOS-20D 02/02/2009 12:55:03 PM
That out-of-place arm is what elevates the image for me. It's almost as if the leftmost child is much smaller than the arm-extending child, and that he is being lifted clear of the ground by the extended arm. For me it's an amusing and oddly heart-warming image.
LydiaToo Canon EOS-40D 02/01/2009 08:57:40 PM
If the arm is ignored, this is a wonderful image. I like the natural story of it all. But, that arm...
Les_Feck Sony DSLR-A100K 01/31/2009 11:02:07 PM
This image tells a story. It does not appear pretentious or posed. While a snapshot, it conveys depth. It is interesting, but I would not hang it on my wall.
digifotojo Canon EOS-350D Rebel XT 01/31/2009 10:58:02 PM
I tend to agree with Don, that kid's arm looks out of place. The overall image is ok but not exciting.
posthumous Canon EOS-350D Rebel XT 01/31/2009 09:45:33 PM
there's something odd about this, the way the boys blend into the background and into each other. That strange way the nearer boy's arm cuts the other boy in half. It keeps me from feeling nostalgic. Maybe that's a good thing. I'm not sure it's replacing what it's taking away, though.
BAMartin Canon EOS-40D 01/31/2009 04:46:11 PM
This photo is a delight. I am wondering if a color version of this would be even better?
My gosh, I was going to say when I saw this photo a couple of days ago that it looked like the lighthouse in Ferryland! But I didn't because I didn't think there were any other photographers from Newfoundland who posted in the forums. I really like this photo, I'm a sucker for lighthouse pictures anyway, but this is excellent!