Hurricane Harvey

Okay, so this post is long, long overdue (indeed, I have not been keeping up with this blog as I intended at all!), and truly there is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said, but I wanted to share some personal photos of local recovery anyway. There are a multitude of anecdotes and stories online about how everyone came together to help in the recovery process, and area neighborhoods were no different. What really caught my attention, though, was the mood everyone was in. People weren't just working together - they were supporting each other and keeping each other's spirits up. The entire feeling was more of a community barbecue event than that of a major disaster recovery. It was a surprising and welcome discovery.

*Please forgive my blurring technique in any of the images - wanted to edit quickly while keeping privacy concerns in mind.

"Inside Out" Many residents of flood ravaged homes found themselves having to rid their homes of personal items and furniture. Flood water itself can be a health hazard and furniture can be as hard to rid of mold as the walls.

"Inside Out" Many residents of flood ravaged homes found themselves having to rid their homes of personal items and furniture. Flood water itself can be a health hazard and furniture can be as hard to rid of mold as the walls.

Masks and gloves were worn for safety reasons by many.

Masks and gloves were worn for safety reasons by many.

Local trash crews weren't allowed to pick up anything but the usual household trash leaving people wondering how they were going to handle the leftover refuse of tearing out their homes.

Local trash crews weren't allowed to pick up anything but the usual household trash leaving people wondering how they were going to handle the leftover refuse of tearing out their homes.

In some places water receded so quickly that some of the fish couldn't keep up. 

In some places water receded so quickly that some of the fish couldn't keep up. 

What Makes a Photograph "Good"?

This will depend entirely on whom you're asking. Of course, there are technical specifications that can deem a photograph worthy of viewing. Is there noise? Is it in focus? How is the composition? Distracting items in the background? Bokeh? And a million other details that many photographers spend hours perfecting to create that one infallible image. While all of these things are important (indeed, I strive to create flawless images as well), sometimes, the most important aspect of a photograph is its audience. I own pictures that no amount of post processing can fix, and though they'll never be in competition, or next to other works of art to be taken apart and criticized, they'll always have a home in my personal gallery.

This image was originally much noisier, and in order to fix that I had to lose a lot of detail. I found that unimportant though, as really, for me, this picture was about shape and the feeling conveyed in how the musician is bent around his istrument.

This image was originally much noisier, and in order to fix that I had to lose a lot of detail. I found that unimportant though, as really, for me, this picture was about shape and the feeling conveyed in how the musician is bent around his istrument.

What a mess! It lacks focus, proper exposure, terrible composition...and I love it. The color here is what really stands out to me.

What a mess! It lacks focus, proper exposure, terrible composition...and I love it. The color here is what really stands out to me.

Arguably one of the worst photos I've ever taken, I've actually held onto it for years. I find the softness and blur of the colors calming, while the movement somewhat lends to her costume. Never underestimate the power of the subject - as this is actually my youngest daughter, and it reminds me of a time when she was sweeter...and fast, very fast.

Arguably one of the worst photos I've ever taken, I've actually held onto it for years. I find the softness and blur of the colors calming, while the movement somewhat lends to her costume. Never underestimate the power of the subject - as this is actually my youngest daughter, and it reminds me of a time when she was sweeter...and fast, very fast.

There you have it. Not all photos are good, but if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then all photos can not be bad either. Every picture is important to its intended audience.