Newtown the Beautiful. Part 4 of 4

When I started this self made assignment, I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to capture beautiful images of Newtown / Sandy Hook. I didn’t expect to come up with any answers for why something so ugly could happen in a town like this.

We will never know all the facts that led to a poor deranged boy doing the unimaginable, but for me; I can only surmise that we, as a society, let him down in some way. We didn’t do enough to prevent this tragedy from being an option for him. We didn’t take these mass killing weapons out of his mother’s, and therefore, his, hands. And we certainly didn’t take away the idea that we care about anyone other than ourselves. That is my opinion and I am allowed to have it. I also have the freedom to write about my opinions.

We will all hear a lot about freedom in the upcoming months. I believe there is a line somewhere between ultimate freedom (You know? The kind we see in the movies like Mad Max, where everyone does whatever they want), and a communistic culture where we can do nothing without approval. I hope that line is far away from either of those two extremes, but the point I am making is that when people use the word freedom as an excuse to stop change. Let them know that we will still be free, and that those 20 children should have been free to grow up and call those people idiots if they wanted to.


Goodbye Newtown

So I really didn’t expect to come away with much more than my photographs when I started this. I never talked to anyone there yet the town and this project gave me so much more to take home.

On the last morning I would be taking photos there, I woke extra early because I heard on the news that they would start taking the memorials down that day. It was the day after Christmas and very cold outside. I had not intended to go to the memorial in town at all when I began this, but as my hope began to grow on that last trip, I thought I should at least take a walk through the memorial and say goodbye in my own way.

There was no one around that morning. The road to the school was still closed, but there were no more police. No mourners walking around. Complete silence and I would have wanted it no other way. I strapped my camera over my shoulder to take some personal photos, but it never moved from there. It was both a great, and an awfully sad walk. My thought to the victims: I hope they become the most influential people of all time. The ones who truly changed the path of a country.

I walked back to my car, over the bridge lined with frozen teddy bears and flowers. The same one that crosses the river I would be photographing for my last image.


Day 4 – Pootatuck River, Sandy Hook

As I entered my car; I hadn’t planned where I was going to photograph. I wanted to get to the memorial and walk around before it was gone. I planned to drive around and find a place to photograph later. Well, that spot was right where I was. As I turned left, away from the memorial, I saw a large parking lot with some sort of stage or something. A park, I thought! Perfect for a photo within Sandy Hook! It was more of a parking lot for the downtown area, but it had a nice walk that lined the river that runs through town, and that offered up a nice view as it rushed under the bridge I had just been on.

If I am going to photograph water, I almost always use a tripod because I like to slow the shutter down and make it look smooth. It was pretty bright out so I used my polarizer filter to help give me a longer shutter speed. I took many different photos here because each one was a little different due to the random nature of water. I chose this one because I liked the ripples curving around on the bottom. I liked the overall photo because it was right for an ending photo for this series: The memorial just out of the frame on top and the water continuing to move on below it. Just like we have to.

Pootatuck River, Sandy Hook


As a final way for me to do something, I will be making the fullsize version of all four photos available for download. I will have a link to get them in my post tomorrow.

As I left for the last time on this project, I passed the same sign I had the previous three trips. It said: “Overcome Evil by Doing Good Today”.


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