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The Idea Behind “Living on Four Wheels”

I have had people ask me about the “Living on Four Wheels” project. So I thought it would be a good idea to explain my idea behind it and my thought process from its conception to the finished product.

The month before I had been in the African country of Morocco and now I found myself reunited with my family in Ontario, Canada. The climates could not have been more opposite, one was hot and parched the other was cold-ish and once or twice a week it rained. However, none of that mattered to me because I was back with my wife and kids.

The catch was that were in a small camper that rested in the front yard of the DayStar House (DayStar is the organization that I interned with.) Don’t get me wrong we were and are grateful that DayStar allowed me to intern and that they found a creative way to house us, but nonetheless it was cramped and quite the adjustment for the family of four. I can’t remember when my light bulb moment came up but I remember thinking “I need to document this.” You have seen them these people that are modern day hippies and travel the country in their old vans. We may not be hippies nor are we traveling but we were going places as a family and as we tried to make things work in this sardine can I thought I needed to photograph this. This was the conception of “Living on Four Wheels.”

Editing was all about being unique. So I added a lot of clarity, I mean a lot like 150% to give it that pop look. I didn’t mess with contrast much, just because that’s not my style. The choice of black white? I don’t know it just seemed to stick. NOW the big editing choice was the crop the thin long crop was to make the viewer uncomfortable just like we were. I wanted to give the sense of tight living quarters.

So that was the thought process behind “Living on Four Wheels” I hope you enjoy the project I would like to say we enjoyed making it, though at times it was hard adjusting but the photographs leave us with great memories of when we grew stronger as a family.

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Charlottesville

Story and photos by: Tyler Brock

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” – Albert Einstein

Often times when we go in to situations as journalist we often don’t get a clear picture but rather are left with more questions than answers. That pretty much sums up my weekend. On Saturday as Charlottesville Virginia was being turned into a war zone; I was coming home from a very nice week with family at the beach. During this time I made it a point to distance myself from the news and spend time with my family. However, while unraveling at home I saw the turmoil that had gripped Charlottesville. After talking with colleagues of mine and my wife I decided that early Sunday morning I would head north to ground zero.

Now all I had to go on was that the town talked about removing a statue, a statue of General Robert E. Lee, which was part of American Confederate history and culture. I also knew about Heather Heyer and the two state troopers that had lost their lives; in addition to these deaths were also the 19 injured. Though, the part that I was unclear was the groups that were involved and how this caused such a fuss when the President made the statement regarding “many sides.”

I arrived in Charlottesville at 8:00 AM. It was hard to believe that this University of Virginia town was the battlefield for so much dismay. Granted there were streets marked off, especially the road that led to Grace Park where the statue resided. In contrast to the day before people were out carrying on as if nothing happened. Dog walkers, families with young children, and friends having a Sunday morning cup of coffee; the sounds of birds chirping, children laughing took the place of hatred remarks that filled these very same streets the day before. It was difficult to imagine that the night before Charlottesville was under a state of emergency.

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A pair of glasses with one lens broken is a stark reminder as to what took place the day before, in Charlottesville , VA on August 13, 2017. (Photo By Tyler Brock)

 

 

Memorial

James Sulivan holds his son, Gabriel, 8 months, as they place flowers on one of the memorials in Charlottesville , VA on August 13, 2017. (Photo By Tyler Brock)

 

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Cards, candles, stuffed animals among other items are offered a memorial honoring Heather Heyer in Charlottesville , VA on August 13, 2017. (Photo By Tyler Brock).

Nonetheless, the lives that were lost the day before were not forgotten. At the intersection of “East Water Street” and “Fourth Street South East,” the location where James Alex Fields drove his Dodge Charger through a crowd killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others, flowers and letters were being placed in remembrance of the death that took place in Charlottesville. Resting on a doorway that faced into the narrow street were a pair of glasses that one could clearly see that one of the glass components was broken. A somber reminder of what happened on August 12, 2017 in the town of the UVA Cavaliers.

 

 

 

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A sniper checks his rifle moments before Jason Kessler speaks in Charlottesville , VA on August 13, 2017. Kessler is the White Supremacists spoke person. (Photo By Tyler Brock)

After a quick lunch break I found myself at the City Hall, in a crowd of TV journalist and photojournalist, not knowing what was going on. I was shocked at the profanity and hatred that was being shouted at this man speaking; so much to the point where I didn’t hear anything he had to say. After sometime one man started a chain reaction that sent the manic crowd after this man that I later found out was Jason Kessler who has taken the role of the White Supremacists spoke person. After punches were thrown Kessler dodged back and forth while running around the building, though a young woman tackled him, at this time police in riot gear apprehended him and escorted him to his car. During which the opposing crowd had a stand off with police and tensions rose, however, there was hardly any force used to control the crowd.

 

 

 

As the day progressed tensions died down and people kept returning to the memorial at East Market Street. In fact, later that evening there was a candle lit vigil for  Heather. Many came out including much of the law enforcement and ministers within the community. Many spoke, sang, prayed and cried, there was a lot of emotion. Though, as the candle flames slowly faded so did the crowds and things quickly went back in motion in Charlottesville Virginia. Nonetheless, America will not forget the weekend where mayhem took over the streets of Charlottesville.

 

 

 

BE YOU!

11_30_16_protest_charlotte_nc_0103“Figure out what you want to say about life and make it work in a rectangle box.” – Paul Strand

As with any art medium, photography is a way that someone can voice their opinion and show life from their perspective. The technical side of photography is very important along with gear. However, David duChumin summed it up best when he said; “gear is good, vision is better.” This is so true; no one has your vision and no has had your past. How you see life is uniquely you and no can take that from you.

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr. Suess

Before you press the shutter release button on your camera, think. Evaluate the scene. Do things line up to what you want to say and does the image portray your vision. I don’t always get my “vision” in an image but I would be lying to say that every bone in my body did not strive to make this scene everything it can be. So always rely on your vision, it’s the best tool in your toolbox. Bellow is a National Geographic film where photographers discuss the power of an image and why they photograph.

DISCLAIMER: There are some graphic images that accompany the video.

The Power of Photography

 

 

Week 6

Marty Casstevens preps and cleans his Rotary Cavity Seeder to get it ready to plant tobacco seeds in his greenhouse located in Boonville, NC on February 18, 2017. This machine will put out enough seeds to produce tobacco for 150 acres. (Photo by Tyler Brock)BrockT_Week6.jpg