Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Picture of The Year

Photo by: Ron Sim,csc/ Accra, Ghana
Current Location: Midland, Michigan, USA / 43°37′25.0″N 84°13′45.7″W

Whenever my days are long and the nights just seem even longer, I find peace in knowing that I'm not alone. And as I toss and turn, the world turns with me--rotating ever so softly, like the wind that whispers beyond the comfort of my bedroom walls. Shadows of images I've captured dance in my proverbial mind--reminding me just how fortunate I am.

There was a time in my life when I'd race to film human suffering, to see first hand the tragedies of our world. Young and naive, brave and stupid, my camera was my shield of honor--a symbol of pride and distinction, of heartache and pain. Like a cinematic vulture, I'd swoop in from the comforts of my western life to capture in cold blood the plight of people suffering. The sound of bullets whiz by my ears, followed by the thump of someone falling. My camera rolled, images of our world--measured by frames per second. And through the magic of television, my work was viewed on living room walls, in coffee shops and airports, online and offline--entertaining the world by feeding their appetite for more 'guts and glory. From Afghanistan to Haiti, Cambodia to Sri-Lanka--for a short time in my life, I followed the trail of blood. All, for a weekly pay check.

There's a price to everything in life, it's true.

Today, I no longer film in conflict zones for network television. Although I highly respect the men and women that do, I myself no longer find it exciting. It takes a different kind of person, one stronger than I am--because through the years,the haunting images I've captured has eroded my soul--finding its way to the depths of my heart and forever lingers in my mind. It never escapes from within me.

And forever, I am changed.

This year, the image that lingers most in my mind is of this boy. A constant reminder at just how beautiful our world can be.

"I used to call myself a war photographer. Now, I consider myself an anti-war photographer."
-James Nachtwey


SearchingSoul said...

Hi Ron,

Watching bizzare news footages made me cringe in fear but also made me more thankful of the blessings I have. Sometimes I would wonder how the person filming it was feeling while taking those risky shots just to keep us informed. Your words are the vivid answer of my question.

I came across the word Darma from the Book Thick Face Black Heart (Ching-Ning Chu). She said that "Darma is the natural law that guides us to recognize at any given moment the role each one of us is playing in life...That act will become our protector and savior."

No matter how you feel now about what your former role was, you did a noble job and did it in the best of your ability, not without guilt or fear, but always with dignity.

That role made you appreciate the beauty of life even more. Those experiences made you appreciate a smile of a child more than those who never saw the ugly terror of hunger, pain and hatred. I am pretty sure that it also made you a better writer and person you are now.

I will be closely following your blog because your posts are snippets of joy and wisdom that fills a void in every human soul.

Thanks for the generous compliment you posted in my blog.

Searching Soul

Ron said...

Searching Soul,
Thank you for your kind words.

I actually have a copy of Thick Face black Heart and know exactly what you're talking about. I highly agree.

We're all put on this earth for a reason...


Anonymous said...

Ron! That boy is gorgeous, that sweet little face, full of laughter, I love the picture, you were right, I was going to like your blog :D
Regarding being a war-photographer, I'm glad you don't feel like doing it anymore, it must be tough, but at least you got to chance to travel, right? HAPPY NEW YEAR :D

sanjit said...

hello! sanjit here..thanks for visiting my blog! very beautiful photos you got here..

Kim said...

This is a gorgeous amazing wonderful picture with so much depth. The words of the post are also beautiful.

John said...

Again, this is off topic ;P

Let me guess:

1. You were auditioning for the next James Bond movie


2. You were testing to see whether the car will remain in balance despite of the (camera + your) weight?


3. The camera slipped off and you managed to catch it in time!

Please tell me it's one of the above! LOL

Happy New Year, Ron!

Ron said...

John, you caught me! Yes, I'd have to pick #1, auditioning to be the first Asian James Bond!

So far, no calls :(

sam marine said...

Hello Ron,
Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting my blog at sam-marine.blogspot.com
Quite busy with work lately and will find some time to do some upgrading on my blog.
Perhaps you could give me a tip or two on capturing chili peppers pictures.
Btw, you've got a cool blog. Post more pics, :)

Best Regards,
Sam Marine

Ron said...

LOL, everytime I go to your blog I'm amazed at how someone can take so many pictures of just chili peppers! It baffles me! But hey, my advice to you is this: no matter what your subject matter may be (even if its chili peppers), always shoot with your heart, everything else is just technical.


Random Hiccups said...

Wow. Thanks for the compliments on my blog yesterday!

I moved to South Africa because of the faces similar to this one. Africa seeps through my veins. This photo is an excellent expression of the hearts of many African children. Well Done!

I will be back to see what else you have found. Excellent Blog!

Jay said...

This pictre is beyond amazing... I fee like I know that child, just by seeing this image.

Your work is really spectacular.

DUTA said...

The boy's front teeth - are worth anything.

Amazing photo, charming little boy,
sincere words.

Sarah said...

This is a really lovely and moving post.

Rose and Jill said...

An amazingly wonderful photo. Glad you stumbled upon our blog so we could stumble upon yours!