Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just a Quick Note Concerning My Documentary Project


For those of you who may have been interested in my last two post on my Food for Thought: Hungry in New Mexico project, I have decided to set up a new blog totally dedicated to that venture.

I made this decision mainly because this project is probably going to take years to complete and because I felt the project deserved to have its own space. It is after all, an extremely important subject.

As of yesterday, the new blog is live and the previous two posts on this blog from that project have been moved there. For those of you who are interested in this project, you can find Food for Thought: Hungry in New Mexico at http://hungryinnewmexico.posterous.com/.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Moving On and Changing Directions– AGAIN



Over the last couple of years I’ve become more and more dissatisfied with my photography. Well, not necessarily the photography actually but more so with the subject matter. Making technically perfect pretty pictures of attractive subjects was fun but at the same time, it wasn’t fulfilling.

Growing up in the 1950, some of my most vivid memories are of sitting on the floor in our living room quietly going through the stacks of Life and Look magazines that my mom kept. My mom also had subscriptions to both of those magazines so I was always eager to get my hands on the latest copies as soon as they arrived.

It was those magazines and the incredible photo essays they contained by such great photographers as Robert Capa, W. Eugene Smith and Margaret Bourke-White and so many others that first inspired me to want to become a photographer.

I actually starting taking pictures around the age of eight using a hand-me-down camera that my mom had given me. Though I’ve been a photographer for most of my life, I’ve never followed that original inspiration. Instead, once I turned pro, I did what far too many people do and that is I chased the almighty dollar, mostly shooting whatever I thought would sell.

A few weeks before my girlfriend Lyn died, I had decided I really needed to get back to what had originally inspired me to become a photographer in the first place. However, Lyn’s death effected me deeply and everything just sort of got put on hold. Her death still has a profound effect on me every single day but I simply have to start moving forward again. At sixty-one years of age I feel as though if I don’t do this now, it just ain’t gonna happen.

Poverty, illiteracy and hunger are issues that have always concerned me. I have personal experience with two of those (some might say all three.) Of those issues, hunger concerns me the most since it has a profound effect on being able to overcome the other two.

I’ve recently begun working on a photo documentary project to put a human face on the problems of hunger in New Mexico and looking for support from local organizations to help out with this important project. Whether or not I am able to receive any support though, I feel compelled to keep working on it. It’s a terribly important issue.

Irrespective of ideology, political leanings or the size of one’s bank account, every one of us should be embarrassed, ashamed and in fact, outraged, that here, in 21st century America, the richest, most powerful and most productive country that has ever existed on this planet, there should be ever be one single person that does not always have enough to eat.

Over the years, almost every U.S. President has declared some type of campaign or introduced legislation to end the scourge of hunger in America. We live in a country with enough food and money to feed everyone in the world twice over and yet, hunger still persists right here in the good ol' US of A.

One out of every eight people in America doesn’t always have enough to eat. That number jumps to at least one out of every six people in New Mexico that don’t always know where their next meal is going to come from and that includes one out of every four children. I find that obscene.

Of course, the United States Government no longer calls people who often lack enough to eat "hungry". Instead, ever since the George W. Bush administration objected to the term "hunger" these Americans are now called "food insecure", a euphemism used to describe hunger without actually carrying all of the weight that the word hunger implies.

Unfortunately, hunger in the United States as well as New Mexico is fundamentally a political issue. Charities, businesses, and private citizens all have very important roles to play in this issue but only governments, at every level, actually have the size, power and the resources to finally solve the problem once and for all. Governments must stop playing ideological games and one-upmanship and start actually LEADING the way for a change.

This is not going to be an easy project. In fact, baring something entirely unforeseen, within the next couple of weeks, it is going to get much, much harder.

Since Lyn’s death, I have been staying with relatives but I can only stay here until about July 15th. After that, I will be essentially homeless which is going to make literally everything infinitely more difficult. However, for some reason I seem to be drawn to and in fact driven by the prospect of doing this project and hopefully bring a significant amount of attention to the problem of hunger in New Mexico.

I may not be able to end hunger in New Mexico but I do plan on giving it my best shot by trying to bring this important issue to the attention of those who are best able to make a difference. That would be politicians as well as those people and organizations that are best able to put badly needed pressure on the politicians to bring about the needed changes in policy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Milestones

Yesterday was an especially difficult day. Not that any day has been especially easy lately but, yesterday marked exactly four weeks since my Sweetie Lyn died and two weeks since I was forced to move out of the house that I had shared with Lyn for almost nine years.

Everything seems so exceptionally difficult and I’m still finding it very hard to just move through the day and do the things that must be done. My concentration on any one thing is pretty much non-existent since thoughts of Lyn constantly intrude and my mind constantly wonders back to when she was still alive.

Of course, being essentially homeless at almost sixty-one years of age isn’t helping matters. I’m still trying to find a job so I can then find a place of my own to live but this is all very, very difficult. The pain of losing Lyn is still too fresh, like an open wound. Sure, it will eventually heal but it’s going to leave one hell of a scar. I miss my Sweetie so bad I can hardly stand it every single minute of every day

Everyone tells me I’ll get through this. I’m sure I will just as others have but that doesn’t make it any easier. Hopefully I'll make it through this dark period and back into the light.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My World Has Come Crashing Down



This is a very difficult post but one I unfortunately need to make. I’m not posting this looking for comments, condolences or sympathy. This is just something that I need to say and to let everyone know where I've been lately.

On Monday morning, April 18, 2011, my whole world came crashing down. Lyn Ballough, the woman I have loved and lived with for almost nine years died.

Lyn was first diagnosed with diabetes when she was nine years old. For the past several years she had been what some would call a “brittle” diabetic. We had a great deal of difficulty keeping Lyn’s blood sugar levels up to what would be considered “normal” and she suffered very frequent episodes of severe hypoglycemia.

The doctors considered Lyn to be in generally good health except for the diabetes. However, the diabetes finally took its toll on her body.

Monday morning, I checked on Lyn since she was usually very low in the mornings and needed help in the form of sugar to get out of bed. Lyn was again very low but things were not normal and I called 911 and performed CPR on Lyn until the paramedics arrived.

The paramedics then took over CPR and did everything else they possibly could do to get Lyn’s heart started again. They worked on Lyn for almost forty-five minutes but finally pronounced her dead at 10:37am.

Taking care of Lyn for the past nine years has taken up most of my days. To tell the truth, taking care of Lyn was more than a full-time job. Now, my days are empty and meaningless.  Quite honestly, I’m lost. I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m going to do. Absolutely nothing seems worth while right now.

I guess I’ll eventually be able to figure things out and find some kind of direction but for now I just can’t. The pain of losing Lyn is just too much. I loved her dearly.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Foldex 20


This was my first camera. It was given to me by my mom in 1958 when I was eight years old.

Copyright 2006 Jim Hunter, All Rights Reserved. M1100D511