Arbeit Macht Frei

I am not going to say a great deal about the next few entries into this blog. The subject matter should speak for itself, and I am not Spielberg and this blog is not Schindlers List. I am neither Jewish nor German, and I think there is little I could say that has not been said by better speakers or writers.

But, nevertheless, some context is in order.

In July 2010 my blushing bride and I honeymooned across Europe, traveling by train and seeing much of Poland, Germany and Austria.  While in Poland (Krakow, a wonderful place and well worth the journey) we elected to visit Auschwitz.  While this is not typically a romantic destination for newlyweds, we both suspected that we would possibly never be close enough to visit again…so off we went.

I took a lot of photos, but I had a lot to learn. And many of the photos taken by my 2010 self would not have been my 2013 self’s choice.

But it took me a long time to realize what was truly lacking from my pictures. It was not so much a technical issue (although this is a problem), but it is an emotional one.

Visiting Auschwitz had a profound effect upon me, because despite the fact that it was a scorching hot summers day…the place chilled me to the core. Now I know this sounds trite, but it is true. I won’t belabor the point, but I felt an overwhelming sense of oppression and horror.

And nothing in any of the photo’s I had taken came remotely close to capturing that.

Over the past 3 (nearly) years I have edited and re-edited the pictures time and again. And I was never, ever happy.

And truthfully, I am still not happy with them.

But two things have happened, a hard drive crash last year cost me all the original versions. All I managed to save were several images I had already tried to edit. All the originals are gone.

And I stumbled across a rather nifty plug-in for photoshop, which I have described at great lengths already in recent pages of this blog.

But suffice to say, with that little plug-in I have finally been able to inject some of that bleak and oppressive quality into the pictures.

So, before the fates destroy another hard drive, and with a certain trepidation…

Auschwitz.

 

Arbeit macht frei

 

 

Death Camp

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