Multimedia Flag Day

Recent years/decades have seen a shift in attitudes toward the flag, and our nation in general. Many individuals can remember a time when the flag was revered and evoked fellings of pride, honor and sacrifice. At times, it seems that my generation has lost this deep appreciation for the symbol of our freedom. Maybe we're spoiled. Maybe we have had the luxury of time and freedom to sit back and critique our government. Maybe we take our position in the global community for granted; having never experienced a World War, a Cold War, or a time when our nation wasn't the dominant military and economic power in the world. September 11th, 2001 is my only experience with a direct threat to American soil, and I remember the surge of patriotism and U.S. flag displays. Where are they all now? As the "War on Terror" has continued, the general population has become increasingly discouraged and dissastified with the current situation. This, I believe, has led many to connect the flag and other patriotic symbols with the war effort and/or the current administration, with which they may not agree. So I guess this is a reminder that there are lots of great things about this nation that we have been lucky enough to take for granted.

While Flag Day does not usually get the attention given to some other holidays, it holds a special significance for certain segments of our population. One of those segments is the military. As an employee at MacDill Air Force Base I witness the daily events that make life different for these folks. Familiar faces on the frisbee field disappear for months at a time. It is always a welcome relief when they return. Yesterday was Flag Day, and MacDill AFB celebrated it with the help of the 6th Medical Group. As Base Commander Col. Robert D. Thomas mentioned, it was a beautiful start to a day as the sun rose over Tampa Bay, shining the first rays of light on the ascending American flag. The serene setting and symbolic ceremony made for a great oppurtunity to make some pictures. This assignment was part of my effort to advance my experience with multimedia photojournalism. By combining images and custom audio recorded at the event, I am able to produce a multimedia slideshow that can more accurately convey the true feeling of that day. Print journalism is evolving into multimedia online journalism and new advances are constantly changing how and where we get our news. Now, here are some of my favorite shots from the day:

Three soldiers stand in silhouette awaiting for the ceremony to begin. I saw this image in my head, but was trying hard not to interfere with, or distract from, the ceremony. I set my exposure and focus manually and then held the camera at ground level for one quick capture. I wish I had aimed up a little bit.
Members of the 6th Medical Group were on hand to assist with the ceremony.
A soldier guides the flag as it is raised. The green flare on the flag is from the sun reflecting off my lens. I decided to not remove it in Photoshop, and show the unmanipulated image.
Possibly my favorite shot of the day. I like the color, balance and emotion. I only wish I could have framed it so the saluting soldier's arm was separated from the palm tree. While rearranging and reshooting are viable options for weddings, that was not the case here. I had to work with what was there.
A nice juxtaposition of flags.
Members of the 6th Medical Group look on during the ceremony.
And finally, the raised banner waves in the early morning sun.

If you enjoyed these images, or would like to see more, check out the audio slideshow.

1 comment:

Olive said...

Well written article.