Do you leave a shadow when you are dead?

Do you leave a shadow when you are dead?

Dad — do you leave a shadow when you are dead?” asked my six-year old daughter last summer. And I was blown away with the question. Seriusly, what an incre­dible question to hear from a six-year old.

You have to see it in the context: late August, sun setting as we walk back to the house her hand in mine after a day of sailing, long shadows forming in front of us. As beautiful as a late summer evening in Finland ever gets. And more context: some weeks earlier we had buried her grand­father into the sea (and he had been a keen amateur photo­grapher) — and thus I somehow saw where the question was coming from.

Frankly, don’t remember what I answered, but I guess I tried to explain that I wish we did leave a shadow of some kind — and that the love, memories, images in our heads would last forever…

About two weeks ago MediaStorm published Philip Toledano’s “The Shadow Remains” (here’s a link to the trailer). One day I will show that piece to my daughter and tell her that this is the answer to the question you asked me when you were six years old — told in the most beautiful manner ever.

With the publication of “The Shadow Remains” and “Rite of Passage” by Maggie Steber MediaStorm started a new era in multi­media publishing: they started charging for their work. The info release written by Brian Storm explains the logic and reasoning behind this move. I will not discuss it further as Brian explains it fully — and those of you who read Finnish should read Tatu Blomqvist’s post in DocImages where he discusses this more extensively.

I think it’s the right move. It’s the only possible move and I am sure MediaStorm will lead the way in this transition into pay per content — or as they call it: Pay Per Story ‑model.

Their produc­tions are viewed by millions of people and if they manage to convince even 10% of their loyal readers to pay for their work (a price equivalent to half a cup of coffee) they have a working business model.

I have no doubt they will succeed in this. Why? Because of the content. It is so good, it is so well done, it is so capti­vating… It just makes you think, rewards you both intel­lec­tually and emotio­nally, every time. They have proven their value, and I am sure people have no problem paying for content they have learned to trust and to respect as the best there is in the world. Hell, we pay 10€ for movie tickets, 1.99 USD is no problem when you want to see the best multi­media in the world.

What we do is all about content. In life, in photo­graphy, in everything. That’s all there is to it.


In Memoriam

There is another reason I was reminded about this during the past days. I am covering the EC in Athletics in Helsinki — and I should be writing about sports photo­graphy. But two days ago the mother of one of my best friends — somebody my children called Grandma — passed away totally unexpec­tedly, only some weeks after we had buried her husband. Somebody who had been in my life since my teenage years, always there.

After I got the phone call I was trying to do my work the whole day the best I could when my wife calls me with more sad news: a friend, a professor in the university I had had the honor of knowing for a quarter of a century had also passed away. I have always said: he was the best teacher I ever had and I never attended any of his classes. The lessons he gave me were about the essence of life — mostly by the example he set himself.

Have you ever tried to shoot 100m final thru a wall of tears… I tell you: it’s not easy. And I can say now: been there, done that. Don’t ever, ever want to do it again.

But: the shadow remains. I am forever grateful for the moments shared with these two beautiful, excep­tional persons. Thank you Tim, thank you Eeva — it has been an honor knowing you. You will be missed very, very much.

2 Replies to “Do you leave a shadow when you are dead?”

  1. There’s your answer.… those shadows are still there. And they no longer even fade when the sun drops. 

    My brother was killed when I was 16, he was 19, and those rever­be­ra­tions are still present: perhaps thought of with a smile more than a tear as the years pass. 

    And, yes, a pheno­menal question from a six year old… :)

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