I sometimes go places to practice my photography: sometimes I travel to further my photography practice. And sometimes I travel for a higher purpose, and my photography just follows. This weekend was an opportunity of the latter persuasion. You see, this weekend was a celebration...of the highest order. My buddy Les passed the mid-century milestone on August 28th.
He is my oldest friend - that is, I have been friends with him for more than 35 years. We first met in Jr. High School. Our friendship survived High School, College and our entire adult lives (so far) without any major falling out. Given that my record of maintaining personal relationships has been less than ...stellar...I have to attribute this accomplishment to Les' undying loyalty to his family - and the fact that he and his family decided long ago to pseudo-adopt me as their 8th child (an honor and a privilege that I cherish to this day!).
Growing up, he was convinced he would die young...so he lived every day to its fullest and siezed the day like nobody I have ever known. I personally have survived more than a couple of potential Darwinian episodes that began with Les yelling "Hey H...watch this!!!" He didn't die young - He enters into the middle years of his life going stronger than ever. I am sure he will outlive us all.
At times like this, photography is secondary. I brought the camera and a lens for shooting in low light conditions. I left the flash in the bag because I didn't want to be a distraction - we were here to clebrate my friend and his life. They indulged me so that I could get a few shots to remember the occasion. This photo was shot with a Nikon D3 w/ the 85mm F1.4 lens. You cannot pick a better combo for low ambient light photography.
I have always been told by my Mom that if I made it through life with one true friend, that I would have lived a blessed life. We were there for each other during some of the brightest and darkest moments of our lives...and we always will be. That is what friends do. And he is my oldest and dearest...Friend.
Happy Birthday, my brother. Many happy returns.