Tag Archives: San Antonio

underTree and overWrought

underTree and overWrought © 2007 Jered Dawnne

underTree and overWrought © 2007 Jered Dawnne

This walk I took that day: a winding, twisted path through half-faded memories and fractured emotions, engraved new scars on a forty-year-old man still struggling with the all that never was, and frustrated by the need to deal with it. I came here for a moment of solace, but that moment was a fragile thing, compared against the history of this place and its echoes across time.

This is the courtyard around the fountain at the Alamo mission: a place where many people died, long ago. There were many days in my youth, when I was supposed to be “helping” at my adoptive father’s office at City Hall, when I’d steal some time away and come sit under this tree, just sitting, listening, and sometimes comparing the silence to how it might have sounded when the fighting was all done. Yes, I was a morbid kid, internally, anyway. My parents would have been amazed had they known what I was doing: the just sitting, just listening, just…being. Odd things for a clinically hyperactive child.

When I was eleven or twelve, I ran away from home. This was the first place where I stopped. The courtyard was very different, late at night, and not at all welcoming. It was a foreshadowing I failed to recognize until I visited it again, on this day, but it was also a temporary thing. I had always brought my fears to this tree, but that night, I made new ones beneath it. It was the night I realized that eventually, I would very much be on my own in truth, and that I was woefully unprepared to be the man that I would become.

I took this photo after a drive through my old neighborhood, and past my childhood home a couple of times. I couldn’t stop there, of course; home hadn’t been home since 1985: nearly twenty-two years, on this particular day. So, I came here to find a moment’s peace. Of all the images that haunt me in my dreams, and which ultimately faded after my visit that day, this tree still rides along with me, and this place still frames some reveries.

Of course, it looked very different, that late-winter noon in 2007. I probably hadn’t been there since 1983 or 4, truth told. My ties with my adoptive family were incredibly strained by my first year of high school, and they eventually disowned me in 1993. But still, that old oak greeted me with open arms, rooted in the memories of the dead and forgotten, very much like I am rooted still in the abandoned memories of a former self.

And I didn’t become the man I thought I would be, on that night, long before. It felt like I needed to let my old friend know this. Thus I indulged myself, but it was what I needed at the time.

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arch nemeses

arch nemeses © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne

arch nemeses © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne

for my soccer teammates (Go Team Nemesis!), “nemeses” is the plural form, not another typo! 😉

It’s a funny thing. I took several photos of these arches on that late-winter day, and at the time, I hated them all. The LensBaby was a troublesome thing, there was a throng of people passing behind me the entire time, and impatience got the better of me. In fact, this photo and its iterations are the reason why I only published a few photographs from that day on my old personal blog.

I was closing down Lightroom today, and accidentally clicked on this one; suddenly, I liked it, so here it is. I had cropped it as an 4:5 ratio at some point along the way, apparently trying to see into it in different ways, but I don’t remember doing so. I reset it to the 2:3 aspect ratio I very much prefer, and took it from here.

I do like the full-color original, and I’ll eventually put it out, but “grey would be the color, if I had a heart,” right?

Photography with anxiety: the perpetual mind-fuck.

It’s focused on the extreme lower right: forever frozen there. My kingdom for a flat shot and a bokeh filter, but here you have it: the perpetual dream state.

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greenFall

greenFall © 2007 Jered Dawnne

greenFall © 2007 Jered Dawnne

I miss this lens: an old-school photojournalistic lens (Nikkor 24-120mm EF ID) which was simply wonderful for just about everything. And of course, dipping into old pics from around San Antonio is always a mixed emotional bag. I have a resonance with this image, as simple as it actually is, a resonance weighted heavily with “the all that never was.” Someday, I’ll have to resurrect those writings, too, so I can bore you even further. 😉

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a brief walk down conflicted memory lane

"around the bend" © 2007 Jered Dawnne

"around the bend" © 2007 Jered Dawnne: San Antonio River Walk, early evening, late winter

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time down along the River Walk. I volunteered at the main library branch, and my adoptive father worked at City Hall, so the River Walk was always the more pleasurable route between the two, except maybe in the dark. In those days, some portions of the River Walk were great places for experiencing the less ethical side of life, after dark.

Returning to San Antonio in 2007 was an odd mix of emotions for me. I hadn’t been there since 1989, and that visit was only for a few hours. The last time I had “really” been in San Antonio was for a couple of weeks between duty stations back in 1986. Oh, I grew up there.

I used a LensBaby on a Nikon D2X for most of the shots I took down there: A decision I question to this day, because it fundamentally limits what I can do in post…to the extent that it’s taken me the larger part of nine years to care to dig into them. Subconsciously, I think I did it that way because the San Antonio I knew growing up had changed so much, I was trying to capture it all the way I saw it in my dreams, not as it really was. And maybe that worked a little bit. San Antonio pretty much quit haunting me shortly after this trip, anyway, so perhaps some form of closure on a fairly anxiety-filled childhood was had.

The photo has not been manipulated except for a small amount of color balancing and tonal control.

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