Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography
Workers pour concrete at the border fence between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico.

WHY WALLS DON’T WORK: THE SIEGE TOWER

We have discussed this issue several times in the past. Wall’s don’t work. From the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall people have been able to pass through, under, over or around walls if they have been determined enough. Three thousand years ago and throughout much of antiquity the siege tower has been employed on the battlefield as the way to scale a wall. The film Kingdom of Heaven (2005) has been acclaimed as historically accurate. This film recreated the siege of Jerusalem by Saladin and his army in 1187 A. D. near the end of the film. Siege Towers are used to scale the walls although the outcome of the battle between the Crusaders and Saladin’s army turns on the use of trebuchets and vastly outnumbered Crusaders defenders.

As I view DPI’s “Border Wall Construction” (2019) taken by David Barak, I cannot help but wonder what the world reaction would be if Central Americans began building siege towers on the southern side of the wall. Seems plausible as we are not talking about building pyramids out of massive stones hauled from a quarry hundreds of miles away through the desert. Rather they could be assembled from wood brought from the interior. Can you imagine the reaction to seeing siege towers under construction? The propaganda value would be immense. The towers would not have to used to scale the wall, rather their mere presence would send an incredible message to the rest of the world. This is one message that I would never want to see. But our immigration policies become more bizarre by the day. This is not the America that I went to serve in the military. Do you see what is happening? The screws are being tightened from refugees fleeing crime, death and natural disasters to potentially legal immigrants who are not deemed to be welcomed. The Wall Street Journal (9/12/19) reported on immigration in Japan with respect to foreign workers. Foreign workers can only live in Japan if they are seen as necessary to help the economy for a relatively short period. They cannot enter Japan with their families. In addition they are drilled in Japanese customs and language. They are given only one opportunity to pass an exam at the end of their training. Failure means a return to their home country. For hundreds of years Japan has had a most restrictive immigration policy. Is this where we are heading in the U. S.?

If you accept restrictions on what you always assumed were your freedoms they will slowly be taken away. This is how it is done. Slowly, very slowly until one day you wake up and realize that it is too late.

Sete, France (1968)

SETE, FRANCE (1968)

Approximately 15 miles southwest of Montpellier, France along the Mediterranean coast is Sete. The scene, “Sete, France (1968)“, screams French fishing village, and is easily identifiable as such as would be a photo of the Eiffel Tower. An invisible, diagonal line draws attention to the interaction between the dock worker on the left of the photo and the two men on the right. A classic photo in any conversation. The fact that these men are seen in primarily silhouette adds to the mystery of the scene.

WELCOME TO FRESNO

A view of Fresno, California as victim of hard times during the Great Depression. These images were taken in February 1986. You have to wonder if the phone line at the “Cafe” is still working. See the collection at “Fresno“. Selling “tubs” (sic) for $1.00 at the gas station may have contributed to its downfall.

Ft. Myers, Florida (Sept. 10, 1960).

HURRICANE DORIAN

Nuking hurricanes? They can’t be serious. Between now and the 2020 election is actually a more dangerous time for the United States than in the past 30 months as the writing is on the wall. As reality sets in the Administration becomes more unhinged with each passing day. Heck, tornadoes are dangerous too so maybe we could also nuke ’em. So what if a tornado happens to be over Oklahoma City or Kansas City at the time.

The photo for this blog “Damaged Trailer Park“, Ft; Myers, Florida (September 10, 1960) was as a result of Hurricane Donna. It is hurricane season once again for those of us who live along the Atlantic seaboard. Stay safe.

The slave fortress in Elmina, Ghana.

THE SLAVE FORTRESS: ELMINA CASTLE

In the film “Amistad” (2007) the Lomboko slave fortress located in modern day Sierra Leone played a major role. It was not the only trading post used by slavers in those times. Shown in this blog is “The Slave Fortress: Elmina Castle” (July 2009). It is located in the city of Elmina, Ghana. Worldwide visitors come to pay homage and to lay wreaths. Note the depiction of a skull in the upper left corner of the photo. Visitors are entering the dungeons where slaves were held. Let us not forget the role played by Jamestown in 1619 on this 400th anniversary. For a more complete understanding of the history and the role played by Elmina Castle see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmina_Castle.

BABYLON SUPER STORM – AUGUST 22, 2019

The “Babylon Super Storm – August 22, 2019“. Those who lived through it had never seen anything like it on Long Island. I have been living here for over 46 years and survived several serious hurricanes witnessing destruction and loss of electric power for days. Nothing compared to the fright which this storm brought. It came in the night between nine and ten P. M. The house shook. All of the windows began to rattle and there was heavy rain, lightning and thunder and the wind. Everyone that I have interviewed swore we were hit by a tornado despite the weather reports of something called “straight line winds”. A super cell that descends quickly from the upper atmosphere seemingly out of nowhere. The hardest hit areas were in West and North Babylon. Crews from out of state are here restoring electricity and helping with the clean up. Like a tornado the damage was selective. Some patio chairs were overturned at my home while a neighbor had an enormous tree nearly crush his house. Cars that were unfortunate to be parked under some trees were totaled and in some cases caught fire.

See the movie. Calexico, California (2002)

INTO THE WILD

See the movie “Into The Wild” (2007), the true story of Christopher McCandless. DPI’s “Into The Wild” was taken in Calexico, California (August 18, 2002). Bus appears to be adjacent to the border wall. License plate is from 1983 so the bus has been out of service for some time.

Workers pour concrete at the border fence between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico.

BORDER ZONE

DPI is pleased to welcome our newest contributing photojournalist, David Barak. David is based in San Diego, California. Besides his passion for photojournalism he proficient in studio & portrait photography, graphic design, illustration, news reporting and editing and film & video production and editing. His website is: www.davidbarak.com. His first contribution to DPI is “Border Wall Construction“; Border Field State Park, California (June 21, 2019) from his “Border Zone” essay.

A farmer uses a four horse team to pull a four row weeder. c.1918

HORSEPOWER

If this blog would have been entitled “Texture” would it have received more views? But this is all about including texture in your photos. Me, I love it. Can’t give me too much texture in a photo. It gives a clearer sense of reality. Provides almost three dimensional quality to a photo. In “Horsepower“; U. S. c.1918 the low angle allows us to be close to the earth that has just been turned over. At a higher angle all of this texture would have been lost. So whether the photo contains weathered wood slats of a building, a brick wall or a cobblestone street this is all to the good. My advice is to incorporate texture into your photos wherever possible. I think you will realize its benefit in your work.

California desert (1980).

“I AIN’T GOT TIME TO BLEED”

Our condolences go out to the families of the victims of all the mass murder incidents. Now it’s El Paso and Dayton. When will it end? Will it ever end? As a veteran and resident of New York as well as a member of the American Legion and a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars I cannot justify a need for automatic weapons in the hands of civilians. Military style weapons in the hands of civilians. No veteran that I have spoken with disagrees with me on this point. As a retired Social Studies teacher though I would argue that the gun culture in the United States is just part of who we are and predates our republic. To think that we can completely eliminate hand guns and long guns is naive. Background checks and the elimination of automatic weapons would be a good starting point. I think that a constitutional amendment would meet the same fate as Prohibition in the end. We find ourselves in uncharted territory at this moment in time. Speaking as a teacher, the need for toleration among all people is paramount. Education is the key.

As the lead photo we present “I Ain’T Got Time To Bleed“; California (January 15, 1980). The quote of course is from the film “Predator” (1987).  Boys with toys.