Archives for category: photojournalism

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Old Man Ocean and I, 2013oldmanocean-5

(More photos after story, as well as on Instagram: lindsbrunsman. Click on photos for higher resolution view.)

The man I know and call Old Man Ocean, otherwise known around Kailua-Kona as Freddy, passed away this week. I had hoped I would get to see him again, but am very thankful and honored for the two times I was able to engage in conversation with him, in addition to the privilege of capturing his portrait both times.
I’m learning much more than I knew about him through many talking about him on my blog post from four years ago and through emails from his friends – he seemed to be a generous and genuinely humble man.

In his words, when asked why he was always by the ocean, “The ocean has a calming effect; it helps me to reflect on the good I’ve had in life, and it reminds me that with every breath I take there is a rhythm to my heart beat. When I was a young man, as long as I looked to the ocean, out past the horizon, I was reminded that I could accomplish more than I could dream of, with or without people’s help. When there was a tree in front of my ocean view, it showed that there would always be obstacles on my journey, but there would always be a way to get through life…” God bless you, Old Man Ocean. Thank you for sharing some of your stories with me and the gift of your photos.

— original story from 2013 —

This is a man I’ve always known as Old Man Ocean. Five years ago I was going through the School of Photography at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. My class and I often encountered this man wandering around town, and one thing he made clear to everyone was that he never wanted his photo taken.

One particular day, I was walking around town with my camera, turned a corner around the back of a building, and there he was. As I approached, I held up my camera asking if I could take his photo. He unexpectedly motioned me towards him and communicated that I could snap shots of him. While doing so, I carried on in a short conversation with him, and remembered him telling me how he had once lived in Texas. The photographs I captured that day remain very valuable to me, and I have sporadically wondered about him, his life story, and how he got to where he is now.

This time while in Kona, I took a day away from the beaches to walk around town with my camera. Old Man Ocean had been on my mind, and I wondered if he was still around. Just as soon as that thought came and went, I happened upon him. Astonished, I exclaimed, “Hey, Old Man Ocean! You let me take your photo five years ago…” He replied, “How much did you pay me to do so?” I answered back, “Nothing, you let me take your photo for free!” We exchanged a few more words, then parted ways.

I immediately felt burdened with a strong desire to talk with him more, but felt awkward to just run up to him and start talking… so I followed him a bit, and got to a point where I caught up with him, and looked over and said, “Hello again!” This sparked our journey walking around town and exchanging stories.

I asked him what his actual name was, his response, “I have many names.” 

I followed with questioning which he preferred, and he told me that he doesn’t like any of them because they put a label on him. I thought out loud, “The man with no name!” He retorted with a smile, “That’s a label.” I quickly evaluated his response, then agreed. Our conversation jumped around from questions of him asking me things like, “What river are you?” Confused, “I’m sorry, what? I don’t understand… what river would you say that I am?” With a smile and glitter in his eyes he responded, “You would be the river of purity and perfection!” Taken by surprise, “…Wow, thank you!… that’s a compliment…” 

He shared with me stories of how he hears voices, and of one particular time when he was scuba diving off the coast of California, he heard a loud voice command him to stay out of the water. We talked more about water, and he informed me that we can all live without water… that it’s not really a necessity. We exchanged thoughts about marijuana after he asked my views on it. He also instructed me to always think positive thoughts and never allow negativity to come near me, and he shared how many people who come near him are full of negativity and he has nothing to do with them.

His eyes… they are such a crystal clear blue. I affirmed to him that his eyes captivated me, and every time he smiled they would light up and twinkle. I followed with asking if it would be possible to capture more photos of him, and focus on his eyes. He agreed, so we walked to a spot where there weren’t as many people walking around. We neared upon a sweet lady, that for the life of me, I can’t remember her name, but her smile was warming and inviting. She waved and exclaimed, “Freddy!”, so we walked over to join her company. As I prepared settings on my camera, she lit up a joint and kindly asked if I smoked then proceeded to offer a drag. I politely declined, then informed that I was ready to take photos. Old Man Ocean started out playfully engaging with the camera with different poses, but then seemed to transition into being camera shy.

He asked me as he pointed to his hair, “Do you know what I call these? What would you name them?” Nothing came to mind, “Uhhh…I’m not sure what I would name them… I just know them as dreadlocks…” “They are warlocks.” he educated me. He shared that many years ago a man came up to him with a knife and slashed him from his ear to across his face, and that the blood that gushed from his infliction is how his warlocks were birthed.

At the end of our time spent together, the man I will continue to know and label as Old Man Ocean rested both his hands upon my shoulders, leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek goodbye, then wandered off idly roaming through town.

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“Steh Auf!” – 14.Sept.2014

A demonstration led by Angela Merkel against Anti-Semitism took place a couple of days ago at the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin. There were about 8,000 protestors gathered to show their support and listen to what Mrs. Merkel had to say. However not everyone was there to support the cause. There were some distinct “firecrackers” who had their own motivations of using the Anti-Semitism stage to stir things up by protesting, “Free Palestine” and “No war”. As you can imagine, this caused some very strong conversations. The expression, “Schämt euch!” – Shame on you!, could be heard loudly encircling them.

One particular young Jewish man was very bold in confronting these protestors, exclaiming that it was the wrong stage for flaunting their political/war frustrations, when this was clearly an event to show support against the racist acts towards the Jewish population. It was interesting to observe the change in body language and facial expressions of the pro-Palestinian protestors the more this Jewish man made his point that this wasn’t the time or place for them to raise their voice. He and another opposing man even exchanged phone numbers in order to meet for a beer and talk further about the topic.

Although there were some people who tried to start some commotion, everything remained peaceful.

35 hours of airports and airplanes… let’s do this! done & done.

offigo

Thailand & Cambodia

Off I go for Thailand and Cambodia…

I will arrive Bangkok, Thailand on the afternoon of the 9th, and continue on to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the 12th thru the 23rd.

My purpose in Bangkok is just to explore and experience some of the city, sights and culture.

My purpose in Cambodia is to do photojournalism for a non-profit called Steps of Justice; a justice based organization that partners with local churches, communities, and activists to bring awareness, education and practical steps that help people engage in serving the poor and oppressed of the world. I will be with an international team of about 20 other’s.

My primary focus is to capture photos along subject matter of: human trafficking, poverty, clean water, orphans, education and more. These photos will be used by Steps of Justice for a 30-day prayer and action guide as well as for their marketing purposes.

I would really value prayers for:

safety and protection – of myself, the team I’ll be with and equipment/belongings,
health,
discernment and sharpness,
peace and assurance,
insight and wisdom,
that my hands and eyes would be anointed to see and capture God’s story and His heart…,
and that I would be Spirit filled and led,
that the Lord’s glory, love, truth and healing would triumph and shine through us to every person we encounter.

If you would like to stay updated, I will be posting photos daily on Instagram & FB!

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, 
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.—Is. 61:1-3

Here I am Lord, send me —Is. 6:8

oldmanocean-5

(More photos after story, as well as on Instagram: lindsbrunsman. Click on photos for higher resolution view.)

This is a man I’ve always known as Old Man Ocean. Five years ago I was going through the School of Photography at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. My class and I often encountered this man wandering around town, and one thing he made clear to everyone was that he never wanted his photo taken.

One particular day, I was walking around town with my camera, turned a corner around the back of a building, and there he was. As I approached, I held up my camera asking if I could take his photo. He unexpectedly motioned me towards him and communicated that I could snap shots of him. While doing so, I carried on in a short conversation with him, and remembered him telling me how he had once lived in Texas. The photographs I captured that day remain very valuable to me, and I have sporadically wondered about him, his life story, and how he got to where he is now.

This time while in Kona, I took a day away from the beaches to walk around town with my camera. Old Man Ocean had been on my mind, and I wondered if he was still around. Just as soon as that thought came and went, I happened upon him. Astonished, I exclaimed, “Hey, Old Man Ocean! You let me take your photo five years ago…” He replied, “How much did you pay me to do so?” I answered back, “Nothing, you let me take your photo for free!” We exchanged a few more words, then parted ways.

I immediately felt burdened with a strong desire to talk with him more, but felt awkward to just run up to him and start talking… so I followed him a bit, and got to a point where I caught up with him, and looked over and said, “Hello again!” This sparked our journey walking around town and exchanging stories.

I asked him what his actual name was, his response, “I have many names.” 
I followed with questioning which he preferred, and he told me that he doesn’t like any of them because they put a label on him. I thought out loud, “The man with no name!” He retorted with a smile, “That’s a label.” I quickly evaluated his response, then agreed. Our conversation jumped around from questions of him asking me things like, “What river are you?” Confused, “I’m sorry, what? I don’t understand… what river would you say that I am?” With a smile and glitter in his eyes he responded, “You would be the river of purity and perfection!” Taken by surprise, “…Wow, thank you!… that’s a compliment…” 

He shared with me stories of how he hears voices, and of one particular time when he was scuba diving off the coast of California, he heard a loud voice command him to stay out of the water. We talked more about water, and he informed me that we can all live without water… that it’s not really a necessity. We exchanged thoughts about marijuana after he asked my views on it. He also instructed me to always think positive thoughts and never allow negativity to come near me, and he shared how many people who come near him are full of negativity and he has nothing to do with them.

His eyes… they are such a crystal clear blue. I affirmed to him that his eyes captivated me, and every time he smiled they would light up and twinkle. I followed with asking if it would be possible to capture more photos of him, and focus on his eyes. He agreed, so we walked to a spot where there weren’t as many people walking around. We neared upon a sweet lady, that for the life of me, I can’t remember her name, but her smile was warming and inviting. She waved and exclaimed, “Freddy!”, so we walked over to join her company. As I prepared settings on my camera, she lit up a joint and kindly asked if I smoked then proceeded to offer a drag. I politely declined, then informed that I was ready to take photos. Old Man Ocean started out playfully engaging with the camera with different poses, but then seemed to transition into being camera shy.

He asked me as he pointed to his hair, “Do you know what I call these? What would you name them?” Nothing came to mind, “Uhhh…I’m not sure what I would name them… I just know them as dreadlocks…” “They are warlocks.” he educated me. He shared that many years ago a man came up to him with a knife and slashed him from his ear to across his face, and that the blood that gushed from his infliction is how his warlocks were birthed.

At the end of our time spent together, the man I will continue to know and label as Old Man Ocean rested both his hands upon my shoulders, leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek goodbye, then wandered off idly roaming through town.

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oldmanocean-6

I recently journeyed to a land I call my happy place! It was an incredible time away and symbolic of many things for me.

I have held back from many things in my life thus far, simply because of fear. It’s been my goal to continually stretch myself to grow and venture out of my comfort zone, and to be very intentional throughout 2013 and on. So far some of those things have included going to a movie by myself (people ask what movie every time, so I’ll tell you too; Les Miserables), writing in ways I’ve not written, such as in the form of lyrics and short stories, illustrating, creating my own home gym, work out schedule, and following through with consistent workouts, changing the way I eat to feel better, slowly parting with things in my home to simplify, eating out at restaurants by myself, and there’s more. The most recent is going on a solo trek to Kona, Hawaii. I’ve traveled heaps in my lifetime… always with or to be with others, but never anywhere to be by myself. It’s sort of intimidating to think about doing so, but I spontaneously did it.

My first adventure by myself to be with me, myself, and I… and my Heavenly Father.

It was… absolutely incredible. It was purely empowering. It was excitingly liberating.

I gained more independence, in a good way. The lie that I needed to have at least one person by my side in order to enjoy myself or feel secure and valuable was… crushed! I believe courage is always gained when we stand up to our fears and triumph over them; something else I believe I gained a bit more of.

An observation I had on this expedition was that, generally speaking, when anyone is with someone else or a group, they tend be more focused on who they are with and less approachable (not always though)… Many people approached me and I approached many people everywhere I went, and I had really great, extraordinary, and fulfilling conversations with heaps of interesting characters. Every morning I would pray that God would sew His light, love, hope, & truth into the land I walked and whomever I encountered, and so I was eager for each day, wondering who I would chance upon. I do have a story to follow this post about a particular man I was blessed to spend time with.

Another precious attribute I found and gained was joy; something dear to me that has, in recent months, gone astray due to a period of grieving and letting go of losses. One of my intentions of this trip was to go away and refresh, because I am soon starting something new and good. To return with joy is something I did not anticipate, and I well up with tears of gladness and gratitude as I write this.

People questioned me with disbelief, “You’re here all by yourself?!?!” My light-hearted reply, “Yeah!! Why not?! It’s awesome!” Followed by, “Wow! That’s really neat; good on ya!!… I don’t know if I could ever do that.” Folks, I highly encourage doing something like this… So much to gain and learn about yourself and your surrounding brothers & sisters. You’ve heard what it’s been for me… I would love to hear what it’s been or is for you once you do so. Truly each day was the best day of my life. Cheers! (photos & captions below)

kona_hawaii_2013-1got my cuppa, now off I go, where I fall is where I land… let’s see where I land!

kona_hawaii_2013-2very first stop; Hayashi’s You Make the Roll Sushi… this has been my absolute favorite sushi place for 5 years now, and if you ever go to Kona, be sure to eat here! Lots of warm memories with this place and friends…

kona_hawaii_2013-3sushi + seaside = BEST!

kona_hawaii_2013-4THIS, Kua Bay, is one small square of my most happy & favorite place ever.

kona_hawaii_2013-5…and then this happened.

kona_hawaii_2013-13look in the ‘A’!!!! there were so many whales leaping out of the water… incredible sight.

kona_hawaii_2013-7underwater ocean adventures!

kona_hawaii_2013-8Mahai’ula Beach

kona_hawaii_2013-9Otis, the crab

kona_hawaii_2013-10watch out… the coral bites!

kona_hawaii_2013-6got to sunbath & chill with this stud, my new friend, Charlie!

kona_hawaii_2013-12and this is his cousin, Babes.

kona_hawaii_2013-11Mahai’ula Beach…mmm yes.

kona_hawaii_2013-14underwater selfie

kona_hawaii_2013-15Kahalu’u Beach… so in love

kona_hawaii_2013-16Kailua-Kona signage

kona_hawaii_2013-19purrrrdy

kona_hawaii_2013-18CHEERS EVERYONE!!!

kona_hawaii_2013-17best hawaiian ice cream flavor… mmm it’s best to say it in an Aussie accent 😉

kona_hawaii_2013-20I hung out & talked with this guy for quite a while. I’ve always known him as Old Man Ocean… five years ago he let me take his portrait. Today I was around town taking photos and happened upon him. I asked him what his actual name was, his response, “I have many names.” I asked him which he preferred, and he told me that he doesn’t like any of them because they put a label on him. So I will continue to know & label him as Old Man Ocean. We walked and talked around town for about an hour and a half, and then he generously allowed me to capture additional photos… his eyes; they are such a crystal clear blue, and when he smiles they twinkle. Although I wasn’t able to capture him in his element of smiling, I am thankful to have been able to focus in on his amazing eyes. More of the story and photos coming in next post!

kona_hawaii_2013-24the wave exclaimed to me, “this is how I roll!”, as it captured me in its fierce strength and pinned me down into the sand until I cried, “Mercy! Mercy!”

kona_hawaii_2013-26so I was kneeling down to get a photo of the sun going down, and this sweet lady asked, “would you like for me to take your photo?”, and I replied, “sure!” I wanted to pose as I did here, squeezing the sun, and the sweet lady was maneuvering around like a true photographer, and even got down on her knees on the pavement! truly brightened my day

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kona_hawaii_2013-27…oh how I’ve missed this place & such authentic worship… (University of the Nations YWAM)

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kona_hawaii_2013-28before I left, the ocean reached over and gave me a gentle scratch & rub on the back and affirmed, “you’ve got this Linds…”

kona_hawaii_2013-29then I had to kiss the ocean & tropical sunshine g’bye for just a bit… I’m forever & always a beach girl to the core.

Alright folks, I’ve made you wait long enough and finally have photos posted! Please click the photograph below (which will take you to my website) in order to view many of the photographs I captured while in DR Congo & Rwanda. Be sure to scroll down through each group of photos. Thank you for taking the time to see a glimpse of what Taryn and I experienced…

Goma, DRC