On my Father’s Birthday + Zun Lee’s Father Figure Project

Zun Lee's Father Figure Project

Yesterday I read an article on PetaPixel and learned about street photographer and physician Zun Lee. His work is tender and beautiful examining the complexity of what it means to be a father. The way he describes his craft and style is far better than I can do, so here is a snippet from his website.

As a clinician, I’m trained to work with people at their most vulnerable who grant me permission to invade their privacy. As a result, I have always had an intense interest in the dynamics of trust and control when it comes to that interaction. At best, it can reveal a unique connection, a kind of truth that would otherwise not be foregrounded.

When a human being connects with another and – even if for a split second – relinquishes a certain level of control, it is fascinating that complete strangers can share an alternate truth about themselves that was hidden not only to others, but perhaps even to themselves. It is in these moments that individual emotion transcends the personal realm and gains universally understood context.

Learning about his Father Figure project struck a deep chord with me as I read about it yesterday and looked at all the pictures. Today is my father’s 84 birthday. As I’ve mentioned before, my father has Alzheimer’s and it is absolutely heartbreaking. He still knows who I am, but is very confused most of the time and our immediate family is shaken to the core.

We do the best we can and focus on the time that we still have with him. I am so grateful for my father. The older I get, the more I see how lucky I was to get him as my Dad.

The timing of seeing this Father Figure project and trying to be a good daughter, especially on a day that was always important to him and our family has made me even more emotional. I was in CVS last night and saw a father and daughter out shopping together. I had a pang of sadness, then remembered that I had that. At least I had it.

Lee’s project focuses on photographs that break the cruel stereotype of the absent and uncaring black father and instead shows the strong and loving bonds between black men and their children.

Growing up I never thought of myself as a Daddy’s girl. Me and my father have definitely had our moments of major disagreements. We still do. Plus I’m very close with my mother. But a few years ago, one of my parents’ friends referred to me as a Daddy’s girl. I started thinking about it and maybe I am. For the time that I have left with him, I will relish the term.

I’m getting ready to bake my father’s favorite birthday cake and will have dinner with him, my Mom and my brother later today. Luckily, he still likes my baking! Though when I bake the cake now, I just do one layer. We all are watching our weight!

I find that what saves us all, is keeping a sense of humor and being grateful for so many wonderful memories of my childhood. Even as my father is losing his memories bit by bit.

If you have a few minutes, I hope you’ll watch the video about Zun Lee. He reveals his own family struggles and you can see more of his amazing work.

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Screenshot: Vimeo

#InstaWeek: Sunrise Commute Sunset

sunrise walkHere are some pictures from last week on Instagram. Looking for pretty sights makes the sunrise walk to the T a bit more interesting each morning.

I’ve noticed from week to week, that the flowers, trees and plants change as we move away from spring toward summer. More leaves. Different kinds of flowers. The light is different too.

trainWhen it’s nice out, there’s a certain point on my ride that is really beautiful. I always look forward to seeing the water.

sunset moonriseThe end of the day can be just as beautiful as the start. A sunrise can compete with a sunset. But there’s nothing like seeing the colors change in the sky and watching the moonrise. Happy Wednesday to you!

How You See A Tree

how I see a tree As I was walking to work yesterday morning, I noticed small buds appearing on this tree. It will probably be flowering next week. I hope to see it.

I tried to take a picture of the tree to capture the beautiful change taking place, but it wasn’t looking the same in the picture as in my mind’s eye.

Then I looked down and noticed the shadow. It looked far more interesting! A simple shift in perspective can change how you see everything.

On that note, have a wonderful weekend my friends!

SpaceX Waives Copyright ~ Photos in Public Domain

SpaceX DragonRecently I read in Forbes that SpaceX wants the public to use its pictures. They have a Flickr channel where you can take a look at their photostream, then use the pictures as you like.

The photo pictured here shows the Dragon spacecraft being dropped by parachutes. The Dragon is the “only operational spacecraft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies back to Earth, including experiments.” Pretty cool, huh?

The general public may not be aware, but most photos found online are not free to use. They are probably protected by copyright and permission for any type of use should be obtained from the owner. At the very least, the owner of the photo should be credited. But that still may not be enough to protect from a claim of copyright infringement.

Since SpaceX is encouraging the public to use their photos for free, they have waived the copyrights to all their photos and have specifically stated that there is no copyright and the Creative Commons license is Public Domain. See the wording of the license below.

The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Waiving the copyright and using intellectual property in the public domain, is different from the fair use of intellectual property.

When copyright protected work is used without permission of the owner, sometimes a court may find that use was okay. The use was fair to the owner based on factors for the public good like, “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research.”

As someone who creates content and has seen my work used by others without my permission, I’m very aware of copyright issues. Hopefully this quick little lesson may help others from making a mistake and using the work of someone else without permission. This is an issue that comes up a lot with bloggers!

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Disclaimer: While I am a Massachusetts licensed attorney, nothing written or shared here should be construed as legal advice. No attorney client relationships have been formed on this blog. I am not in private practice nor am I seeking clients for private legal representation. If you have a legal question, please contact a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

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Photo Credit: SpaceX

Subway Stories: South Station Last Night #MBTA

South Station TIt was so cold last night! But as I walked from work to the T, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful South Station looked.

Lit up in red lights and glowing against the sky above and snow below. It took a few takes to get this picture on Instagram. But I think it was worth have freezing fingers for a few moments.
Dog on platformWhile waiting for the Braintree train at South Station, I noticed the most beautiful dog. It was sitting quietly until a train went by, then got up and looked like he was ready to go! So was I!

The Braintree train arrived without waiting long at all and it seemed like things were starting to get back to normal here in Boston.