Like all projects, they are born from an idea, allowed to percolate a little, then given enough time to build over months and even years, so it is with the American flag.
Though I am not a citizen of the United States, I have adopted this nation and cared for the direction it is heading. While I cannot vote, I still participated in political issues and grass roots campaigns. This connection has also caused me to feel something for the American flag, including the men and women serving in the military on behalf of the people of this country.
Back in 2008 I began collecting American flags with the intention of using them in the development as art. That very same year, I mounted the red, white and blue flag on canvas, painting over it and adding political statements made by then President Bush. A short time later, I came across a building by the railroad tracks in Berkeley, California, displaying a huge American flag.
Berkeley, California — Sony camera
I was emotionally compelled to take a photograph, just like I was this last Thursday, while on board a vessel, the USS LCS (L) (3) 102 “Mighty Midget” docked at Mare Island Naval shipyard, Vallejo, California.
That day I was with a few friends on a photo outing, exploring this former military base, when we came across the Landing Craft Services “Mighty Midget” vessel. After boarding her, we met a number of ‘old timers’ who volunteered restoring the last remaining USS LCS and sharing her most interesting history with us.
Unknown volunteer aboard the USS LCS (L) (3) 102 “Mighty Midget”
Three of the volunteers sat, resting and having their lunch in the enlisted men’s dinning room, where was hung a large American flag. While trying to position myself in order to photograph the flag, we all engaged in conversation and the three men shared with me a few more tales, when the discussion came around to the American flag, that I told them about my project.
Taking only one exposure to simply record the setting, it was not until viewing the photograph on the laptop that I was pleased with the results. I now had image two for my American flag series.
I remain very optimistic that over the next several years, I shall have the opportunity to photograph other American flags in unique and interesting settings.
USS LCS (L) (3) 102 “Mighty Midget” website
All photographs taken with an iPhone 5S unless otherwise noted
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