Capturing the moment

Veterans Day on the National Mall in Washington, and I was shooting an assignment at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The shiny black surface of the memorial is highly reflective and I captured many peoples of visitors as they paid tribute to those who fell in the war.

Then I noticed a young girl searching the wall for a name. She moved methodically from panel to panel, running her fingers along the names.

Then she stopped and stared at one name. She stood silently for a while, then reached into her pocket and pulled out a flower and pressed it to the wall just above the name.

I raised my camera and fired one shot. It was all I needed.

“The composition is already there,” photographer Jay Maisel once said. “All you have to do is see it.” Photography is, first and foremost, about composition.

Photojournalism, on the other hand, is also about capturing the moment, the brief flash in time that tells the story. There were many stories at the Wall that day. This young lady, however, told hers most eloquently.

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© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse