Shadows and Light

Hero Haze

Photos taken by first-time contributor Sarah Smith, a 39-year-old woman who lives in the Isle of Man in the British Isles. She has battled bipolar disorder since she was 14 years old, and is an uncontrolled epileptic. She is also in a wheelchair due to a back injury she got 5 years ago last month. She uses the word battle meaning it from the bottom of her heart as every morning she wakes up she has NO idea what is to come. As the years roll by she is learning to cope with it better, and is learning to see the warning signs earlier on too, so she can seek out professional help before she gets herself in a real dip or high.

About these photos: “The two photos I have submitted are called Hero and Haze.

Hero is my husband in shadow. He is camera shy, but I love seeing his shadow as I felt it following me for many years. They were dark years for me when I took drugs and drank heavily but have been clean and sober for 6 years now. We were a couple when I was 17, but we split up and I remained single until he found me 3 years ago. He had spent 19 years looking for me and in all that time we were living in the same town (population of about 7,500!). Within 6 weeks of him making contact with me we were back as a couple, and, for the first time, I married last October. When I saw his shadow yesterday, I got quite emotional as I had always felt his presence, even in the 19 years apart and it summed up exactly how I was feeling.

Haze was taken the second I spun round in my wheelchair after taking Hero – the sun was breaking through the haze (we were at about 1,000 feet above sea level) right between the branches of the tree. It was almost as if a higher power was letting me know that I had my hero, and that the sun would shine down on us forever. I actually cried when I saw how well the photograph had turned out as they are actually sequential in what I took. It gave me hope, and above all security. My husband is a man of few words, but even he was moved by how they turned out.

My pictures were taken on a Fujifilm FinePix S4400 Bridge camera and have not been run through any apps, they are the raw files, apart from a small crop on both to get a bin and a bit of a car out of them, which I did in Aviary.”

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