Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Alter Of Coin

Photo taken by first-time contributor John Kelly, a 44-year-old combat veteran from London who has battled depression and PTSD. Having served 9 years in the Royal Air Force, including periods in Kuwait and Iraq, John entered a period of great turmoil in his life, but had no idea why. With the break up of his young family, and the loss of his job and accommodation, John suffered a complete meltdown, going to some of the darkest places he could ever have imagined, and on more than one occasion contemplating an end.

A guardian angel contacted an organisation on his behalf, run to help veterans in similar situations, and it was here that John was formally diagnosed with combat related PTSD. At last, the mood swings, depression, night terrors, flash backs, hyper vigilance and anxiety had a name. John attended an intensive period of treatments at the centre, where he was reunited with one of his passions….photography. The treatments and therapies are aiding in his control of the situation, and whilst John knows it is going to be a long and sometimes painful journey, he has better tools at his disposal to fight a different battle.

John has three main anchors in his life now. The support of ‘Combat Stress’, the charity that is assisting on the medical side of things, his photography, that lets him see the world through different eyes, and his family, who have supported him throughout, and continue to do so. John and his wife are currently working hard to reunite his family once again.

About this photo: “This image was taken at Canary Wharf in London, which is the main financial district. My thinking behind this was two fold. Firstly, the majesty of such building, its design, its construction, its place in the landscape. My second thought went back to the financial crash of recent years, and many of those responsible now working within this building. Hence the title of the image……’Altar of Coin’. I wanted to portray the stark, cold, and harsh aspect of that world, but give the building some sort of character, even warmth. I hope I have succeeded.”


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11 comments on “Alter Of Coin

  1. soham singh somvanshi
    December 16, 2015

    OMG ……it just wow pic …awesome

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hank shaw
    December 16, 2015

    This is a fantastic image

    Liked by 1 person

  3. James Work Photography
    December 16, 2015

    John…….one of the best examples of strong composition and just beautiful toning. Great job, a pleasure to rest my eyes on…en theos…jasL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Su Leslie
    December 17, 2015

    Stunning image.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Britta
    December 17, 2015

    I think this is a stunning image! you have succeeded indeed. Please carry on with your camera and I hope to see more images from you. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. John Kelly
    December 17, 2015

    Thank you for all the kind comments. It means a great deal to me when others enjoy my images as much as I do.


  7. lensandpensbysally
    December 17, 2015

    Beautifully composed. The choice to do the image in monochrome gives your shot an even stronger presence.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lachlanscamera
    December 17, 2015

    Beautifully stark tonal range at work there, fantastic image.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. BookOfBokeh
    December 17, 2015

    Best photo name I have ever come across.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John Kelly
      December 19, 2015

      Thanks, it took me ages to try to come up with one that had a bit of meaning, still have to explain it to a few people though, lol.


  10. Dreams and Zeros
    December 18, 2015

    Superb photo. Glad you have re-found creativity. All best wishes, D&Z.

    Liked by 1 person

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