January: Without Borders

As I mentioned in my prior post, I’ll be giving $100 a month to a different charity all year long in 2009. My selection for January is actually the easiest.

For the folks that don’t know me, in addition to technology, my other interest is photography. I’ve been taking and playing with pictures since I had my first B&W darkroom at age 13. I do portraits, weddings, travel and artistic glamour. Although there are a many great photographers in the world, I have a very short list of ones who have inspired me.

One of my inspirations is Sebastiao Salgado. I became acquanted with his work in the 90’s when I picked up his book An Uncertain Grace. This is a truly stunning piece of work that forever changed my perspective on the power of photography. I had dreams of emulating him, traveling the world with a Leica M6, taking high-impact B&W images on Tri-X. Reality set in, and I chose a different path, but his work is still some of the most beautiful and haunting art I have ever seen.

Now what does all this have to do with charity? Simple. Many of Sebastiao’s greatest pictures were taken while he was following Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). This humanitarian organization has provided relief in many of the locales depicted in his photos. So in honor of the photographer that inspired me, I gave my $100 for January to the organization that inspired him.

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