A Beautiful Goodbye – Inward Studio

This submission from Neal Carpenter of Inward Studio really touched me…..both the images and the story behind them.  The images featured are only shot with cameras that were given to Neal by his father, and there’s even a slide that his dad took himself.

Here’s Neal’s story~

My dad, John Carpenter, passed away in August.  It was completely unexpected.  He was deployed to Iceland in 1978 while serving in the Navy.  They sent him many places, and he hated most.  Iceland was different.  While the weather was nice, he traveled and photographed the beautiful countryside.  I grew up listening to stories and looking at the slides he had taken.  It was like an alien planet.  I had never seen anything like it.  In particular, there was a waterfall.  Water cascading over a mossy cliff crashing onto the rocks below.  Amazing.

My brother, Russell, and I decided we would visit the waterfall as a memorial to our dad.  There was only one problem.  We didn’t know the name or location.  I searched online with no luck.  Then I remembered I knew a photographer in Iceland through Facebook.  Einar Erlendsson hosts nature photography workshops, so I hoped he could help.  I expected a response like, “This is Iceland.  It all looks like that.”  I was wrong.  Only a few minutes after messaging him, I received a response with the name and location of the waterfall, Oxararfoss.

Against the urgings of everyone we knew, we decided to go in December.  It might be cold and dark, but we also stood a very good chance of seeing the Northern Lights which my dad also spoke of often.

My dad had a habit of buying me cameras at the Salvation Army.  At least a hundred over the years.  Many were crap, but there were a few gems.  I decided to only use those cameras.  A Pentax Spotmatic, a Minolta Hi-Matic 7s, a Polaroid 635CL, and a Kodak Rettinette 1A made the cut.  Along with film donated by Kodak (and a few packs I bought from the Impossible Project), I knew, for better or worse, I’d have images that I would cherish.

We found the waterfall.  We saw the Northern Lights.  We saw so much more.  We even got to meet Einar who made this all possible.  We now understand why this place left such an indelible mark on our dad.  It might be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.  I hope not.

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Amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this story with Let the Kids.

You can find Neal on his site, on Facebook, or on Twitter by clicking each link.

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