I lost my best friend this morning. It’s very difficult for me, as John was my best friend, my mentor, and a very strong influence on my life, my photography, and my state of mind. Anyone that has read this blog has seen photos of him, and photos of me taken by him. We spent as much time together as possible over the last few years. He was instrumental in helping me form the Eastern Sierra Herpetology Club. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that without his support and confidence…it wouldn’t exist.
He was also a HUGE influence on my photography and my love of the Eastern Sierra. He was a fantastic photographer in his own right, and with his help and guidance, he showed me the way to become a halfway decent photographer for myself. I always had a love of photography, and I can remember trying to develop that love ever since I was a youngster. John was my reason for investing in a digital SLR camera, and his confidence in my abilities gave me the freedom to explore my own creativity, and to try and develop my own style…which I’m still working on…
The last two months have been really difficult as he was battling stage 4 terminal cancer. We knew he was going to die, we just didn’t know when. None of us could have imagined how fast it would happen. But the pain is gone, and John is happy again. He can now look down on his mountains, and see the Eastern Sierra which he loved so much. I know he is watching me, and while every click of my shutter will seem hollow in comparison to our times together, I rest assured that he will be with me as I walk these hills, deserts, and mountains over the coming years. He will guide my compositions, and correct my exposures. He will always be there.
Here’s to you, John Ivan Atwood. Your strength, support, confidence, and encouragement have gotten me this far. I will take you with me for the rest of my days.
Rest in Peace, my Friend.