The work of which I am most proud...

Robert N. Dechene, 23 / Army – Tour of duty 7/16/67 – 9/17/67

Raymond A. Borduas, 20 / Marine – tour of duty 5/5/68 – 6/4/68

Of all the work (photographically) I have done, these two mages are what I am most proud of.

Though they have little to do necessarily with photographic skills, the families thought them to be wonderful “pictures”.

I was a green beret during Vietnam, so the fact that seven boys (literally) from the small town in Maine where I live did not come home is of significance to me.

After more than 30 years (and for the first time) I finally visited the Vietnam War Memorial. While there I took a picture of the panels that have the names of two of those young men inscribed on them.

In Photoshop I:

1. Burnt all but their names
2. Painted their names white
3. Took one of their old pictures and converted it to digital
4. Combined their old photo with the photo of the wall that bore their name

It was difficult at times working on these images, having these young men literally “looking” back at me… and at one point the Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here” came on the radio… I will save you the details; suffice it to say I was glad no one else was at home.

Roberts family had been told something was being delivered to them, all of the family and friends in the area gathered at the house and were waiting… after they passed the picture around several times and looked at it for awhile, they all climbed in their cars and headed to the nursing home where his mom now resides, so she could see it.

Rays family was equally as grateful; his brother has been to my studio more than once to thank me.

I did not do these for praise or recognition, but because these boys deserve to be remembered and I wanted to do my part to make sure that happens.


Anonymous said...

I'm overwhelmed looking at these pictures. I can only imagine how grateful the families are to have them. That's just a great idea you had, Scott, and it was quite generous of you to describe how to do it in Photoshop.
Best wishes,
John Bald
Brunswick, ME

David said...

They must have been floored seeing the pictures. It's great you had the older images to create the strong visual relationship.

What a great way to pay honor and respect to those who paid the ultimate price.

Thanks for sharing.