About this site.
This web site is the result of a lot of generous people who were kind enough to allow me to make photographs and nice enough to let me use information/photographs from their web site. I have provided credit to the contributors of this project on each page and a link to their site, where applicable.
Two of the galleries, U.S. Military & P.J./Documentary, would not have been possible if it were not for the photographic archives of The National Archives Still Picture Branch, The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division and The Denver Public Library, Western History Collection. I encourage you to visit these incredible informational resources.
A special thanks goes to Gayle Vickery of Multnomah Publishers, Inc., whom I contacted early in this project to use Max Lucado's words and was pleasantly surprised when she granted me permission; I feel his words sums up perfectly the meaning of The Cross and sets the tone for this site.
Also, thanks goes to Ashley Woods of the VII Photo Agency for allowing me to use James Natchwey's remarkable image made on September 11, 2001. I had tried to obtain permission to use photographs from other well know photographers, but had been rejected several times. To be honest, I was about ready to give up the idea of trying to display photographs taken by other photographers, but was inspired to continue on after her email.
Most of the emails that I sent out to receive permissions were supportive. However, I think the fact that I mentioned the words, "Christian site" turned some people off. I am reminded of one photographer who wrote me back stating, ". . . I'll Pass." I even had several photographers who were not courteous enough to respond, even after sending two emails?
A classic case of miscommunication occurred when I tried to photograph in a Methodist Church and the administrator stated, "We are not interested. We already have a web site." End of conversation. This tart response motivated me to email the senior pastor, who informed me that they have had trouble with a "rogue" web site and that "a prominent, visible church like . . . is always being used by somebody, even church members, for personal gain." What? After receiving this email, I felt it best to not pursue the matter.
Most people though, were supportive and were willing to let me make photos or to grant me permission to use information/photos. One example that comes to mind is when I visited Chaplain (COL) Harold T. Carlson and Chaplain (LTC) Robert M. Santry of the the U.S. Army Aviation Center's Chaplain's office at Fort Rucker, Alabama. They were so gracious that they made the time to inspire this civilian and allowed me to photograph anything I wanted - even though I made no appointment to talk with them!
Most of the photographs that I made have been credited with - "Manipulated photo by Eric Shindelbower." Manipulated refers to the fact that I used the rubber stamp tool in my image-editing software to "idealize" the image. In other words, if telephone lines distracted from the image, I removed them. Also, if there were blemishes on a surface, I would remove or fix them. This is not an ethical practice from a documentary standpoint, but I feel that it does not take away from the essence of the subject matter. Photographs that were taken by other photographers are credited with - 'Photo by . . ." and were not manipulated.
The image on the left is a raw scan from a picture CD. Notice the distracting telephone poles and lines that are reflected in the glass. The image on the right has been manipulated using image-editing software; notice that the poles have been removed and the colors intensified.
This site was designed for the love of the photographic image and to spread the meaning of The Cross. I am a professional photographer and have always had respect for images "that work." My goal with this project is to inspire & educate visitors through the use of images. I feel that I have been successful if it has brightened your day a little and made you think about your relationship with The Cross. Maybe you have been inspired enough to go out and take some photographs of Crosses?
To create this web site, I spent a lot of time staring at my computer monitor and want to thank my wife, Suzanne for allowing me the time to do it. She has always accepted my need to work on new projects and has been very patient with the long hours required to complete them.
This site was inspired after the death of my father on Father's Day 2001; my mother died four years earlier. My parents always taught me to live by the golden rule - To treat people the way that I would like to be treated. I will always cherish their memory with the realization of knowing how special it was to have them for parents.
If you have any comments, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for clicking by and God Bless.
NASA - http://www.nasa.gov/
Movie: The Passion Of The Christ - http://www.thepassionofthechrist.com/
Army Chaplain's lapel cross, manipulated photo by © Eric Shindelbower. This cross was graciously given to me by Chaplain (LTC) Robert M. Santry, United States Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Raw scan and manipulated photographs of Plainview Church of Christ by © Eric Shindelbower. Plainview Church is located in Hazel Green, Alabama.