When Adam sent me the email recommending Unbroken, I didn’t hesitate a heartbeat, went on Amazon and ordered it (he’s always had great recs). You know how you’re now supposed to judge a book by its cover? Well when it arrived and I read the cover, it didn’t grab me so it sat for a week. Then I picked it up and I’ve not put it down since. Even during PRS when I was finished at midnight with images I was up for another hour reading though I had to get up at 04:00. The book is a story about Louis, a troubled youth who goes to the ’36 Olympics, steals Hitler’s flag from the Chancellery after meeting Hitler that day. He goes on to be in the greenhouse of a B-24 which went down in the Pacific. He survived that to float in a rubber raft for two thousands miles and 47 days only to be picked up by the Japaneses and end up a POW in Japan. And what’s amazing that after this and so much more, that spirit that got him in trouble as a youth, got him to the ’36 (he ran a 4.17 mile the morning his plane went down!) served him well in that raft and as a POW.
You might be wondering how such a book has anything to do with photography? I mean, it doesn’t talk about light or composition or HDR or any of those things we think of as important. I wasn’t going to blog Unbroken until I received an email yesterday, a woe is me email, photography is hard and business is difficult and I think I should go back and pound nails. All I could think about when I read this email was, “Man, you’d never make it in that raft!” In my limited years, I’ve learned the hard way that all good things take time, bloody hard work, take sacrifice and take a confidence in one’s self that in the end good things come to be. The trails and tribulations of photography are nothin like what Louis endured to come back and tell his story. But reading about such lives sure does put a spirit in you for when your times might be tough that things could be a whole lot worse and that the human spirit can turn things around. It’s summer, time to read a good book and I highly recommend you pick up Unbroken, it might just surprise you how such a book will improve your photography!