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ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog National Geographic Photog, TIME and New York Times Contributor. TIME Instagram Photographer of 2016. Fujifilm X-Photographer. http://www.ruddyroye.com/
4,428 posts
272.31k followers
659 following
ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
Yesterday
ruddyroye December 12, 2017 birthday beholdings introspection i told her it couldn’t be done without first acknowledging our p.t.s.d. and trauma, and we did a version, albeit with more honey minus the vinegar. “that is just how it is.” walking this life without a father. i’ve always hated those words. introspection like to get ahead we shuffle along, and swallow our shame, or we feed on scraps and worms like caged birds flittering and dancing behind bars for fame. and our voices, muted by three hundred years of protesting; hum around in a circle looking for our names, while others continue to sing their “jiggaboo” music instead of a black one. introspection i am always asking myself why do i do this? is my soul really filled with this insecure level of bliss or am i content with just being mentioned? without the daily therapy my blood is the colour of crisis. introspection i feel like a leaf floating in the air deprived of a tree, satisfied with the breath of the next wind massaging and manipulating my truth dictating to me what it means to be free. introspection today should reflect tomorrow holding in a shaky frame an image that i took yesterday. my vision, spelled out in the eyes of these ten photographs like a weapon. please see me, my introspection. #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
3 days ago
ruddyroye December 10, 2017 winter and the immigrant it’s days like these when the cold air plants its claws deep inside my chest and restricts my breathing, or the way the devilish mucus digs its spurs into my throat, that i start to question why am i in this country lacking in really good honey. winter does not just tap me on the shoulders or turn up at my door drenched and unwelcome, no, winter drops in with its wet nose in the air, flaunting all its supremacy and control over everything i am interested in doing - rendering me useless. twenty-four year old jason williams braves the winter while working at one of my favourite jamaican restaurants, which is less than three minutes from my apartment. i watched him as he carried the huge bags out from the hot kitchen into the cold brooklyn air. rubbing his hands on the way in, i confronted him like the winter he dreads at the door, cell phone in hand. “i am 24 and if i was still in jamaica i would already have a family and about an army of children,” he said. “army? i asked. “yes, about 3 children.” williams, who has been living in the united states for about three years, said that he travels from queens to brooklyn every day to work from 3pm -12am. “it’s hard work, but i cannot even imagine what life in jamaica would have been like. here the money is different. it’s rougher in jamaica,” he explained. #whenlivingisaprotest #iphone8plus #bedstuyportrait #brooklynportrait @kingglifemusic
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
2 weeks ago
ruddyroye December 4, 2017 “they, them and theirs” i am tired of hearing how “lazy” african americans are. if you ride the train long enough you would be surprised what people say when they think the headphones are on. and no “they” do not boldly use the specific word “lazy” when they describe blacks who are unemployed, or who walk through the train panhandling. no, they are too smart for that, “they” use words like “social services” “welfare” or “i wish my tax dollars were not going to take care of ‘people’ who don’t care to work.” i still find it sad that “these people” cannot see that 300 years have passed and black folks are still trying to maintain “their” humanity, dignity, culture and my favourite - “their” psyche. it is not easy walking around bedstuy looking at black men trying to “maintain” meanwhile looking at their peers of different hue excel. let me rephrase that. it must stab “them” to the core to watch people drive in from another borough to police “them” or to do work like road construction while “they” hold up a corner. it must shake “them” to the core to watch stores go up all around “them” and “they” cannot get a loan to start “their” own business. it must diminish a black man to move his family out of the community he grew up in and watch a whole new tribe of folks meander through when he visits his mother three months later. these are the words i hear when i listen to how the other sees me. “they, them, their” gets thrown around like discarded coins found in the bottom of a dash board. #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us #brooklynportrait #bedstuyportrait @fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
2 weeks ago
ruddyroye December 2 2017 everyday baggage today i spent a lot of time looking at the baggages we carry. saw a friend of mine (more like a sister) recently who told me that my face seemed to be carrying a lot. i answered almost without skipping a beat, “i am.” today through the organized efforts of fujifilm, bronx documentary center and fotocare, i hosted a workshop in the bronx and it was fabulous. it is always good to talk photography as i get to recall aspects of the craft that i might sometimes forget or take for granted. i had to leave my house extra early to get to the bronx. i woke up three and a half hours after going to bed and immediately thought that the extra bags under my eyes were definitely going to make her concerns more obvious to everyone else. this morning i woke up thinking about heaviness and the baggages we carry. i don’t know if it is those thoughts that had my eyes focused but i stared into every moment of emotional and physical heaviness, bundling them into this package to maybe reflect my own millstone. #whenlivingisaprotest #bronxdocumentarycenter #fujifilmx_us #fujifilmgfx50s @fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
2 weeks ago
ruddyroye November 30, 2017 thank you mr. parks fifty one year old wilbur made some mistakes. he is the first to acknowledge them but, “when do i stop paying for them. why am i on the street, why is my life so f****d up?” these were the questions i could catch, he kept going. today i had a talk at a high school and i jumped on the c train hoping i would have time to take a few images before i got there. today photographers all over the world were celebrating the birthday of a great photographer. i didn’t actually meet him until i saw his non-commercial work at a museum in wichita kansas. that work was simply phenomenal. after i photographed wilbur, there was a pained silence that followed me all the way to my class and it inspired the other images i shot in this thread. from the lost tourist, to the sleeping shadow raised above the fallen photographer, each image was a silent thanks you to the visionary and pioneer who made the possibility of a me attainable. happy birthday mr. parks. #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us #gordonparks @fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
3 weeks ago
ruddyroye November 27, 2017 modified street pictures has anybody ever heard about a terminology known as geo engineering the weather? well today i learnt something new. “geo engineering the weather is when “someone” manipulates and modifies the climate using toxic chemicals.” rob who works at whole foods across the road told me this as he was taking images of the sky with his cell phone. let me go back to the beginning. i woke up telling myself that i would find ten images from my doorstep to the fashion institute of technology. i was going to work on my street rhythm, hunting and finding the nuances of the new york street. i was in a rush this morning so i only had one image before getting to the college. on my way back to brooklyn, i walked downtown on six avenue into the sun, noting how beautifully this new 45mm lens (yippee it’s finally here) rendered the shadows in the frame. and then i saw rob, sitting quietly on a metal frame photographing the sky. “look at all that toxic stuff they are putting into the sky,” “what is it? i inquired, “they are geo engineering the weather.” he answered. “the chemicals create so much health issues, you should go read up about it.” i promised i would do some research and kept it moving. i stopped thinking about getting the 10 images, but tried instead to work out the new 45mm lens i just received from fuji - which is exactly the focal length i like to shoot with. i started with an elderly gentleman waiting for medical care right outside my door. while in manhattan, i walked by a young man pushing an empty rack, a woman pushing an empty stroller and man lighting up a cigarette. i came across two men scratching their lotto cards, a family heading home and seemingly looking forward to christmas, a tired strap hanger, and a elderly gentleman looking for something to eat. all in all i loved my first day with this lens. #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us @fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
3 weeks ago
ruddyroye November 27, 2017 vii this is the final day of this sale. it has me reflecting on when i arrived to the united states, almost two decades ago with the slides from my railroad walk, i arrived fresh, young, still exploring what the words vision and craft meant. one of the first books i bought and still own “blood and honey” by ron haviv pointed me to a path i have always dreamt i would travel on. it was not just a book about a war, it was a journal chronicling the voices of a people ravaged by conflict. each image spoke to me and it helped to hone the vision of the photographer i am today. on this journey i have also met other great photographers and story tellers, each one committed to the pursuit of social justice, compassion and truth. these ten images including mine, belong to a few of the photographers at vii. it is an honour to place mine amongst men and women i have followed and looked up to most of my photography life. each print at $100 is embossed with the vii logo and comes with a certificate of authenticity printed on museum grade acid-free paper. in addition, vii is offering a beautiful box set of all 28 images. prints will be presented in a walnut slip-case, hand made by an artisan in glasgow, scotland, with the vii logo engraved on the front panel. the cost of a box set is us$2000. • link: www.viiphoto.com/vii-hrw
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
3 weeks ago
ruddyroye November 25, 2017 standing still standing by a red wall waiting for “my neighbours” to come together. “my neighbours” was a self assignment that was commissioned by a cell phone company that had me posted up outside my block for half a day. i wanted to see how people in bedstuy, old residents and new residents relate to each other when they meet in a ruddy roye frame. those images you can see after december 8th. in the meantime i get to photograph my sons, who are my assistants, grabbing “neighbours” and issuing them my artist statement or getting them to sign their model releases. it’s a morehouse son, who promised to visit when he came back to brooklyn for the holidays. they are the faces of brooklynites curiously passing through while i make pictures. a construction worker, a teacher, a father, or a partner getting food for a lover. they were all curious about what was in my frame. #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us @fujifilmx_us #bedstuyportrait #brooklynportrait
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
3 weeks ago
ruddyroye November 23, 2017. thankfulness and celebrations photo by @johnstanmeyer is the perfect confetti for all that i feel right now. ones journey is truly spiced by ones own choices and decisions. i cannot claim to be a connoisseur in the kitchen but i can cook. i can cook because i have learnt to watch and learn from the hands before me. for the past 18 years i have marinated my journey with sometimes some of the worst seasonings, and some of the best spices, all the while constantly massaging in my experiences, the teachings of others, my failures, and my triumphs, at the same time trying to mimic the ambition, strength, fortitude and success of the voices that echo up ahead. it is no surprise why i have felt so at home around this agency vii and all these men and women who are its members. today i got an email from someone in vii welcoming me again to the agency. the letter was simple but spoke about the comforting effect of my photographs. to get that email added so much celebration and warmth to the list of all that i am already thankful for today. i feel like i am a part of a family here, and for that, i celebrate this moment with all my heart. for the next five days photographers from this agency are offering the fruits of their vision. please click on the link in my profile. @viiphoto
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
4 weeks ago
ruddyroye I recall hearing him speak about his life and how photography shaped how he lived, when he spoke as a guest speaker at look3 — and his story made me want to join this agency. photo by christopher morris / vii. president barack obama addresses the nation on his plans for dealing with the conflict in afghanistan at eisenhower hall at the united states military academy at west point in west point, n.y. on dec. 1, 2009. each specially editioned 8”×10” photograph is hand-signed by the photographer. they are printed on fuji crystal archive museum grade c-type paper at new york city’s top photographic lab and are beautifully backed and sleeved in fully archival materials. each print is embossed with the vii logo and comes with a certificate of authenticity printed on museum grade acid-free paper. in addition, vii is offering a beautiful box set of all 28 images. prints will be presented in a walnut slip-case, hand made by an artisan in glasgow, scotland, with the vii logo engraved on the front panel. the cost of a box set is us$2000. all prints will be sent using united states postal service via certified mail and will take between three to four weeks from the end of the sale to arrive. click on the above link in my profile for this image and many more.
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
4 weeks ago
ruddyroye November 16, 2017 scooping up water with my spoon i sometimes attribute my attitudes towards social justice to growing up in the church. actually i blame the church (as i laugh inside). i say blame because sometimes i wish i could hold my neck stiff and just walk pass. do i regret stopping and engaging? — no but it feels like i am scooping out water out of the potomac river with a spoon — teaspoon at that. just finished my presentation at national geographic and was drawn to this december issue. according to this story jesus was a doer , “a social revolutionary,” not a complainer — so i am going to s**k it up. i am not complaining, maybe more frustrated that while i drive around washington dc, while i head over to dinner, i feel like i am tripping over members of the homeless community. when i engage some of this men and women i can feel their anger. my uber driver just told me that a two bedroom apartment on 13th and u, an intersection that had to be raided frequently when i live here in the nineties, is now going for $9000 a month. back when i lived here my one bedroom was $350 a month. i was almost late to my train tonight at union station tonight because there was a huge line of dc socialites and “hill” folks lined up in front so i had to scurry around to the side door barely skating into home plate to make my train. william was standing out front and no one seemed to hear him ask for a couple dollars to get something to eat. heading back to deblasio’s new york where the homeless crisis is at its zenith. new york numbers are the highest in the country but the conversation cannot get pass the squabble between the governor and the mayor. meanwhile construction in both cities are at an all time high. million dollar properties are going up in dc and everywhere you look in new york it is a “work in progress .. residential,” sign. only i don’t think these new homes going up are earmarked for any low income occupants or even the homeless population. #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us @fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
5 weeks ago
ruddyroye November 13 technically speaking walking around new york with a new camera, trying to figure out how to use this beautiful beast. currently fitted with the 63mm, the equivalent of 50mm on a 35mm camera, i am walking around trying to see in this new way. my preferred lens is 35mm for everything. somewhere between 50mm and wide like a 28mm. left to the mercy of this 63mm on this medium format camera, i have been trying to see differently — or the same but bigger. in my world different camera same questions. how do these food carts make money? how do we see women? — and i mean all of us not just men. what kind of solutions are out there? where do we put our faith? what keeps us up at nights? and what becomes of your friends when you haven’t heard from them in a while? i found answers to these questions as i poked my eyes into this bright viewfinder. so much is happening i wonder if everyone feels as weighed and stressed as i do. just a few days ago i watched as a man raced to the closing door of the 4 train, and we all know, we shouldn’t but we do, we stick a foot in the door and the sliding doors open again for the passenger. but this guy standing inside just looked, then turned back talking while the door closed. and i thought, yeah i am heading to manhattan. #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us @fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
last month
ruddyroye November 3, 2017 fire walker close to two decades ago i got an assignment to photograph the people living on the defunct railroad in jamaica. this is one of the most memorable image from that series. this image is from the first roll i ever shot on this trip, “walking on tiers.” i walked 121 miles documenting similar stories as i made my way from montego bay to kingston. it was from this series that i decided that this is the work i wanted to do for the rest of my life. in her eyes were the first spark of strength and motivation that would be the fire that lit my path of social justice practice. i have not looked away since. so many people to thank. kamoinge, editors, curators including my photoville family, my mother dorcas roye, my family; alyssa, mosijah and iyeoshujah, my sister corrinne roye, and nieces, my relatives, my friends, my manager, the photographers before me, academics and historians, in short, i am from a long line of choices and chances and i just want to acknowledge that today. i am humbled, honoured and grateful to be a part of @viiphoto. still walking. #whenlivingisaprotest
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
last month
ruddyroye Truly happy to call this agency my new home. i have enjoyed getting to know these amazing men and women from this agency, and i am looking forward to growing with this new family of fabulous social justice practitioners. @viiphoto ・・・ vii is excited to announce one of the most transformative evolutions in its history. the agency has added to its fold a diverse and polymathic group of photographers, filmmakers, and educators who will help steer the agency into the next period of its storied life. click on the link in our profile (vii.agency/new-members-2017) to meet the new members.
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
last month
ruddyroye November 1 2017 fractured triptych when you get the call from school that his nose won’t stop bleeding - and it is in the middle of the day. #iyeoshujahroye #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
last month
ruddyroye October 19, 2017 ode to eugene - a triptych does anyone know what a half-cocked fist looks like? or better question, how is that feeling born? it is not out of freedom. it is not victory held high. it is not pride pushing upwards. it is not even a sound that comes out louder than a sigh. it is hope and ambition beaten back, curled reluctantly into the fetus position. it is a cry pulled down towards ones chest, with fingers tightly holding on to a washed up tradition. it is in the eyes. yes his tired eyes peering into the grave for a welcomed rest, while his spirit sags lower with each politician’s promised breath. i have known eugene for the better part of 14 years. he use to stride around bedstuy with friends, laughing at he top of his voice and hanging out in front of the members only grown folks bars on malcolm x blvd. i also saw him in front of the rib shack on halsey streets. back then he had a mouth full of teeth and his clothes hung on his body as high as his raucous laughter. he seemed happy then. today i asked him about his family. “some of them are in georgia,” he stammered. “my mother and father are dead.” #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us #bedstuyportrait
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
last month
ruddyroye October 16, 2017 how the other side lives. from the lower east side to the upper east side. this past weekend i led a workshop through the penumbra foundation and was given an assignment by one of the photographers, andrew garn who told me that the assignment was given to him by mary ellen mark. i was, to photograph the fabulous women of the upper east side. long and short of my story is, one woman clutched her bag and briskly walked away, another put her life at risk by stepping out into the street to avoid me. others curled up their nostrils in disgust and one literally ran down the street at break neck speed when i asked her for direction. i cannot begin to explain how this experience made me feel. “cassandra” a young lady from the area told me that i was not asking the “right” women. on the train ride home i recalled an episode on the radio where the discussion of slavery and the north was under scrutiny. “slaves were auctioned openly in the market house of philadelphia; in the shadow of congregational churches in rhode island; in boston taverns and warehouses; and weekly, sometimes daily, in merchant's coffee house of new york. john hancock and benjamin franklin bought, sold, and owned black people. william henry seward, lincoln's anti-slavery secretary of state during the civil war, born in 1801, grew up in orange county, new york, in a slave-owning family and amid neighbors who owned slaves if they could afford them. the family of abraham lincoln himself, when he lived in pennsylvania in colonial times, owned slaves.” now in no way am i implying that the folks on the upper eastside are descendants of s***e owners, but we all forget that the north had a s***e culture. it made me ask, what could it have been that generated so much contempt for my presence uptown. what i do know is, silence works on many axis. ones silence could mean you don’t want to get involved and it could also mean the revealing of your true identity. nevertheless, it has sparked a challenge in me to head to the upper eastside and make images about this section of new york. these were my assignment images. #uppereastsideimages #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us @fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
October 2017
ruddyroye October 13, 2017 a lower eastside story everyday that i do this i learn a whole lot more about what it is that i do and how photography plays its part in my daily life. if you are from new york, then you recently witnessed a mayoral debate where instead of seeing a conversation between electoral officials who were vying for a job to work for new yorkers, we all witnessed a shouting match. here is what i discovered from the debate. i learnt that new york city is the city with the largest number of homeless peoples. i also learnt that mayor diblasio has spent more money on homelessness than his predecessors, but has been unable to put a dent into the problem. recently his critics claimed that instead of fixing the problem, he was only managing it. i met sam and scherrie while waiting for my boys to finish football training. they have been together for eight years living, surviving and sleeping on new york city streets. i first saw sam through his writings. he often scribbles poetry and prose on benches. something he does to “make himself feel human.” for four hours i followed sam around as he showed off the tags made between he and scherrie, mostly in places where they have slept. as we visited one of these spaces, one of his friends got into an argument with me when i asked him if i could photograph the tag that he was sitting on. “i have been working all day, and just as i got here to rest you come around asking me to get up to take a picture.” i apologized profusely. “it’s ok man, it’s not just you. nobody sees us. it’s why you find us sleeping on floors all over the city. we are dirt to people. can you imagine that i spent years in jail for sleeping in an abandoned building? i can’t even go home, and the shelters are not safe.” #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us @fujifilmx_us
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
October 2017
ruddyroye October 9, 2017 battered and bruised black and blue do not mix. from the beginning, they have stood betwixt the sun and the moon, the same way midnight scorns the noon. black boy restrained and imprisoned without a say, while old white hands who meant to have him slave his life away, fashion coins from his blackness and true equality is delayed. black and blue mix only on streets corners and highways, handcuffed on backstreets and alleyways. black boy killed on a rooftop, or a dark stairway finds no justice, even when the video shows foul play. black boy thinking that snitching and mixing only makes our blues darker. water it down, make it lighter, again using old white hands architects of a grey land dip their greedy palms in native red, mixing it with black. the clotted mixture of a putrid lineage leaks out when black faces hit concrete or get covered with dirt, lies, or an assimilated heritage. white and blue, strangle the starry dreams of a black boy with their institutional stripes, discolouring the perfect blend of black on red, white and blue. and every day we rise, we see our blue lcd screens alight with another casted image of another black boy’s dye. #whenlivingisaprotest #ruddypoem
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ruddyroye

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Activist/VII Photog
October 2017
ruddyroye October 7, 2017 walking with giants i don’t always stand with giants, but i have always hoped that my photographs were made in their likeness. in actuality, most of my walking days are spent meandering round furrowed faces, laden with their insurmountable questions that seem to rise up like the new residential properties all around brooklyn. the signs they carry are the same — “work in progress, broken spirit.” i spent the last five days standing with a new group of artists at the open society institute. the following day i took the train to new jersey and spoke at the zimmerli art museum where images by bruce davidson, nina berman, w eugene smith, august sanders, andré kertész and dorothea lange all welcomed images i made in a exhibition entitled subjective objective. the resulting catalogued named “a century of social photography” is riveting, if not carefully curated to show the dignity of resistance photography. on thursday i sat with larry fink, gus powell, and joseph michael lopez to talk about our work through the eyes of penumbra. nothing sounds sweeter than hearing a photographer that you have looked up to, sit across from you and says the words, “ruddy your images are beautiful,” - larry fink. these images i make are a testimony to the trauma i carry, and to see them living among giants validates every shard, and broken bottle, every rusty nail, every mirror and every hot coal that i had to walk through to collect them. these are my giants. #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmgfx50s #fujifilmx_us @fujifilmx_us
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