Memories that transcend
This image reflects the childhood of an introverted boy whose only connection to the outer world was his football, his mates, and this small garage gate
Childhood is the best period a person can have in their lifetime. No matter if it's associated with a lot of pain, abuse, or heartbreaks, or is filled with joy and laughter, childhood memories are nonetheless very sweet and dear to us.
It's a time when our hearts are much bigger than our little bodies; when we're daring and bold, willing to explore every little corner of this universe. It's also a time when we're afraid of night monsters and boogeyman.
In my case, this photo reflects the childhood memories in their essence. It's the embodiment of my connection to the outer world, where everything seemed dangerous and villainous.
A little bit about this photo
This photo was taken on the iPhone 11, on January 2, 2020. It was the first time in a while it snowed in my small village called Ude, Georgia. Not wanting to waste any time (since the first snow has a tendency of quickly melting away), I rocked my pocket companion, switched the regular wide-angle lens to the ultra-wide-angle and shot the photo.
Now, straight out of the camera, the image already looked very ethereal and atmospheric, however, I wanted to give it a little bit more "punchiness" to it - that extra appeal. So I imported the image into a Lightroom software and tweaked it a little bit: a touch of contrast here, a smudge of cool white balance there, and this is the final result!
One of the biggest benefits of the iPhone 11 ultra-wide-angle lens is that you can fit a lot of things in a single frame. And this particular photo, as I've already mentioned, carries that complexity for me. I want this image to convey two things from my childhood: a joy of friendship through football and a sense of achievement through overcoming the obstacles.
A joy of football
Now, there's one thing I want to clarify straight away: I'm not a football player by any stretch of the imagination; never have been and as I suspect, never will be. It was just a way of bonding with my closest friends.
And trust me, it was not an easy undertaking for me. I have always taken myself as a loner, who never got out of his home and never did what his friends were doing. And not just because I wasn't interested in any of that, but also because I was afraid of it.
It took me a long time to realize the diagnosis of my "disease." I had to grow up and find out that I was a deeply introverted child who also had terrible anxiety over almost everything. But before I would realize that this is a very common and normal, even, occurrence among millions of teenagers, I had to live with it as if it was some sort of disease.
And if someone out there can relate to what I'm saying, they'll know how rewarding it would've been to be among the people who didn't awake anxiety in me. Those people were my partners in crime - my teammates and opponents in football.
It was usually the Summer vacations when I played football with my friends in the village. Whenever I finished my school, I would dash straight to my grandma's and grandpa's and go catch up with other kids. And after some "socialization", our games would begin.
This photo is significant because it shows the garage gate in front of which we'd play the ball. It was my late grandfather's workshop where he would repair his clients' cars. And whenever we played there, the gate made some unearthly noises, getting the grandpa to yell and swear at us.
In front of that garage, there's a three-meter-wide road which was our main pitch. And as you can imagine, it was a very tight sporting event - almost ten kids running around and trying to score some goals, which then would infuriate my grandpa.
almost a decade has gone since those times. And this image really brings those childhood memories back; the memories of an introverted child, who feared the outer world, but nonetheless found a gateway to it through his football mates.
Overcoming the obstacles
This next point is about conquering heights - both literally and figuratively. The same garage in front of which my friends and I played football also stood as some sort of a pinnacle which I was determined to climb.
As you can see in the image, a pine tree stands next to the garage, and its branches were arranged in a perfect manner for me to climb it and get to the garage roof. But my parents always scolded me for even trying to attempt such a thing, and rightly so - it was quite high and the roof wasn't too sturdy.
But, even though my anxieties were my eternal companions, they usually activated when I was among people. But in nature, I was unusually daring, and that garage represented a challenge for my daring.
So, not to drag it any further, I managed to climb the tree. But getting to the roof proved a little challenging because I actually had to climb over a 4-meter-high empty space. But I finally overcame my fear and leaped to the roof.
And when I got there, I was the biggest explorer in the world at that time. I proved to myself that I could do anything if my determination followed my will. The only other equally satisfying moment that I had was when I swam across the river.
My childhood memories are very dear to me, just like anyone else. With its fears, insecurities, and anxieties on the one hand, and with joy, laughter, and a sense of achievement on the other, I consider my childhood a rewarding time of my life. And this photo perfectly conveys the full scope of it.