That Lighthouse Photograph: Explained

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 5, 2010

Category: General

I’ve written this post for a couple of reasons, both of which have been prompted as a follow up to a picture that I took of my wife Anne with my iPhone and posted up on Facebook and Twitter towards the end of last week:

  1. To say a HUGE thank you to my good friend Matt Kloskowski.
  2. To give you an explanation as to why.

The photograph you can see Anne holding is of a Lighthouse in Portland, Oregon USA taken by Matt Kloskowski; Professional Photographer, Photoshop Guy for the N.A.P.P. Photoshop Instructor, and owner of a VERY big heart.

So what’s the deal?
Not wanting to go into too much detail, on a personal level this year has been quite tough for my wife Anne. My Mother in Law’s need for closer supervision and care has accelerated at what seems like an alarming rate with short term memory problems and a generally confused state getting progressively worse. Clearly seeing your own Mother in this state by itself is stressful and upsetting enough but that combined with what I shall only refer to as ‘family issues’ where your siblings let you down on a mammoth scale could have very easily been ‘The straw that broke the Camel’s back.’

So why a Photograph of a Lighthouse?
A few weeks back, Matt posted a series of photographs on his very popular Lightroom Killer Tips blog asking for feedback; one of those photographs was of a Lighthouse. Naturally I left some feedback saying that my favourite of all the images he’d posted was in fact the Lighthouse and went on to tell Matt the reason why: With all that Anne has gone through over the past few months she very sweetly calls me her Lighthouse; keeping her safe and protected when it feels that all around her is harmful…just as a Lighthouse does to passing ships. I went on to explain to Matt that Anne had asked me to photograph a Lighthouse and was so planning to make a trip to Portland Bill along with my good friend Noel Hannan to do just that, so that we could frame it and have it on display in the house.

Matt’s response to this has blown us away; friendship and kindness that knows no limits, as I received an email from him saying that ‘something’ would be arriving in the post. Well, you guessed it…Matt sent us the very same Lighthouse picture that he’d posted on his web site, printed at 24″ x 16″  on Foamcore, and it’s absolutely stunning. Needless to say, we’re now sending the print off to be framed by a company we use on  a regular basis for our clients, Kaleidoscope, so that we can then hang the photograph on the wall taking pride of place symbolising “Safety, Love and Friendship“.

Becoming involved in the world of Photoshop and Photography, I’ve received many benefits and apart from the obvious, the biggest of all has been the friendships that I’ve gained, and continue to do so, along the way; friendships that I may never have experienced and it’s during this time I’m constantly reminded of the phrase ‘You can choose you friends, but….’ well, you know the rest.

I speak for both Anne and myself when I say that we feel extremely blessed for the friends we have in our lives so here’s raising a glass to many good times ahead spent in very good company 🙂

Finally to you Matt, ‘Thank You’ just doesn’t seem enough but I guess from what you already know, we are so incredibly grateful for your friendship and your generosity. Needless to say a return trip over to the United States is in the pipleline and the drinks are definitely on us 🙂

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  1. Jürgen

    What a story. It it a good reminder that our work is not only creating some nice pictures, but can give deeper meaning to things.

    • Glyn

      @Jürgen: Thanks for your comment and yeah I agree; I guess this is proof that photography is so much more than ‘a picture’ but is a ‘feeling’.

      Regards, Glyn

  2. Dan Davies

    What a lovely gesture – I hope that it won’t stop you and Noel enjoying a photographic journey sometime though.

    All the best to you & Anne – credit to you both for the love & care for her mum evident in the photos you’ve posted today.



  3. Noel Hannan

    Glyn, What a fantastic story and what a very big heart Matt has, an incredible gesture, and one that will adorn the walls of Glyn and Annes’s Home for all eternity. I don’t mind missing out on a trip to Portland Bill for that!

    This photograph is clearly so much more than a picture of a lighthouse…

    All the best to you, Anne and Matt,
    thanks for sharing this great story.


  4. Keith Hammond

    Reading about Anns mum is very sad and reminded me of our experiences with Lyns mum who had the same issues and like yourselves we had very little help from family and the stress was so much that i had a heart attack. After that very frightening experience we had to get help because we just could not manage alone, we felt that we had failed in that we could no longer cope but it had to be done and with the right help and care Peggy had the best quality of life for the time she had left, what i’m really trying to say mate is don’t be afraid to get help when it starts getting to much for you both.
    I bet that Matt Klosowski original is going to look great on your wall.
    Sending you Anne and Mum my best wishes. Keith
    ps. sorry to go on about myself there but i couldn’t stop myself typing after reading your post.

  5. David Kelly

    Hi Glyn, great post and you’re very generous to share such a personal story.

    The penny now drops – I recall reading your comments in Matt’s blog and recognised his image when I looked at the image from your tweet but didn’t connect the two until now. Proof (if ever it was needed!) that Matt’s an all round nice guy and a generous gentleman. Kicks into touch some of the stick (and that’s using too mild a word) he received from some people regarding his recent HDR blog posting of St. Pat’s church in NY.

    As Jürgen alludes to, the symbolism evoked in images can mean much more to viewers. That personal interaction is something us authors could never realise / envisage when we’re taking the photographs. The old adage that a picture says more than a 1000 words comes to mind…

    All the very best wishes to you, Anne and your mother in law – let’s hope for some fair weather for you all.

    BTW Pity Anne didn’t refer to you as her knight in armour – that could have been an interesting photo assignment with Mr Hannan trying to get a shot of you in a full suit of plate mail armour whilst on horseback 😉

  6. Anne Dewis

    @Keith Hammond, Dear Keith, we have lots in common. You must never feel you failed, it is incredibly difficult to manage the situation both you and I have found ourselves in. It is doubly compounded when family prove difficult and become an enemy rather than an ally! Dramatic I know but that is how it’s started for me.
    People I loved and felt comfortable in the knowledge that they loved me turned in pack formation and criticised at every moment they could. Shut down, wouldn’t communicate and expected me to take a verbal assault and say, “Ah well, ok” and carry on. difficult!!!
    Keep your personal health safe as there are others who love you and want that future to be bright with you. Getting help is wise and I know that now and things are getting sorted. Thankyou so much for your comment, it is truely appreciated and the Matt Koslowski original is going in pride of place in our home.
    Photography has brought the best of people into our lives and made it richer and fuller far and away above what monetry wealth could give.
    Good luck and fortune to you and Lyn and I hope to meet you in the near future.

  7. Anne Dewis

    @Noel…. The Portland trip can still happen.. Hopefully we could all go to THE Portland in Oregan, the subject of the special picture. Thanks so much for the lovely comments, I’m bowled over by all the support and it’s a strengthener for my character.
    It is definately more than just a picture of a lighthouse…. See you on the next photowalk Noel. Love to Katherine and the children.

    @David Kelly….. LOL. It would be like trying to get a suit of armour for Arnie The Terminator. Come to think of it, Noel is a little like James Cameron ;0)
    Thanks for your comments, we are so blessed with all the lovely people in our lives. We wish you best of everything.

  8. David Kelly

    @Anne & Keith,

    It’s not a nice experience that, when members of families should be pulling together and working with each other, unfortunately they can begin to pull each other apart. I can only empathise with the situations you’ve been through / are going through – it’s enough of a stressful situation without the added pressure of having to defend your decisions or actions to others who are happy to let you take the strain alone.

    Getting support in such a situation is through friends, family or supportive voluntary organisations is so important. It helps to spread the load so to speak and hopefully help people to replenish their strength and ergo be able to maintain helping family members for a longer period.

    Thankfully both of you had good partners to give you support and encouragement where others failed and I hope with time the other members of your families may come to appreciate what you have done and continue to do in this situation.

    Best wishes to you both

  9. Noel Hannan

    @David.. knight in shinning armour or… damsel in distress…? forsooth!

    @Anne, that trip to Portland sounds fantastic! Good to see you are on the photowalk! Take care.

    @Glyn, take care mate, great post, as ever.


  10. DaveT

    Hi Glyn,

    It’s so nice to hear of such a touching gesture by Matt. And thank you Glyn and Anne for sharing this wonderful story of kindness in what must be a difficult time for you.

    Seeing your comments, and those by others who have reached out to connect with you, is so heart warming. In a time when there is so much bad news out there it’s good to see the hand of human kindness at work.


    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Thanks for commenting Dave and yeah I totally agree…it’s incredibly humbling and heart warming to read some of the comments and Matt’s kindness has literally blown us away 🙂


  11. David Kelly

    @Noel – well if Glyn’s going to be the knight in armour (or should that be in amour?) surely you’ve got to be the wise & sageful Merlin 😉
    Need to grow that goatee a bit more though a la ZZ Top…Hey maybe that’s an idea for next year Project 52 Mk II?? Weekly self portrait of Noel + growing beard gradually becoming a Merlin figure 😉

    @DaveT – it’s one of the positive aspects of the internet beastie that people can still connect with each other at such a level, without even “knowing” the individual in the traditional face-2-face sense. Kindness can now know no boundaries with this virtual world crossing any geographical constraints.

  12. Keith Hammond

    @Anne Dewis – I hope to meet you aswell Anne, maybe at Windsor, Lyn and Nic were saying they would like to come.

  13. Rick Wenner

    It’s rare that I come across a post on any blog that really hits me at a personal level. Without providing too many personal details, I can just say that I am very sorry to hear of your mother-in-law’s condition. I am sure it is a lot to cope with and I’m sorry that you and family have to go through this. If possible, I hope for a speedy recovery and best health to her.

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Matt K. at a Photoshop World about a year or two ago in Boston. He definitely seems to be a very nice guy. From reading of his generosity to you and Anne, he just confirmed that.

    All the best,

    • Glyn

      @Rick…Thanks for dropping by mate and for commenting; we both really appreciate your words.

      Having become friends with Matt after first of all meeting him at a Photoshop World in Las Vegas a few years back I can certainly vouch for his friendship and generosity; definitely one of life’s genuinely decent people.


  14. Mark Sands

    Hi Glen,

    That is truely a touching story, both in terms of your mother in law, but also your strength and support for you wife. Not forgetting the generosity of Matt.

    It’s very heart warming to know that men like you and Matt exist. I continue to strive to be a better photographer but also a better man.

    Take care,
    Mark (mozart71)

    • Glyn

      @Mark…Thanks for your words; very heart felt…Really appreciate it!

      All the best,

  15. Matt Kloskowski

    Thanks for mentioning me Glyn. I’m so glad you and Anne are enjoying the photo and thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope the best for you and your family 🙂

    – Matt Kloskowski

    • Glyn

      @Matt…Hey no ‘thanks’ required 🙂 Loving the photo as you know; Anne now has plans for us to see the Lighthouse you shot with our own eyes in the very near future, so what with that, Photoshop World, Joe McNally and of course ‘getting the drinks in’, it looks like we’re going to be spending a fair bit of time in the US 🙂

      All the very best to you,

  16. Elizabeth Gower

    The kindness and generosity of some people never ceases to amaze and inspire me!

    • Glyn

      Totally hear you there Elizabeth.

  17. Jonathan Thompson

    Hey Glyn, so sorry to hear Anne’s had a rough time recently. It’s occasions like this you hope the people closest to you are your strength. It’s no surprise to me that Anne describes you that way, you’re a fantastic team. Friendship has to be one of the most precious gifts, I would be nothing without it. Matt is obviously a really nice fella and a great friend, what a wonderful gift.
    I hope we can get together soon, perhaps the Portland Bill trip would be a great excuse for friends to come together.
    Take care you lovely people, we’re always here for you.


  18. Gary Nicholls

    Hi Glyn. This post says as much about you as it does your wife and Matt. Not all blog posts are about self promotion, and your posts show what a genuine man you are. Never change, nice people win too. See you on the photo walk!


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