Paul Lopez was -

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Paul Lopez was -

Postby photorecon » Tue 17 Mar 2009 01:40

both an aerobatic performer client & close friend of mine. I had made his
first magazine ad for him, which was a full-page ad. But more than this,
Paul was my age, and he & I saw exactly eye-to-eye on most everything in
life.

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When I learned he went down in his aerobatic plane, a mere two hours or
so after his fatal crash in Central Florida (USA), I was instantly devastated
from that moment on. This has lasted through now: being a week later.

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In my mental & spiritual anguish, I revisited my previously made images
of Paul, that I could find some which had remained unseen (which unfor-
tunately, the majority of my work remains unseen).

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Image

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Airshow performer, Gary Ward was to fly to Florida to attend the
"Celebration of Life" visitation & funeral of Paul Lopez. Inclement weather
here in the Southeastern US prevented his personal flight, forcing Gary to
instead make the eight-hour trek by car.

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Although I had dearly wanted to attend as well, the opportunity would not
pan itself out for me. I was to be anchored here within my own harbor.
However, I was now deep within my own mission: to quickly assemble a
nice, wedding-type album of twenty images of Paul (selected from those
currently within my website).

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The problem: the logistics of somehow getting this to Gary (as it was now
early Sunday morning, and FedEx was still asleep). Gary & I went back &
fourth on the phone about how to realistically do this - if it could even be
done. "I don't know. I don't know," kept saying Gary. "Let me think about
it, but I need leave here in thirty minutes."

I raced from an hour north of Atlanta in the non-stop, hard rain to intersect
(meet up with) Gary on the south side of Macon, Georgia. A rendezvous at
the first gas station on the right side of the road, off the first exit ramp,
beyond two converging interstate highways (his & mine), at a time no later
than he arrived there - was my ONLY opportunity.

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And here, my 2-1/2 hour drive to this specific place was thought to be
exactly equal to his; and yet, I faced one traffic accident after another
along the way. I was panic stricken the entire drive, in a continuous
driving rain, where I often couldn't see in front of the car in front of me.

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I arrived at the rendezvous a brief few minutes before Gary. Out of his
own curiosity, he asked to see the album. I escorted him to under the
gas station's outside, over hanging shelter area before removing the
just acquired trash can liner which now protected the brand new, black
leatherette album and its same sized, heavy cardboard box. Gary was
immediately dumbfounded about the album. "This is much nicer than
I expected," he said to me as he began to quickly thumb through its
pages. "Wow, Paul's parents are going to really appreciate this."

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That evening, about 7:15 Eastern Time (fifteen minutes after the visitation
would have formally ended), I received a cell phone call from Gary. "The
album was being passed around even before I got up to Paul's parents,"
reported Gary. "Everyone completely LOVED it... the album you made was
a BIG HIT... and it was the RIGHT THING to do." And then in his next
breath: "Oh, they all knew who you were. Apparently, most of them had
been to your website & seen some of your pictures of Paul. Paul's casket
was really nice. Next to it were several photos blown-up REALLY BIG...
... and...
...they were YOURS."

(back in 2007, I had made a CD of some of my images of Paul, for Paul)

And this is were the stream of tears "rolled into play." I was instantly so
incredibly happy & sad at the same time. I was elated that my images
were used to portray Paul at his visitation & funeral; but I was stricken
incredibly sad that they were being used for such a horrible circumstance
- one I had never dreamt of.

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If you're interested, directly below is a link to Paul's still-active website.
Please be sure to check-out one or two of his more recent videos of him-
self flying. He was an amazing & highly skilled pilot - and 'Loved' his
YouTube videos.

http://www.paullopezairshows.com/

And if you're so inclined, directly below is a link to some written material
regarding Paul's recent crash.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/mar/09 ... ews-pasco/

Thanks for your support & understanding,

marc st. pierre
http://www.marcstpierrephotography.com
photorecon
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Re: Paul Lopez was -

Postby PaulBeavis » Tue 17 Mar 2009 12:15

I am sorry for the loss of a close friend. Some fantastic memories you wil be able to cherish for many years to come.

Paul...
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Re: Paul Lopez was -

Postby BrianSmith » Tue 17 Mar 2009 14:14

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Your post here, together with the beautiful shots, give us a very moving impression of his life. You have created a better memorial for Paul than most people can ever expect to get. Plainly a great guy.
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Re: Paul Lopez was -

Postby Vincent De Vos » Sat 28 Mar 2009 11:22

Dear Mr. St.-Pierre,

All images you post here display the signature of a great photographer, these particular images and story describe upto that your very honest emotions in word and image. Sorry for you for the lost of a close friend.
Thanks for posting on this forum.
Passioned by beautiful pictures, not a very active photographer though...
Regards,
Vincent

PS I use google translate a lot to write better English. So, if mistake, I's google, not me. ;)
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Re: Paul Lopez was -

Postby GAshby » Wed 15 Apr 2009 09:57

Fantastic images, touching story, well written...
Regards,
George
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Re: Paul Lopez was -

Postby Guy Van Hooveld » Wed 15 Apr 2009 10:10

GAshby wrote:Fantastic images, touching story, well written...
Regards,
George

nothing to add, fully agree

Guy
Guy Van Hooveld
Nikon equipment, semi-pro photographer My website http://www.techniphoto.com My wiki http://www.techniphoto.com/wiki
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Re: Paul Lopez was -

Postby DirkVermeirre » Thu 16 Apr 2009 14:25

How sad to hear the loss of your friend. What a touching story and a great tribute with superb images.
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Re: Paul Lopez was -

Postby RolandDeSmedt-BE » Sun 7 Feb 2010 09:38

Work from a real artist. Sorry for your friend...
We all die one day, he died perhaps the way he wanted, but much too early for sure.
Greetings,
Roland
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