Amputated. A Personal Note.

In Life Is Short, News & Stuff, Pep Talks, The Italian Incident, The Life Creative by David720 Comments

I had my foot amputated yesterday morning. I wrote this a couple weeks ago knowing that my head might not be in the space to do so in the days after the surgery, so I can’t tell you how it went just yet, or how I’m feeling about it all, but I can bring you up to date. I don’t often write so personally, and when I do it’s about photography. But over the years I’ve been told that I don’t only write about photography, but about life. This one’s about life.

As so many of you know, I took a fall while trying to make a photograph in Italy 12 years ago. The fall shattered my feet, broke my pelvis, and bruised my ego. But it was April and already by that point in the year three other people had fallen from the same place and none of them survived so that accident also re-calibrated my gratitude. I spent 40 nights in hospital, among them some of the longest nights of my life, filled with fear. I cried myself to sleep most nights, worried I’d never walk again. Worried my career was over. I was so, so lucky to be alive, but what if I could never again experience or photograph the things that made my life so rich and meaningful?

Months later I rolled my wheelchair into a physical rehab centre and after 4 weeks I walked out with a cane. My discharge date was set not by my doctor or physiotherapist but my travel agent: I was due in Laos and Cambodia for a workshop, and after that I had a boat to catch for Antarctica. I was a little wobbly, but I was walking, still carrying a camera to beautiful places, but this time more grateful, and taking it all a little less for granted.

On the night I had my accident I was taken to a hospital in Tuscany and eventually told I would never walk the same way again. This haunted me, and proved to be true. As the years have gone by we tried revision surgeries and eventually my surgeon fused my ankle and told me that for now this was as good as I could expect things to be. At one point a few years ago I asked about amputation and a prosthesis and she said yes, some people choose to do that but I don’t think she thought it was the right time for that conversation.

A year ago I was tired of “as good as it gets”. The pain was getting worse, the mobility was more and more limited. I had conversations with prosthetists and surgeons and all of them said a good prosthesis could give me my once active life back. They all agreed that amputation was not only one way forward but a strong option. The alternatives weren’t good and when my own surgeon said she would choose amputation over the other options, I asked her to remove my foot.

That makes it sound so matter of fact but the months leading up to this surgery have not been easy. I’ve lost sleep. I’ve never second-guessed myself so much. I’ve been distracted and foggy. I’ve worried about the complications and the phantom pain and what it’s going to be like to drive with a prosthesis, or do everyday things like taking a shower. I’ve worried about my career and my ability to put food on the table while I recover.

Unexpectedly, I’ve also worried about how I would tell you. When I was in hospital 12 years ago it was you who got me through it with your relentless encouragement and cheerleading. Total strangers sent me flowers. Some sent me books and DVDs. One day the nurse walked in with a confused look on her face and a cordless phone. “There’s an Art Wolfe on the phone for you,” she said, clearly unimpressed with her new role as my receptionist. Art, long one of my greatest heroes, had called to tell me not to give up, to keep fighting. I guess what I’m saying is you helped me get through this the first time—more than you can ever know—and it’s a little embarrassing to have to tell you I’m back here again.

I’ve re-written this so many times. It’s not an easy conversation to have. Amputation is a scary word. A couple months ago I ordered some crutches and when the Fed Ex driver dropped them off she said, “I hope no one needs these.” Without thinking I told her I was getting my foot amputated and her eyes filled with tears, and I had to later tell Cynthia I had broken our Fed Ex lady. I have struggled to find a graceful way to talk about this, and that’s part of the reason I’m telling you now, after the fact. I just didn’t know how to bring it up.

But there’s more. My surgical dates have changed a couple times, and that’s been a difficult mental and emotional rollercoaster. I just didn’t want to amplify that by announcing this and then jerking everyone around with date changes. And this is all just scary as shit and I wanted the freedom to chicken out, and avoid having to make my cowardice a matter of public record. And on top of that I was finding this all difficult and surreal and the thought of thousands of voices chiming in on my decision was truly overwhelming. Thousands of beautiful, caring, wonderful voices, but thousands all the same and the thought of it felt too much for me to handle ahead of time.

So, that brings us to now. As I head into this I’m nervous (an understatement). My family is nervous (also an understatement, maybe more so). But I’m also hopeful. I’m hopeful that once I’ve recovered and have my prosthetic leg I can hike again, that I can travel again and travel further and with less pain. I’m hopeful that this might deepen my understanding of myself and what it means to live a courageous and creative life. But right now, mostly I’m frightened. I know it’s only a foot, and it’s only getting in the way these days but I’m losing a part of myself and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I’ll update you when the fog clears and we know how the surgery went, but I’ve been told that it’ll take at least six weeks to get into an initial prosthesis for some first tentative steps. That seems astonishingly fast to me. Until then I’ve got something for you, and a request.

3 New Monographs + 18 Desktop Wallpapers
Pay What You Want


Asking for help is hard, so while I was anticipating all this I had some time to make something for you in the hopes that it would inspire you, and that it might also be a way for me to get a leg up (ha! See what I did there?) on covering the cost my new prosthesis, as well as getting me through this downtime while I’m not working and teaching in other ways. So I’ve put together 3 new monographs of my work, including my most recent series from Kenya that is mostly unpublished until now, and a beautiful new collection of desktop wallpapers in hopes that they inspire you towards adventures of your own.

My new monographs, released today are:

The Wild & The Wonder, Encounters with the Extraordinary in Kenya
Namaste, Encounters with India
Catchlight, Encounters with Humanity

All 3 digital monographs, bundled with my 2023 Wallpaper Collection, are yours for any amount you choose. I’ve never done a Pay What You Want option but this gives me a chance to offer something beautiful to you, something I hope will inspire you, and for you to be a continued part of my recovery in any way you choose. If you’d like to help me get back on my feet, this is a way you can do that. When you follow this link and choose to download this bundle, you’ll see that the price is set to $20 (we had to put something there) but you can change that to anything you like. No matter what you choose, I am so grateful for your support of me and my work.

Drop Me a Note.

The next week is going to be a lonely one in hospital and I know many of you are going to want to reach out. I would love to hear from you! But can I ask you a favour? Please leave a comment on my blog (you can do that anytime here) rather than hitting reply to this email. My emails go to Cynthia and this is a heavy load for her right now. I’ve given her permission to just ignore the emails for a while. Emails also demand replies in a way that blog comments don’t, and as you might imagine, we’re just not sure what the coming days look like in terms of our time and emotional energy. I would love to hear from you. I can’t put into words how much your support means to me, please feel free to fill the comments on my blog here. I’ll read every one of them. But I suspect I could also be heavily drugged for a while, so if the best—or the only—reply I can muster is a 👍 or a 😘 or even a 🙏, then I hope you’ll understand.

What’s next?

In the coming days, once I can manage the pain on my own, and assuming there are no complications, they should send me home. We’ll head back to Vancouver Island and wait for things to heal up before beginning the long journey of fitting and learning to live with a prosthesis. As someone who watched The Six-Million Dollar Man as a kid I admit I might have unreasonable expectations for my new bionic leg. I’ve got months to go before anything remotely normal, I think, but you know where to find me until then. For almost 12 years you’ve been the reason I write what I write and create what I do, and that won’t stop. The moment I can be back to writing and reminding you that you’re not alone on this wonderful  creative journey, I will. Thank you for your love.

To get the bundle of my new monographs and the 2023 wallpaper collection, click this link. This collection is yours for whatever you choose to pay. I’ve always tried to inspire you in my teaching, to light a fire rather than just filling a bucket. I created these in hopes of continuing to do that for you while I’m waiting to get back on my feet again.



For the Love of the Photograph,
David.

Comments

  1. Hi David – you have provided so much inspiration to me through your writing and your photography. Your thoughtful, positive approach is refreshing, as is your humble and open spirit. I wish you all the best and I look forward to enjoying the photos in the collection. Take care.

  2. I’ve only just found out about your amputation. Can I say, congratulations? As someone who has had musculoskeletal problems all my life, I know how exhausting pain can be and finding a way out of that is only to be applauded. I feel some affinity with you as I’ve just undergone another hip replacement 20 years after my first. Science and medical procedures have moved on incredibly so I’m sure you will make an incredible recovery.
    I gave up taking pictures when I couldn’t carry the weight of a camera and juggle 2 sticks so I was intrigued by your FB post with the chest harness. ( I hope you’ve managed to secure a deal representing the item) It reminds me that there is always another way to deal with disability; we don’t need to feel sorry for ourselves, we need to find a way around the problem and own it.
    I’m glad to hear that you feel good about your recovery. That’s half the battle.

    1. David, I’m so glad I found you again! After being Friends for many years Facebook decided we weren’t friends anymore, guess because I missed a couple of your posts? I’m hoping my donation will help you financially and physically. Trying to catch up on what you’ve written & anxious to see you back taking photos.

      I’m not tech savvy, I clicked on the 3monograms and wallpapers but I have no idea if or where they were downloaded so I emailed myself the links. Hopefully I’ll find them!

    2. Thank you so much for that, Linda! So far the recovery feels miraculous. Not without it’s challenges (my prosthesis nearly fell right off the other day!) but it’s early days yet. We’ll get it figured out. I hope you find a way to return to photography again, if that’s your desire. Maybe a lighter camera? Maybe a chest harness – they have some nice designs. Anyways, thank you so very much for your encouragement. 😊

  3. Hi David – I don’t think I’ve been as inspired by any other photographer as much as I am by you. Your books and writing about images and the creativity of photography has always connected with me … and, more recently, the way in which you have written about the physical and psychological challenges you are now facing with such sensitivity and without any rancour has been truly humbling. I can’t wait to see what new projects you have ahead of you and I am so pleased to have met you – albeit virtually! Take care and wishing you a speedy return to new adventures.

    1. What a very kind note. Thank you so much for those words, Prem. An honour to include you in my circle of friends. 🙏🏼

  4. Hello David,

    I’ve just heard the news and I have been trying to find the right words but … what could they possibly be?

    Through the years, I have read a number of your books and they remain for me a source of inspiration.

    The way you face this challenge life has thrown at you is also extremely inspirational: thank you for sharing.

    I hope you get well soon and that you get back to doing what you love.

  5. David, you inspire me. I took a fall in Feb 2023 and since then walked on crutches and now a cane and because of the fall sort of lost inspiration. I did not know of your amutation until today and seeing what you went through and are going through, I hav no bitch. I will pray for you for full recovery and ability to hike. Take care brother.

    Jim Johnson

  6. David, I am just catching up with your updates of the last few weeks. My heart goes out to you – – and I am sending thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery and successful adjustment to this new reality. Your words are so courageous and strong. I hope you continue to believe in the future and your ability to conquer this significant life event. You have always shared a thoughtful and heartfelt message with your photography and I know that you will soon be doing that again. I am downloading your beautiful works and am happy to support you in some small way.

  7. I started to appreciate you, David, through your photography lessons. At first, to be honest, I was shocked to know you will be amputated. But you blog describing how you fee, l helped me see things from another perspective. Just like your photography teaching: there’s always another angle to explore. And coming from Haïti, where so many people got amputated after the 2010 earthquake, I found strength in your text. Strength to talk to others, to look at them and see their potential they still have to offer. Thank you for teaching me another lesson.

  8. I can’t imagine the gut wrenching decision making process you were challenged with. Your assets are so, so many … this may slow you down initially, but I suspect, not for long. Peace and wellness, and every good wish for recovery!

    1. Sending you some healing vibes from sunny Fla! Hope the recovery is going well. One day at a time. YOU GOT THIS!!! 👍😃 📷 And a call from Art Wolfe?! Wowza!

  9. Dear David, I couldn’t read your Letter until today becuse I was shocked about your accident and what has happened now. Years ago it was your book with the 60 “workshop” ideas to get me out and try to photogrph better than the day before. And I try this until today. Long time I thought to get better only by reading magazines and watch youtube. It was you who kicks me in my butt to get of the couch and go out an practice. And there for I have to thank you. I’m a better photographer because of your tipps and books and now this…
    I hope you get well soon and you can get back in your own footsteps to continue your very inspiring work.
    Best regards from germany (and sorry for my terrible english)

  10. Dear David,

    I want to express my sincere sympathy and support to you. I am one of your first day followers and I remember very clearly your early posts from the accident back in 2011. I followed you silently but continuously from the background and I have read many of your books and travel reports. Your passion was a source of inspiration and motivation for my own creative path in life. Now I am so sorry to hear this. I never would have imagined that the aftermath of this accident would have such a severe impact on you. Keep on going with your struggle. You are not alone and creativity is maybe the only option we have against the irrationality or the insanity of life.

    I wish you all the best and I hope you will find peace and happiness in your life. You are a remarkable person and I admire your strength and resilience. You have my deepest respect and admiration.
    Theo

  11. David, thank you for all the help you’ve given me. As someone who had never considered herself to be creative (that was for other people), I have been given a new view of myself and my own possibilities. It’s coming slowly, but surely. I especially appreciate today’s article, “Everyone is Missing Something” (7-10-2023).

    I wish you well in your continued recovery.

  12. David, hope you are recovering by now. I’ve been going to comment and putting it off because I wasn’t sure what to say except I hope you are healing. Compared to the shock I had when I read your original email, that seems inadequate. After I read your email, I could see the reasons behind what you were doing, and that it did seem like it would improve things for you. I will be meeting with an orthopedic surgeon later this week about getting a knee replacement done. Not to make this about me, but I realized your thought process that brought you to this point is not unlike what I am facing. And if you can do what you are doing, I have a little more optimism about a knee replacement. Not the same surgery, and I would assume more routine that what you have gone through, it has one part of it in common. Well, two really. It can’t be undone, which is what my hang up has been, and it will help me with my mobility. So thank you for inspiring me once again, in a part of my life besides photography this time. I sincerely hope you get the relief you are seeking with this surgery, and that you are out in the field with your camera again soon. Keep up the incredible work that you do, and I hope you can get out and enjoy it again very soon if you aren’t already.

  13. Hey David, I’ve intended to write since I received the Contact Sheet email about your amputation. I just have not seemed to be able to find the words. It is so easy to say, “Oh, sorry to hear about your troubles”, or “My thoughts are with you”, or “I wish you a speedy recovery”,….etc. Etc,… Of course, these are all true, but they fall short of the mark by a long way 🙁

    This morning, while having my morning coffee, I found myself looking into the eyes of the swimming bear–your bear in the screensaver. He was so reproachful of my negligence and failure to write and at least extend my love and admiration. So I had to make amends immediately before he took matters into his own claws 😉

    I want you to know that I purchased your monographs and wallpapers solely to support you. While I love your work and the works of so many other fine photographers, I have never been a collector of monographs or books. It just has not been my thing. But what the hell? I paid, so I’ll download it. I looked at your wallpapers and said, “Hey, great photographs”, well I did not expect anything less ;-). I have NEVER had wallpaper on my computers before; always boring but very functional solid neutral colours. I was a software engineer and wanted nothing that distracted my focus; also, I was a photographer and wanted nothing that affected my visual judgment while editing. Okay, so call me Stodgy and a stick in the mud ;-). But wow, these photos were special. I have four computers with six displays between them. Overall they contain about 100 desktops….wow that’s scary. Surely I could find one desktop to spare for a slide show of these photographs. So I selected the last desktop, Nos. 32, on my biggest monitor, a 4K 55-inch Samsung. It turns out I have more or less lost the 15 desktops on that screen. Somehow your photos are always up there on the wall. Been there for weeks now, so I no longer feel it’s just a phase. When visitors visit, they invariably goggle and comment. Real show stopper.

    Personally, my favourites are the Magadi—pure works of art.

    So, while I still do not feel that I have quite found the words to express my feelings, I trust I have satisfied the bear for the day.

    Keep strong; this too shall pass,
    Joel

    1. Author

      Joel, words aren’t always easy, but you did just fine. Thank you for this. It means the world to me. Now i need to go give that bear a salmon. He gets a treat every time he pressures someone into commenting. 😂🐻

  14. I am waiting for your bundles to download and can’t wait to read them. I stuck to the suggested 20 dollars, I would have liked to have given more but, as a pensioner in South Africa, our currency is down the tubes and 20 dollars translates to a lot more here. I admire your attitude to your amputation and will keep you in my prayers for a successful and painfree prosthetic experience.

    1. Author

      Sue, I am grateful for your generosity, thank you. I promise not to squander it. I feel like I have a chance at a new life and I plan to live it out loud as best as I can.

  15. David, I just heard about the news. Get better soon, and I want to tell you that your book was the first book that I read as I started my photographic journey. I have been photographing for 8 years now and I look forward to hearing about your new adventures.

    1. Author

      Thank you for that, Vivek.You have no idea how meaningful it is to me to know that in some way I’ve been walking with you on this journey. New adventures await!

  16. I’ve just heard your news and wanted to send you sheaves of healing arrows across the ether. I loved this concept when they were sent to me from the other side of the world at a time of loss and I hope you find it helpful too. I was reading one of your books last week as I always turn to them when I want to rekindle my enthusiasm for taking pictures. Now you are inspirational in how you are dealing with the amputation. With your philosophy on life and your determination, you will overcome and the world will be your oyster again. You will always be an inspiration to me.

  17. Hi David,

    I have been a long time fan of yours and I’ve only just caught up to your “life update”… A part of me is sad and wants to commiserate with you… But mostly I am so impressed (!) by your “decision”. Obviously I do not know the level of pain that you were experiencing, but nevertheless, it takes an incommensurable amount of courage as well as an uncompromising stand on life worth living…It also takes a lot of love from those closest to us to “empower” one to take such a drastic decision…I am glad that at this very junction in your life, you are enjoying such unconditional love!

  18. Intimacy, courage and creativity… in your photography, your inspirational teaching, and you sharing – you have embodied each. Thank you – bets wishes on your journey.

  19. Dear David,

    I’m very sorry to read this news, which I’m sure is very hard to take. I’ve just bought your digital books and wallpapers, and I hope that my modest contribution can help improve this period of downtime. My heart goes out to you, come back soon, we miss you!

    Claire
    from France, member of 4 of your training courses and reader of many of your inspiring books.

  20. David!

    This is Olof from Sweden. When I started taking photography seriously (as a happy amateur) many years ago, I looked for guidance. I was frustrated to find lots of technical guides to post processing etc. because I knew that that wasn’t what I needed. I found your book Within The Frame that was new at that time. That book was just what I needed. It gave me a different way of thinking about photography than the pure technical. I have followed you since then. I’ve read many of your books and many of the e-books from Craft & Vision and I have gone through two of your online video classes. You remain the most influential voice for me when it comes to my photography hobby.

    My current goal is to go from single shots to “bodies of work”. Your video course on that helped me a lot. Again, I knew how Lightroom works, but your attitude towards organisation was super helpful. I have now bought your pack of monographs to serve as even more inspiration as I hope to make some of my own.

    I wish you the speediest possible recovery and I hope that the scary way you have chosen will help you open up more possibilities.

    For the love of the photograph,
    Olof

  21. …when I first read the subject line of your email I immediately closed the whole program because I didn’t want to read neither your mail nor any other for the moment. The next day I made sure that I wouldn’t be alone when reading it and then managed to do so. It cost me some courage to begin but then the huge amount of your courage was so impressive that I felt something like awe in the face of your mental strength and the attitude with which you live through the things happening to you, and this covered all oher aspects.

    My experience with severe loss is: A (meanwhile small) part of me is inconsolable and will stay so forever. A (much bigger) part was able to get back to life and to even enjoy it. For me this process took a lot of time – several years. I wish you to be faster and I’m sure you will… 🙂

  22. This will be coming to you at the end of hundreds or thousands of well wishes. Mine is a bit delayed because when I read the subject line, I just didn’t want to open the message. But, having been a student and follower of yours for most of my photographic life, I also couldn’t delete it. I just found the calm to read your message today. I’m sending all my hope and prayers for a speedy and truly awesome recovery from your surgery, leading to great success integrating they prosthesis into your journeys ahead.

    Thank you for sharing your challenges and choices. While I’m sad for your your suffering, I’m filled with joy for your future and inspired by your courage. I’m looking forward to seeing your adventures continue.

  23. Wish you the best with your surgery and recovery. Thanks for sharing your story. You always have been and always will be an inpiration to us all. Have enjoyed your work and love for humanity and the natural world for many years. Looking forward to hearing and seeing about your future adventures.

    michael jach

  24. David, you are an inspiration to others much beyond photography. Heal quickly and return doing what your heart desires.

    Be well,
    Richard Clompus

    1. David, your challenge is daunting but clearly your spirit is endless. I truly believe there has never been a better time to test the boundries of prosthetic medicine. I wish you the very best in your quest for these improvements.

      All the best,
      Bridget

  25. Dear David,
    Thanks for sharing with us what you’re going through. I’ve been following you for 6 years and I remember well when you talked about your accident in the interview with Laurent Breillat in Kenya some years ago. Removing your foot wasn’t an easy decision, but certainly was the right one, and I’m very happy to read that everything went well and that you’re now feeling relieved and happy.

    Thank you for being there for us! I love your work and vision, which has been a turning point in my photography practice. I’m beyond grateful for all I’ve learned from you so far through your photographs, books and classes. So, the least I could do is to support you and participate in your recovery 🙂

    Keep staying strong and positive! I wish you a smooth recovery and I have no doubt you’ll soon be able to get back on your creative journey and enjoy your active life and new adventures.

    All my best wishes to you and Cynthia and greetings from Brussels
    Nathalie

  26. Please remember the many things that you have accomplished, David, especially the enjoyment and knowledge that you communicated to so many people, rather than regretting lost opportunities. “Life is full of insurmountable opportunities” [Pogo}

  27. I have followed you since we met at your workshop years ago in Vancouver. Your photographs are always inspiring because they are informed by your creative life – open to new ideas and courageous enough to pursue them. Your foot amputation is at the top of courageous. Thanks for being so open and willing to share your story, and so elegantly writing about the range of emotions you experienced. I send you good wishes and healing energy as you continue in your recovery. I look forward to your next photography projects as I’m sure this experience will influence what they will be.

    Margaret

  28. Dear David,

    Wishing you a speedy recovery from your surgery and a smooth comeback to your photography journey. I’ve been a fan of both your photographs and your writings for 10 years. When people asked me “Who is your photography mentor?”, my answer is always “DavidduChemin, please follow and learn from him”.

    You inspired me to be more than just a ‘mere photographer’. Can’t hardly wait to see your next artwork. Get well soon ya.

    Cheers!
    From Malaysia

  29. Hi David
    I just wanted to say hello, send you lots of love & say I’m thinking of you. I can’t imagine the emotional journey you must have been on in your lead up to surgery, and the journey you are still on. Thank you for sharing in your beautiful heartfelt way. Your courage and openness is so inspiring, and here you are motivating others to live to the fullest while going through an incredibly difficult time. Thank you for that! I wish you the best for your recovery. Much love to both you and Cynthia. xoxox

  30. David, hello. It’s been awhile since we connected but I’m still following along, always inspired and moved by your vision, gifts and abilities, this latest tangent is no different. Have been thinking about you, understanding through your gift of words just how challenging this all is and no doubt for Cynthia as well. I know you will find a way through it. Thinking about you and wishing you as smooth a recovery as possible. All good at my end and still doing.
    All the best,
    Lisa.

  31. I’ve been behind on my emails and was actually doing a mass deletion when yours caught my attention. I have no idea what this must be like but I know loss and disappointment and fear are feelings we can all relate to, so know that you are not alone. You’re specific journey is unique to you but we can all understand how precious it is have a family and a community that supports you and wants you know that when you’re feeling at your worst, we are hear cheering you through. Thoughts and prayers for a good recovery and strength to take the next step.

  32. Rest and journey well, David; prayers for strength, peace, and hope. Chase curiosity—beauty will find you. Thank you for all the years you have shaped my learning; may you enjoy many, many more doing what you love.

  33. David,
    First of all, I’m sorry about my bad English. I speak French and I do not want tu use any translator. So, for every single wrong word, it is my fault at 100%. 🙂
    Really I’m sad to learned than you have lost one foot, and you are in my mind in this bad time.
    The first week after the surgery was bad, and may be it will be the same for the second one, but after this, every next day will be better than the last one… in your leg, in you’re mind and in your heart.
    You are a man with conviction, with talent, with gut, a great self-confidence and with a positive mind. A man can not achieve what you did without this, especially with all those years of suffering.
    This is the reason why I’m not worried about your future.
    Je vais terminer avec quelques mots en français. Si tu as le temps, tu pourras les mettre dans un traducteur, tu as ma permission! 🙂
    J’aimerais te dire que je me suis abonné à ton info-lettre parce que je cherchais des trucs et astuces pour progresser en photo en français, et que j’ai cliqué sur ton lien parce que tu avais un nom francophone!
    La bonne nouvelle, c’est que je suis resté avec toi après avoir réalisé mon erreur!
    Bonne journée David!

  34. David–We met only once, at one of your workshop/seminars in Vancouver, and enjoyed it very much. I have followed your blog and read many of your books, and find them helpful and inspiring. I hope that your recovery goes without any complications, and you will soon be mobile again.

  35. Contrary to you I’m not a writer, and can’t express in a powerful way how much I have learned from you over the years. You’ve taught me what it’s like to be a good human. (And yes, you’ve also taught me about photography. ) I wish you and Cynthia the very best as you begin this new chapter. Kudos to you for your openness as you navigate all this.

  36. Thank you for all the inspiration David. I don’t always read your emails but when I do I always get something useful and meaningful from them. My photography has definitely improved as a result of listening to you, thank you.
    I’m happy to have been able to give you a small donation to help you along your current journey back to mobility and adventure. I hope it at least brings a small smile to you. I shall certainly enjoy looking at your images that I now have access to.
    Keep focussing on a positive future and heal as fast as you can. Sending love from Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹 Rachel

  37. Hi, David, I was happy to make a contribution and download your monographs in hopes of getting you up and traveling the world once again. You were incredibly kind to me several years ago when I mentioned I was a literal starving artist at the time and I’ve never forgotten that. I’m doing great now and I know you will be up and running on your bionic leg soon!! 🙌

  38. You’ve given so much, David. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to give back. I won’t pretend to know what it’s like to lose a foot, or to know what it is like to walk in your shoe, but I believe we’ve all suffered. I know that suffering helps us to be more compassionate. I wish you growth and love.

  39. I am both shocked by your decision and heartened by your recovery. I’m not sure I would be as brave if I was in the same circumstances. I hope it works out for you, and I want to see your work for as long as I can.

    Take Care.
    Steve

  40. Hi David,

    I’ve had you in my thoughts the past couple of weeks, since I first read about your amputation, and I’ve been sending healing energy your way. With your latest newsletter it sounds as though things are moving along with your recovery and you still have your sense of humor…which is good. 😊

    You have been a huge source of inspiration for me over the years, and I always give credit to you when I do talks about my photography, because it has meant so much to me and has made a great impact. But, that inspiration I’ve had from you over the years has been about so much more than just photography. It has been about creativity, about life, about humanity…it has always been all-encompassing. What you offer the world is a true and meaningful gift, and I’m grateful for you.

    I’m sure Cynthia is taking excellent care of you and keeping you in line. LOL! I send my love and healing energy to the both of you! Thank you both for all you do to make this world a better place.

    Stephanie

  41. Hello David,
    I was very moved by your story and struggles. I think it was very brave to share everything with us.
    I hope you are feeling a bit better now, and that everything goes well for you going forward.
    Please believe this comes from the heart, that if there is anything, (don’t know what) I could do apart from buying
    your downloads, which I have done, please just let me know. I will do what I can.
    Thank you,
    Best wishes.
    Lynne

  42. David, I was really moved by your blogs through this uncomfortable (!) occasion. I’ve always valued your gentle and wise comments about photography … so much more than taking photos, but having the eye to see it and make it, having a vision to live in and to deliver from. Particularly I have valued your comments from a couple of years ago that keep cropping up: that all the ‘failures’ are not that but sketches on our way to getting the imagined and now seen image.

    And like one of the comments above this – your posts are always so deeply personal and upward looking, I feel like I know who you are (and that I’d love to meet and prove that!).

    So get well at your own and your leg’s time, I know you will be learning during it and I am very looking forward to reading your posts in the future.

    Hugh

  43. Hi David – I was so moved by your candid and heartfelt emails and the obvious agony you have been struggling with, physically and emotionally, in how to deal with the ongoing trauma from your long-ago fall. Having just recently opted for a cochlear implant I have some understanding of the fear and uncertainty and the weighing of risks and possible benefits (and am now reaping those benefits). I sincerely hope for a good outcome for you and a smooth transition to your new way of being. I have long appreciated your photographs, your teaching, your perspective on photography and your ability to communicate with humour and humility. I am happy for you that you have chosen a path that will more than likely help you to continue doing what you love and are so gifted at doing. Take care,

    1. Hi David,
      I have just returned from holiday & was shocked to see your personal note. What a tough time you & your family are going through- my heart goes out to you all. It was very brave of you to reach out to us all & share your very difficult journey. However, it is great to see as always you are full of positivity and humour. I have all your books and a number of your tutorials – in fact the one in Varanasi inspired me to go there and, as I think I told you, I ended up having an exhibition of the photos taken there. I have been hanging out to join one of your photographic tours – here’s hoping your “can do” attitude means I can join you on tour one day. In the meantime rest up , recover well and keep in contact with us all – you are my hero and inspiration !
      Warmest wishes for a speedy and good recovery.
      Louise Binns

  44. I hope you heal up quickly! You’ve been an inspiration to me over the years and I really appreciate the skill you have in communicating that has upped my creative spirit in more than just photography.

  45. Dear David,
    I’m happy to see from your smile you’re recovering well.
    I’m sure you will do more and even better than before.
    Thanks for your sharing of all your knowledge and even more of your personal story.
    This evening I was listening to this song and testimony, and I had the desire to share it with you
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xx0d3R2LoU&list=RDfEwDx8YJndU&index=8
    Hope you’ll get better soon!
    God Bless you,
    Fabio

  46. My condolences on your loss, and bravo for your decision.

    As a senior photographer currently living in a retirement village, I’m not unfamiliar with loss of limbs, body functions, memory and life itself. But I’m also familiar with humor and laughter–MAJOR laughter.

    I’m not referring to smiles, titters, giggles and snorts, all of which certainly have their place–but major belly laughs that can be heard frequently throughout the village. I consider it an off day if I don’t experience at least 3-4 of these eruptions myself, and I do my best to also evoke them in others. This is not a novel prescription, of course, but one which has existed for thousands of years.

    In any case, it’s a part of the aerobic routine that puts a spring in my step and warm feelings inside. As you have brought laughter to others, be sure that you continue to corral some for yourself.

  47. Hello David,

    As a professional photographer and workshops organizer in France, I’m constantly looking for teaching more than “getting a good picture”, so your books and online courses have been a great inspiration for years, in my professional work as well as in my personnal life as a photographer. I found nothing equivalent in France. Your message gives me the opportunity to thank you for the huge contribution you gave to photographers, looking for better stories, poetry and personnal vision.

    I have no doubt your passion for photography and sharing with others will help you to overcome this obstacle, and continue your journey as a deeper person and photographer. I’m sure I will continue to read from you soon !

    As you says, “for the love of Photography”,
    Loïc

  48. David,

    I love your work. Be it photographs, books, podcasts, courses, or anything else. Sorry to hear about your surgery but it seems you are content with your decision and making the best of a tough situation. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing more amazing things from you.

    Jon

  49. Hi David and Cynthia.

    It sounds as though it was time, pure and simple — the “should I?” turning into an “I must.” I think of you both daily; there’s a South Carolinian cheering you on.

    Thank you for taking us all into your confidence and into your lives. You continue to enrich and inspire by sharing your story.

    Blessings, Janet

  50. For many years now, I have admired your philosophy, your generosity and your wonderful pictures. Now I have one more reason to admire you for your courageous decision. I have learned so much from you through your courses that I am grateful for all that you have given to me. I was away on a trip to photograph the beautiful Saint-Lawrence River when your e-mail came in. So it took some time before I could send you my best wishes for a full recovery to connect again with your camera and the wildlife. A beautiful life is still ahead of you.

  51. David, it is hard for me to find the right words. It must have been unbearably painful for a long time to come to such a decision. It takes a lot of courage and that is admirable.

    Despite the circumstances you were always humorous, creative and helpful. Your most recent messages show that you haven’t lost your humor and positive thinking. You are a great role model for everyone who is in a similar situation.

    I look forward to the many wonderful pictures you will still share with the world. All the best for your recovery!

  52. Dear David

    We haven’t met in person but I feel that I know you from your work, books, lessons, and teaching. Your willingness to share such a moving personal story, in a way, feels like what you do with your photography, sharing a part of yourself through your images. Perhaps the feeling is just as important as the seeing in making photos. It takes real bravery to put yourself so publicly Within the Frame; thank you for sharing.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery and reduced pain.

    David

  53. My prayers are for you and your family to navigate this challenging time with peace and strength. My daughter passed away twelve years ago and I know from that experience that life’s challenges can be heavy and deeply personal. There is not much that can be said to lighten the burden but just know that you have inspired many, myself included.

  54. David,

    I’ve been a fan of your work since the first days of Craft & Vision when your books were $5 each. I think have almost every one of them and enjoy them to this day. I’ve also taken two of your online classes and viewed several of your videos. It’s not just the quality of your work or your teaching that’s so compelling – it’s the creative and comprehensive environment you’ve created to support yourself with quality content supporting others. I’m a better photographer because of it all.

    Although I was aware of your accident and to a lesser extent, it’s severity. Before these recent posts regarding your surgery decisions, there was little in your marketing or professional demeanor that indicated the degree of pain and daily impact of your situation… that’s just another testament to who you are.

    I wish you the best in your recovery and share the optimism for all the positive changes to your mobility and life in general that your courageous decision will bring in the years ahead.

  55. David,
    I had no idea you were contemplating this huge step and I admire your incredible courage for doing what needs to be done so you can move on with your life and travels. I have many injuries and ongoing pain and I know how it can take over your sense of hope and drive to move forward. I agree with the comments above, I hope your recovery is speedy and uneventful – very unlike your first night of recovery – though those moments do make for the great stories of life.

    I wanted to donate more but clicked the wrong button and only gave $20. Can I go through the process again to give a new amount?

    Anyway, take care of yourself, and keep us all updated on your progress. I still have it on my bucket list to join you on that annual Safari in Africa so make sure you keep fit as I don’t know when I will be able to come. 🙂

    All the best, Leni Johnston

    As a side note, after your help with my portfolio review, I made lots of changes before I did the Palm Springs Portfolio Review last fall. And while no one said, “You are an amazing artist. I want to represent you at my gallery.!” 😉 I did get a lot of good feedback and some new ideas to take my work in different directions. I even took one of the ideas and put up some of my work at a local cafe in the way the person suggested. It got some really great reactions so Yay! Onward and upward.

  56. David,

    You have never met me, yet I feel I have known you, at some level, for many years. You have been my photography guru for over a decade. You first introduced me to the power of Lightroom with Vision & Voice, and have taught me countless skills through multiple books and courses. And you have had an enormous impact on my understanding of both the craft and art of photography. You have such a warm, personable, accessible style — I know many others will share that feeling that while they are strangers to you, you are an old friend.

    When my son was born 10 years ago with multiple disabilities, my life took an unexpected turn. It is hard not to fear what the future holds. But I distinctly remember telling myself that everything would be okay because I get to decide that everything would be okay. And though the story progressed differently than how I had expected, it has been filled with such joy. The road ahead of you took a sharp turn, and you will walk it differently, but from everything I know about you, I know you have the capacity to embrace the journey with courage, curiosity, humor, and soul. And from your second post, I know you’re off to a good start.

    I am grateful for all you have added to my life, photographically and otherwise, and I am energized by the thought of how much more I will learn from you.

    Cheers,

    Eric

  57. David,
    You haven’t lost the art of getting out attention with your headline. Wishing you an uneventful recovery that will help you move more easily and with little or no pain. In recovering from damage to both of my ankles I learned to look at what new things I was able to do each day, not what I still couldn’t do. Eventually things improved and in the end probably better than prior to the injuries.

    We’ll look forward to you being able to resume your active photographic life. My camera club may be interested in a talk during late fall or winter.

    Take care.

  58. David, So many positive thoughts coming your way that I’m not sure how to capture it in a few sentences. You helped me out with some goodwill and encouraging words once when I had been discouraged and felt like giving up after a group critique. Your words meant more to me than you could ever know. I see by all the comments here that your words mean so much to so, so many people. Thank you for all of it.

    I’m so very happy that you are going to be able to go off on new adventures soon, may this be the beginning of a wonderful new era for you.

  59. David, so very sorry to hear about your foot but am awed by your bravery in this situation. Given your attitude to life that shines through all your newsletters, I’m sure you will be back to all the things you love soon. I won’t be travelling to far flung places any more, but your inspirational images and blog make me feel as though I’ve visited them. Take care and don’t rush things – one of my failings! Sue

  60. Dear David,
    your note struck me like lightning — that must have been a very difficult decision!

    I can feel with you, as I have a somewhat comparable health problem myself: I am deaf since 30 years now and the only thing, that could possibly help me to understand better than now, would be a cochlea implant. But that operation has a 50% chance to lose the very rest of your natural hearing. Normally that is no problem, as with the cochlea implant you hear much better. But in my case things are a bit special, as I have a big chance, that my skin will not stand the mechanical contact to the outer parts of the implant — and then there’s no way back, I will stay without any hearing, much worse than now. So I am always thinking, whether I should do that operation or not …

    I think, this situation makes me feel very well, what you must have gone through the last twelve years. I very much hope, that your decision turns out to be the best thing, you could do in your situation, and that the fears, you probably went through, are meaningless.

    In the moment I wished, English was my mother’s tongue — it is quite difficult to express ones feelings in a foreign language …

    I wish you all the best for the coming days, weeks and months!

  61. Hi David!

    What a devastating choice to have to confront, even when it’s clear that there is no better way forward. After everything you have endured with that foot, too! I remember following your long road to recovery after the accident: your courage and determination, always so impressive, continue to inspire me whenever I have to face up to rehab after knee injuries etc. There is no incentive like wanting to keep on travelling and photographing!

    Very best wishes for the procedure and a speedy and effective rehab afterwards.

    Andrée

  62. Hi David. I’m strongly impacted by your personal situation. I met you (and also Alan) 11 years ago, in the middle of a muddy Dempster Highway. You helped to me to resolve my problem with a cracked tire. I’ve never forgotten this special moment. Now is the moment to me to give you encoraugement to start a new life with your special point of view. I’ve no doubt that you succeed.
    From Spain, the best of the best for you,
    Roberto Bueno

  63. Dear David,
    Thank you for taking the time to fill us in and allow us to send love and support your way. I have followed you, learned from you, and been inspired BY you for years. You wrote so beautifully, and authentically, and it is important to me (us) to be able to know and reach out in this way.

    Hopefully, knowing how much you are respected, loved, and supported will be a large part in helping you make it through this tough time. And, i am sure that all the learning and growth that you experience, will be passed on to us at some point, in your inimitable, exquisite fashion. With love and appreciation, Rebecca

    1. I have no words. I remember your story about falling in Italy but was sure you had slowly recovered. Thank you for the update. I truly hope the surgery gives you your mobility back.

      Stay strong

      Claude

  64. I am absolutely speachless… i’ve been around for many many years… i do remember the accident but for some reason i thought all is good… huh…. what to say…. i do admire the courage… one (i?) would just give up…
    i wish you all best… fast recovery… no pain…
    a new beginning…. good luck David!

  65. Oh, David… I only read about all this today, I’m travelling and missing emails as usual… and what an incredible email that was! I never knew about your foot, so this came as a complete surprise.

    What can I say! You incredibly brave man, I can well imagine the decision spinning in your head all this time. Agonising. Yet I suppose we know when something is right, as crazy as it may sound.

    I had been thinking about you quite a lot since last year too, as we never did organise our Fab Chat and I regretted it. And then some of my own issues took over and the time had passed.

    I’m so glad about the way you feel right now. So positive and eager to move forward (literally!), and such a wonderful example to everyone. I love reading your stories and this one beats them all.

    I’m looking forward to reconnecting, and who knows… once your bionic foot gets kicking, maybe Italy is where we’ll meet.

    I’ll bring the tequila this time. A big hug.
    Fab

  66. Hi David
    I met you years ago at a conference you put on in Vancouver and you’ve been an influence in my life since then. Thanks for the photography advice and ideas, and thanks for the insights on life. I’m one of the may lives you’ve touched and you’ve made a difference.
    I expect you will continue to do that for people, given who you are, and I also expect that missing a foot won’t change that at all.
    Thanks for everything.

  67. David,
    I have followed your work for many years and have drawn great inspiration from your artistic insight so well communicated, but equally your humility and candour (and underlying sense of humour!). The courage you are showing in facing your current situation continues to inspire. Wishing you a speedy recovery and everything of the best going forward.
    Warm Regards.

  68. Holy Batman what a bomb! Glad the surgery went as hoped. Wishing you a remarkable recovery and a productive rehab. What a tough and brave decision. Hope you regain excellent mobility and are soon up and about getting into all sorts of adventures once again. Me and your friends over at the Trinidad & Tobago Photographic Society!

  69. So glad to hear that you have come out the other side feeling hopeful and well, and with your humor fully intact. I’ve followed you for about ten years. At that point, I’d been doing underwater photography for 16 years (as hobby) and wanting to elevate my topside photography. And there you were (virtually) to inspire me as well as remind me to keep it real. Then I got to watch your journey into underwater photography as well. Thank you so much for all the gems, writings, beautiful images, and insights about photography, creativity and life. I look forward to more.

    With much gratitude,
    Linda

  70. Over the years, when spotting a new email from you in my inbox, I smile inwardly knowing that inspiration and humour await this lucky reader. Thank you for sharing your “foot” story. The time you spent in the ward after surgery sounds horrendous. Even so, you managed to make me laugh out loud! I am looking forward to more emails advising of your progress. All the best to you and to Cynthia.

  71. Dear David,
    As ever, I am inspired by your optimism, your fortitude, and your wisdom. I wish you a speedy recovery, and I hope with all my heart that this gives you back your mobility. I look forward to many more vicarious adventures through your pictures and words. I can’t remember when I first discovered your writing, but I can confidently say that you’ve influenced my photography more than anyone else in my life. You’ve also been my therapist when I feel like I’m no good at what I’m trying to do. Your words are ever with me when I’m photographing, editing, and talking to people about art and creativity. It’s truly wonderful and amazing that you can take a situation that would scare the daylights out of me and approach it with optimism and humor.
    It is thanks to you that I started on a particular photographic journey almost five years ago. After reading your advice on going deep on a subject in order to master it, I decided to only photograph people for one year. Before that, I had been photographing everything I saw, and it was all superficial. One year and only people. That was the promise to myself. No more cute squirrels in the park. No more weird buildings or bridges at sunset and all that. You gave me the courage to start asking people to sit for portraits. You gave me the confidence to treat the whole thing as important, even if I didn’t know if it was ever going to go anywhere or be any good. I pulled up after almost a year and a half and took one picture of a seagull, just to tell myself that it was my rule so I could break it if I wanted to. That’s your influence there, as well. Now, almost five years later, I’m still on the same journey and it just keeps pulling me in deeper and deeper. When I talk to people about my photography, I always tell them about how you helped get me started in this direction, with your advice to “Make your art, anyway, no matter what” or something close to that.
    I also often think about your story about traveling around the country, yelling out the window, “You’re doing it wrong!” None of the photographers I know use the same equipment I do. None of them use the same editing software. Their pictures don’t look like mine. The doubts start to creep in, and then I imagine my inner demons zooming by on the highway yelling, “You’re doing it wrong!” and I can laugh and remember that there is no wrong way to do it. With that, I get back on my feet, so to speak, and pick up the camera again and get back to it.
    All of this is my poor attempt to try to let you know what a positive influence you’ve been on my creative life. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have even thought that I had a creative life, but I do now. Thanks to you, I can almost call myself a photographer!
    I wish you a speedy recovery and many, many wonderful adventures to come. I hope you understand what an incredible, positive influence you are. Thank you for that!

  72. Hello David, I had no idea you had been in such pain and suffering. Along road may lie ahead but hopefully it will not be tooooooo long before you are mobile and able to get about and take photographs. meantime rest up and get strong. When you can then go on writing..always good stuff from you.

  73. David, I am at a loss for words when it comes to what you experienced when you fell those many years ago and how it has impacted your life ever since. I was in your workshop on PEI just last summer, and the ways you inspire me continue to evolve. Of course it started with your photographs, but you quickly added your ability to teach, your sense of humor, your way with words. And now we’ve added your ability to take one of life’s greatest punches and still land on your feet. Or perhaps I should say your foot.

    You take care David. I wish you and Cynthia nothing but the best.

  74. Hi David,

    My heart goes out to you during these difficult days. I hope the pain is decreasing and your recovery is going well.
    Your spirit and positive attitude will get you through this. I have you and Cynthia in my prayers as well as my thoughts.
    You have inspired me so much through your beautiful photography and I thank you for that!
    Hugs to you and Cynthia during these difficult days.

    Carla

  75. Dear David

    I am so very sorry that you have to go through all this. Thank you for sharing this with us all.
    I wish you a good recovery, good courage, all the patience you need, and an inner antenna for all the good wishes that are being sent to you now, through this channel or just simply through our hearts. In any language.
    Thank you for everything. Get well soon.

    With my best thoughts to you and to Cynthia,
    Vera.

  76. I had to read this several times to absorb. As one who was told 28 years ago that I could die from treatment that could save my life, I understand uncertainty, fear, anxiety and also perseverance and refusal to give up. The stories I’ve seen recounted in the comments above mirror those facing difficult and challenging and life-changing situations. You are and have been one of those who will be okay on the other side of this, changed but okay and, perhaps, even better. How can we not be when we face what we need to face openly and honestly. My prayers are for you and Cynthia and the rest of your family and close friends to move forward with you in the healing and the work that will come to light in that process. Thank you for being you and for doing “you”.
    Blessings for the journey.

    1. David, I did not know about this part of your life but from what I’ve learned from you and your advice on the photographic journey, I don’t really feel concerned about you. Somehow, that same vision you help to bring to us, I feel will bring you through well in this challenge. The same reason, vision, and approach you take to your photography and lessons to us will serve you very well in this challenge. Though I don’t know you personally, please accept my confidence and wishes for you and your family as you travel through this. I imagine you already have all the strength and support you need in your family and friends around you. Your friend, David

  77. David,

    I hope you’re recovering well. And more so hope that in the end this surgery and prosthesis will help you get back to where you want to be.

    I still cherish that morning in Rome when we walked miles together chatting, taking photos and ending up at the Vatican where we saw people taking selfies with the Pope. Or more accurately taking photos with the Pope giving an address in the background. Hopefully this surgery will bring you back to more long days of walking, wandering, photographing and making friends.

    Take care and heal well.

    Dave

  78. Ahh! My well wishes for an as-good-as-it-can-get recovery to you. I hear from your essay that you have been able to overcome the fear, doubt and uncertainty that goes along with such a difficult situation. Here is a lesson to all of us from your experience; savour today for you may not have a similar one tomorrow, be kind and gentle with all since this may be the last time you will have an opportunity to be so.
    This blog post with many hundreds of notes will give you the heart and strength to recover and move on with your head high and you heart full of compassion.
    We all send you the power to overcome such a hard challenge.
    Good fortune to you.

  79. David,
    You are an inspiration to me. Your thoughts and tips have helped improve my photography. Thanks for all you do. Our family is praying for your speedy recovery.

    Sincerely
    Walter Madej

  80. I wish you a very successful recovery from your surgery. What a year it has been for you, as you had to consider so many challenging issues. You sound settled and very strong today. Your bravery and courage is applauded.
    I remember you well, when you came to Winnipeg a number of years ago, to do a workshop with the Manitoba Photo Events. You are an excellent photographer and so willing to share your knowledge and skills with anyone who asks. This is the beginning of a new journey in your life and one that I look forward to seeing in all the photographic adventures that you will take.
    Stay well, and take care of one another.

  81. Hi David,
    Just read what you went through in the last weeks, months and years. The decision to go with amputation must have been a painful process in itself, but the best decision in the circumstances. At least now the perspective is a closer to normal level of activity once the prosthesis and the physiotherapy are optimized.
    I wish you all the best in the weeks and months to come, and a rapid return to your photography, travels and teaching.
    I’ve always enjoyed immensely your books and your style of teaching and I was so happy you could give a conference to our camera club (Club photo de Sherbrooke) a couple of years ago.
    I’m sending you my heart-felt wishes that you may get back on your feet (!) very soon!

  82. Hi David,
    I’m not terribly eloquent with words, but I just wanted to wish you a speedy recovery and to tell you how much I have enjoyed your books!
    Sincerely,
    Christy

  83. Oof – catching up on your story this morning David and my heart goes out to you. That is tough.

    I’m just going to leave a quick note here today, mirroring your voice back to you: you’re not alone on this wonderful creative journey. And this goes not just for your work but the creative spirit you bring into every unique relationship and situation in your life.

    You got this.

  84. Hi David,

    You do not know me but I have been reading your newsletters and visiting your website for years.

    I have learned a lot by doing so, both about photography and about a photographer’s life.

    Thank you for that!

    I am sorry to hear about your amputation. I must have been selectively reading your content because I did not know about your situation.

    I am the founder of the Bahamian Project… a small, underfunded, not-for-profit photography initiative started 12 years ago, that has grown into a “thing” here in The Bahamas.

    The Project is dedicated to documenting the character and preserving the legacy of those whose lives best display the character that defines “what it means to be Bahamian”.

    My wife and I, along with 21 other photographers have taken over 150 portraits of the people who have helped shape the heart & soul of our island nation.

    Anyway, I wanted to send you a link to one of the portraits I took of a young woman, whose cancer diagnosis, when she was in her early twenties, made her decide to have one of her legs amputated.

    https://www.bahamianproject.com/2013/01/erin-brown/

    She is now a celebrated disability advocate (and triathlete) who has never missed a step, despite her handicap. I greatly admire her continued positive attitude as she motivates others who have challenges with their own disabilities.

    I hope this portrait encourages you as Erin’s actions and activities have encouraged others.

    Thank you again for your contributions to photography. If you ever desire a Bahamas vacation, please reach out so we can make it the best vacation of your life.

    Oh, and bring a camera. 🙂

    All the Best,
    Duke Wells

  85. Wow-I’m in total shock. I never knew about your injury and subsequent surgery. We’ve never met, but I often quote you in my iPhone workshops – all about “Composition and Creativity”.

    Thank you for your artistic inspiration and now your personal journey. You have uplifted me with your words today. Know that you are loved.
    With best hopes for a speedy recovery,
    Ryn Clarke

  86. David, like others here, I feel for you and wish mere words could help. Going through some Old Person stuff myself, I can empathise with emotional ups and downs radical life changes bring. A sense of humour can alter the cognitive experience a bit, and you seem to have that.

    And if the real David is anything like your public persona, you’ve a solid foundation of strength and humility to draw on. Telling us about your surgery and asking for support shows you also have wisdom and courage.

    Sometimes a pat on the head and a Poor Baby can do wonders. So imagine both from me.

  87. Hi David
    I would like to add my wishes to everyone else for a speedy recovery, and that you and Cynthia continue with your shared strength to face your rehabilitation with determination.

    I have written and re-written this message to you a number of times, still not k owing if I was going to send it but having just read you update I decided that I should. I showed my daughter your first post and will be showing her your update, as I am sure that reading it will help her and her decision. So thank you for that, it takes courage to be so open about such a personal issues.

    I found your honesty about your decision to have your foot amputated rather moving. My daughter will be facing the same decisions you had soon. As a teenager she broken her right ankle in a rock bouldering accident, at the time she faced a 6 hour operation to try to repair it, but the Talia bone never did heal properly and left her with terrible pain. A number of years later she broke her left ankle when she fell sideways through a gate, that she had reached out to stop a fall thinking it was a fence.
    She has had repeated surgeries on both ankles, the lasted on her right ankle was a pioneering surgery to try to help with the pain. However, she unfortunately was in a car accident a few months after the surgery which undid any improvements that were occurring, leaving her in a worse condition. Her only options now are a replacement, which her surgeon doesn’t think will work or like you an amputation. She is 37 years old, with two children 8 & 5 yrs old. But as she says desperate times requires desperate measures I will be listening to your recovery with great personal interest. We live in the U.K. so things maybe very different here.

    With very best wishes for your recovery and getting back into two feet.

  88. Hello David!

    My apologies for sending a late note – I’ve been disconnected from the online world and am just now getting caught up on everything.

    I’m gutted to hear of your situation. I can’t imagine the fear you’ve been going through. Hopefully the hope of the good that may come of this is somewhat balancing the scales. Though I know if it were me, there would be little chance of anything near a balance.

    You are an incredible storyteller David – through both your words and photographs. This does not change that, in any way. Jay Maisel famously said, “if you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” There are many things that can make us more interesting people, but our life experiences comprise a big chunk of that. This is another life experience you’ll go through, and this will make you a more interesting person, thusly making your images all that more interesting. (along with your writing)

    Don’t let this, or anything else, diminish that passion you have for being expressive through your photographs, and sharing how to do so with those of us yearning for that knowledge. You’ve impacted so many of us with your thoughts on expression through the photographic medium, and changed countless lives – don’t ever forget that. There are more lives to be changed, and I’m fully confident you are up to changing those additional lives, by overcoming this obstacle life has thrown at you.

    One of my photographic heroes often said, “Vision matters”. Don’t forget your vision, or your intent.

    I’ll be praying for success at all levels of this procedure and recovery, along with an emotional journey that isn’t too difficult to handle – all while sending you the most positive mojo I can muster.

    Your friend,

    Terrel

  89. You have inspired many of us with your photography, philosophy, and now your personal situation. I can only offer my heartfelt thank you for all you have done for us and wish you the best on your new journey of healing and rehab. God Bless.

  90. I didn’t know what to say when I first read your post 5 days ago, and I still don’t. I have read your books, your posts, and taken your courses for well over 10 years, and I know that not only are you a wonderful photographer, more importantly you are a good person, which is so much more important. All I can say is be well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers,

    David

  91. My wife’s first reaction to my reading her the account of your accident was, “What was so special about that subject that people are risking their lives to photograph it??” Her second was, “Did David know that three people had died there before or after his accident?” 🙂

  92. My wife’s first reaction to my reading her the account of your accident was, “What was so special about that subject that people are risking their lives to photograph it??” Her second was, “Did David know that three people had died there before or after his accident?” 🙂

  93. David, I have enjoyed reading your books and posts for many years. I think that you are incredibly talented at explaining and inspiring both beginning and experienced photographers.
    Here’s to many more years of your health, happiness and helping of others.

  94. I think you’re very brave to have had this surgery. I’m so glad that the surgery is behind you now and you’re home. I hope your recovery will be fast and that you can pursue your dreams again.

  95. All the best, David! You have inspired me for a very long time and I remember when your accident happened. I am sure that you will muster the strength to get through this.

  96. Happy amputation!!!! Now it can only get better. I am having a second knee replacement next month, the first has become loose and banging around. No Pain is great, although, with the med’s I did create some really good images. Good for you and moving on. I love your books. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. I just found out today from facebook, which I check maybe thrice a year. I have had your books on my night stand for more than 15 years now I would think, and they’ve changed the way I see the world. There’s a little bit of your lessons every time I look into the eyepiece and trigger the shutter, memorialized somewhere for my audience. Me, a random dude in singapore, travelling the world over. That’s how much of an impact you have on me. Strength and courage. Things can only get better.

  97. Dear David

    I hope you are now past the worst and are in full recovery mode. Hoping you heal up fast and completely and that becoming a “bionic” man leads you back to a living a full life without pain.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your teaching and inspiration over many years and you still hold plenty for the future !!!

    All the best to you and your family 🙂 🙂 🙂 Don’t worry about not being the bread winner. I have seen how my brother’s wife managed to step from being a housewife to the breadwinner when my brother was incapacitated from a farm accident so I am sure your wife could as well!! Just keep on with your teaching and your photography when you are up to it again 🙂 🙂 🙂

    lots of luck <3 <3 <3

    Margaret

  98. David,

    Praying that your surgery went well and that you are now back in the “comfort” of your home. Your courage is only exceeded by your profound ability to encourage, mentor and inspire others. I have enjoyed your work now for several years and look forward to receiving your next email! Love and Prayers to you during recovery and throughout your therapy.

    Claire

  99. Dear David,
    I was shocked when I read your personal note and I am still shocked. How could that happen? What can I say? I am speechless. I wish you the best doctors, the best therapy, all support you need from family and friends, and all physical and mental energy and power you need to go through these very hard times. Have a speedy recovery and get well soon. My thoughts are with you.
    Kind regards from Cologne Germany, Uwe

  100. Hi David, I’m wishing you a speedy recovery and hope it is as pain free as possible. Looking at the response above, I think many feel the same way. You are certainly an inspiration to me in my quest to improve my imaging. I look forward to your periodic email and you always manage to hit the nail on the head so to speak. you always find a new target to hit with innovative ideas with a new slant on photography. You have the analytic ability to discover innovative ideas and the ability to hammer the message home. I believe you truly do want to give to your readership like few other educators, thank you for your efforts, and please keep doing what you do so well. A friend, Eugene!

  101. Checking in to say I hope you are well David. Hang in there!!

  102. Get well soon. My positive thoughts and energies are coming your way. Things will get better.

  103. 🙏💗🤗🌻🌿(🦉🐔🐈my favorite animals) (butterflies have short life but transform into beauty🦋) prayers for quick healing and many more years of what you love to do! ~Lisa ann

  104. My thoughts and prayers go with you and your family.

    Recently I completed the BTS course. I’m finishing up ImageStory, with ImageWork in the queue. BTS inspired me to create additional products from my photos, and IS clearly laid out the WHY for the things I’ve been doing, and has inspired me to do more. I’m sure IW will has as big an affect and I can’t wait to dive in. I look forward to you being back at work, producing new content and creating new courses.

    Charlie

  105. David, like everyone else I read your broadcast email with astonishment. Can’t imagine how difficult life was with the foot if this was the better option. I did go to the linked page and downloaded the monographs and image package. Your monographs are always worth viewing and I would encourage everyone else to download them as well (and buy you some groceries while they’re at it). Best wishes, Bill.

  106. Hi David,

    My heart goes out to you. It can’t be easy to start out recover and start fresh after losing a fundamental part of yourself, even one that no longer worked for you.

    And yet, I can’t help thinking that when the time for physical therapy and learning to use your prosthetic foot comes, you’ll embrace the challenge and learn to thrive with it. I recently purchased The Soul of the Camera and just finished the chapter on embracing and setting limitations on our art to force ourselves to discover new ways of seeing. An amputation is not analogous to shooting only with a nifty fifty—I don’t want to trivialize what you’re going through. But it seems like you, more than most people, are well equipped to ultimately find the positive aspects of your situation and accept the challenges.

    My best to you!

    Mark

    1. Good luck to you ! I’m sure you will go through this and you will come back stronger than before! I know you have the Power to do so !
      I loved your work over years and I will wait for new updates!
      My heart is with you

      Richard

  107. I read your post with interest. In April I had a bicycle accident smashed up. My face, broke my right femur, hip broke my left thumb. My story is not as bad as yours. I thought too, that I would never walk again and that it would keep me down. Reading your story he’s giving me heart. It is now June, and I’m walking with a cane and often without a cane wobbling some. I have hope that I will get on my bicycle again and that I too can travel again. Your story inspires me to be the best I can be to not give up. I wish you the best with your recovery. You’ve gotten this far when the going gets really tough just look at your wife and you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come and you have a goal at the end of the tunnel. You’ll bake it , thoughts are with you

  108. David,
    I’ve been following your work, reading your books and I took some of your courses for a while now. Mostly in silence, because that’s how I am. This post touched me like a good friend of mine had to go through this.
    Hope you recover soon, Peter

  109. You have been on a perilous journey…and still are. You have so many fans pulling for you. May the prosthesis give you the relief and mobility you need to continue finding joy in photography. You are one of the most generous photographers around and write and shoot with the soul and eye of the poet. You have long been an inspiration to me. Thank you for inviting us to help out with your mounting costs and rewarding us so amazingly at the same time.

  110. Sometimes life take unexpected turns and we have to take them and flow with them.

    Just go step by step and soon you’ll be making something beautiful again.

    Mucha fuerza para ti y para Cintia.

  111. You are an inspiration to me…. and am sure to many others here as well. I have no doubt that you will not only recover but you will be even better than before. Get Well Soon.

    All the best to you and Cynthia.

  112. Hello David, this is the first time I wrote to you although you have been part of my journey for the last ten years or so, since the first time I had the extraordinary luck or, saying it in other words, since Destiny was kind enough to me to guide me to one of your blog articles when I was just starting with photography as a hobby and researching for ways to learn and improve. The way you look at life and how it shows in your art is really inspirational and motivating, and to me you have been and still are a role model to follow. This late turn of events and how you chose to face it, your decision, and the extraordinary positive attitude on how to look at the future and keep going is an extreme evidence of your strength and your capability to not only drive your own life and change it but also how you as a human being are able to influence and move so many a large number of people like us.
    At every post or mail magazine you always thank us for being part of your journey, but it is WE who thank YOU for allowing us to being part of yours.
    With all my heart and soul I wish you a prompt and safe recovery, sending you the best of vibes and looking forward to your return to continue this journey together, you and all of us.
    I am already enjoying the monographs you offered, these will be my inspiration to go back to whenever I need strength to keep on going. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Namaste and cheers!!

  113. You are proof that we can do hard things! What a challenging time you have had physically for such a long time ( while I knew of your accident, I had no idea what you have been dealing with for years as a result!) and what a difficult and brave decision you made to choose amputation. I will be cheering for you in the weeks ahead post surgery and during the months of rehab as you journey toward this new chapter in your life. May you find your footing once again, traveling and photographing the world, and sharing your life experiences.

  114. You are proof that we can do hard things! What a challenging time you have had physically for such a long time ( while I knew of your accident, I had no idea what you have been dealing with for years as a result!) and what a difficult and brave decision you made to choose amputation. Thank you for years of both photography & life inspiration and challenges to those of us who have much to learn about the art of photography and living our creative lives fully! I recently took your course SRO. I thank you for all that I learned but also for the challenge to face how to grow, thrive, and share my work and my creative life as a photographer. Thanks for being an open and honest human in sharing your physical pain, your fears, and facing such a major decision to reach for a better life for yourself. I will be cheering for you in the weeks ahead post surgery and during the months of rehab as you journey toward this new chapter in your life. May you find your footing once again, traveling and photographing the world, and sharing your life experiences.

  115. I have been inspired by your work and philosophical writings since I started my photographic journey. I am stunned by this turn in your life but have no doubt that after your recovery you will feel you made the right choice. i wish you a speedy rehab and a quick return to doing what you love to do.

  116. Hi David,
    I hope you are recovering well.
    I haven’t followed you long enough to know of what must have been a terrifying accident all those years ago, so your news was startling.
    The reason I choose (and look forward to) YOUR emails among all the others on offer, is that your insights and teachings are so understandable (thank you!), but also because they aren’t just about photography 🙂 You do life coaching pretty well too 🙂
    The fact that you deliver these insights with such generosity, enthusiasm and positivity, while managing the burden of chronic pain, makes me admire and appreciate your efforts even more.
    The only guidance I can offer in return is to say that if you had opted to not have the surgery, “chicken” is the very last thing you would be. To consider such an option is bravery, to undertake it is bravery, and yet another powerful life lesson.
    Best wishes for what I hope is a complete and speedy recovery,
    Megan

  117. I wish you a speedy recovery and a successful rehabilitation. I think it is a courageous step and I have great respect for this decision. But above all, I think it’s good that you’re not resigning but taking this step to regain more quality of life.

  118. David, my heart and my admiration are with you. By now, perhaps things have begun to coalesce and seem meaningful, I hope so. I always look forward to reading what you write ostensibly because you help me understand photography better and always inspire me to think, learn more and practice. I don’t follow a lot of photographers/teachers but your words are always ones I take the time to read and consider. I find I look forward eagerly to your posts not solely because I’m learning photography but, and sometimes mostly because your reflections and wisdom about photography apply to life in general and go go far beyond camera/composition/processing skills and touch on the issues involved with living. Perhaps this experience will deepen that aspect even more. But however I will be ready to read whatever comes next. With best wishes and hopes for a speedy healing process,
    Susan.

  119. David,
    Your blog, your books, and your video series have been an inspiration to me as a budding photography, but even more I admire your approach to the world: your sensitivity, your curiosity, your openness, your compassion, and so much more that all come through in everything you do. You will be teaching us all again soon about photography, and also you will be teaching us what it means to live with courage and to face life’s hardships straight on. I will be surrounding you and yours with prayers, white healing lights, and everything this universe and beyond has to offer in the way of healing, strength, courage, and hope, especially hope. Blessings and strength.

  120. How’s it going David? Hope you are starting to feel more positive about life again. Been looking through your books and the photos are amazing, especially those in Kenya. How did you get so low to get the shots??? We are going in September so you have inspired me to try harder with my shots. Anyway, do hope all is going to plan and you are making good progress.

    Karen Coles

  121. Hello, David,
    As inspiring as your photographs are, your courage, passion and talent for teaching us are even more so. Please know we are all rooting for you through this challenge you are facing. My wish for you and Cynthia is that one day, in the not-too-distant future, you will say, “Yes, life is better! Let’s get creating!”.

  122. Hey David,

    It looks like you have a good list of comments to read through but you asked for it, so I’ll add another one here 😉

    I can only imagine how difficult that decision must have been, even if it’s the one that gives you better chances to recover mobility and have less pain.

    I’m glad to read that the surgery went well, and I hope you continue your recovery and can soon have less pain and more fun. Looking forward to reading and seeing more of your photos, philosophy, courses, and jokes. I bet we will also hear a thing or two about this new foot of yours!

    Take care and all the best to Cynthia and you.

    Cheers,

  123. David I have been on my photographic journey with you for a few years now but I wasn’t aware of the history. Reading your blog post was a big shock to me and it’s clear that you have an enormous amount of courage, first to take the amputation decision and secondly to write in such an honest and personal way about what you are feeling. You are an inspirational photographer and human being and you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Mark

  124. Dave, Congradulations, probably the hardest emotional issue has been conquered, making the decision to have your foot amputated.
    I hope the procedure went well and your immediate recovery goes smothly with no infections.
    Now the hard work is ahead. It will be difficult and there will probably be days you think what the hell did I do. Hang in until the end and you will be rewarded. Please know there are lots of people out here that you have never met that are concerned about your eventual outcome and are providing support and encouragement.

  125. Dear David,

    I have to admit I haven’t opened your newsletters for a long time but I saved all of them because I know they’re worth reading. This morning I clicked on one and read your big news. It’s just like what I remembered: you talk about photos but more often you talk about life and living it. You make a photo in a way how you approach people and life beautifully.

    You make me see what I already have more clearly and appreciate it more deeply. Thank you for your gift!

  126. How wonderful to see all of the messages of love and the prayers on your behalf. Know that Vivian and I are cheering you on and praying that your recovery will be miraculous. Much love and many prayers friend.

  127. Hi David, how are you feeling?
    I imagine you will be reading this in ten years, as there are a beautiful amount of messages before this one.

    From the bottom of my heart, I hope you are well and that the surgery went well. Also, of course, may your recovery be as smooth as possible.

    These days, I have been listening to an Ayurvedic doctor who says: “Whatever happens is right”. And while that is easier said than lived, there is some wisdom there that I find interesting to investigate. We can’t change what happens to us, but we can change the way we live what happens to us. And I know you have a great capacity to make the difficult moments into something kinder and overcome them with time.

    Thank you for sharing such a letter with us. I am grateful that Cynthia is with you at this moment. I am grateful that you have the strength to take such a step.

    I send you a big hug from Patagonia.

  128. Hi David,
    Thank you for sharing your story. You are truly an amazing communicator and a great asset to the photographic community. I sincerely wish you all the best on your surgery. Your bravery is amazing and I have every confidence that you will only emerge stronger on the other side. All the best to you and hope to see you on the trail soon!

    -David

  129. Just adding my best wishes and prayers for a successful and speedy recovery. You have had such a positive influence on so many of us photographers. Thank you.

  130. Hi David, I am surprised to learn it has been 12 years: I can recall when you first talked about your accident. I’ve read almost all your books more than once and YouTube is a must. I feel like I know you. Take care, I don’t know what more I can say but wish you and your loved ones the best wishes.
    God Bless you.

  131. Dear David – All your friends (and admirers) at the Camberwell Camera Club down-under in Australia, were very concerned to hear your news but really appreciated you sharing it with us all.

    We all value the knowledge, common sense and passion for photography that you share with us and photographers around the world and you have had an impact on us all.

    Having learnt from your recent series the power and simplicity of monographs and slideshow, when you get through the operation and recovery we hope that you turn again to your camera for distraction and amusement and put together some collections on rehab and getting to know your new foot.

    Please know that we are all thinking of you as you take on these new challenges and we very much look forward to seeing your face and hearing your voice again on our screens.

    Kind regards Ken Spence on behalf of the Camberwell Camera Club, Melbourne.

  132. David
    All the best to you and a speedy healthy recovery. I will admit I was a bit shocked at the email and have been thinking of you for the last two days. It took me a while to figure out what to say that could help. You are truly a humanitarian by nature (who happens to be a photographer and teacher too!) So its now our turn to help you – all of your students and friends for so many years – to send strong universal prayers and good vibes your way. You have amazing courage and I’m sure you have the best team around you to support you. If this truly gets you back your freedoms you need to explore then rest easy knowing it’s the right thing to do. Thank you for all you share with us – truly setting the bar high for inspiration as a good human – all year long and for many years to come. Work hard to recover fast, as the world (and some whiskey) await your speedy return to full health and active adventures for many years ahead.
    All the best and please do let us know if there is any thing else where we can all help out!

  133. I’m part of the collective gasp at what you courageously shared with us this week. I recall when you visited our camera club in Melbourne Australia in 2018. You generously shared your photography skills and also told us about your fall in Italy. You may not have realised this but by sharing that story you have encouraged other photographers to remain mindful and proactively take care of where are they whilst lost in the moment of taking a photograph. You have possibly saved the lives of others.

    Once again you show your courage and generous nature, qualities that will help you get through this challenge. One moment then one day at a time and take your time. We have been following you for a long time and when your ready we will still be here. Best wishes to you and the family.
    Thanks David, for always shining a light even in adversity.

  134. David, like so many others, I was shocked to hear about your amputation. Having recently joined your photography “family” I was unaware of your accident.
    Lots of people with artificial parts live useful and productive lives. There is no reason why you won’t. Keep up with the rehab.
    As long as you do not lose you ability to make amazing photographs, you will still be David (only with one foot; but if you wear a shoe, no one will know!! – need to add some humor.)
    Wishing you the best and hope to “see” you soon .

  135. I can remember reading about the accident when it happened. I had been following you, at that time, for only a few months. Since then, for 12 years, I’ve always found watching you, listening to you and reading your writings, to be both inspirational and thought provoking. I’ve found your work as a teacher, philosopher and photographer, combined, to be incomparable.

    I wish you a good recovery and rapid adjustment to the prosthetic foot.

    Mark

  136. David,
    I believe I was part of the collective gasp when I read your email on Tuesday. Like so many others in this community, we’ve never met but I feel like I know you. I am so sorry for what you’re going through right now. I’m also confident that even with this set back, you will remain more successful, more prolific and more talented than at least 95% of the population(conservative estimate). You have inspired, motivated and taught me so much over the past few years and that’s before taking your photography into account. The photography is a whole other layer. That said, I know this sucks. I hope you will take comfort in the multitude of people that are cheering you on, people you’ve never met and likely never will. We feel connected to you. You are a true talent on many levels. Thank you for being there to encourage my creative life. I hope this message (and all the others) will encourage yours as well, as you figure things out. Sending hugs and wishes to you and Cynthia as you heal. -Michele

  137. David,

    Thank you once again for your candid and vulnerable writing. The world can be a difficult place and sharing your experience helps me put things in perspective when they are great and not so great. I wish you a full and speedy recovery, and I am looking forward to seeing the creative results when you get back to doing what you love!

    Andy

  138. Good luck and a speedy recovery David.
    Sometimes life is strange – I recently saw an episode of a series describing how much will someone was putting into becoming amputated. Seeing this somehow made sense but wasn’t really real yet.
    Your story and courage have become much more clear to me based on that episode, but your story made the episode “real”.
    I can only wish you all the best. From what you described, it does feel like a wise decision – maybe none that will solve everything, but most probably one that will help you in making every day a better day.
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the operation went well and that you are doing ok.

  139. You and your family are in my prayers: prayers for a speedy recovery, peace, restful nights ,healing.

    The depth of compassion humans have for each other blows my little mind. Your story of the FedEx lady crying as she understood what the crutches meant for you touched me, and reading these comments I am further moved.

    I’m sure recovery will come with it’s own challenges but I know you will overcome with wit, perseverance and positivity. We are here cheering you on!

  140. David,

    We have never met, but I took a travel photography class you offered some years ago. There has been much of a stretch to bring into my life and photography what you go through in the course, and I continue to use it as my mental reference.

    I am shocked that you are going through this. You have weighed your options and decided this is your best route. I am heartened by your courage to make such a life-changing choice. Fortunately, it is one that most of us have not had to face.

    I look forward to finding out how you are faring with this next phase in your life. Despite how awful it sounds, you will be able to get the mobility and move away from the pain, and return to your path.

    I believe you understand how difficult it is for all of us who know and love you to in a sense, go through this with you. But, also believe that we are with you in this transformation time.

    I look forward to your recovery and spending time with these monographs and images. They will bring solace to all of us.

    Namaste,

    Jay Chatzkel

  141. Dear David, to me you have been an example and a mentor for several years. I wish you a speedy recovery and a better life as soon as possible. Very much looking forward to your posts and your inspiring work. All the best, René

  142. David,

    So sorry to read about your foot amputation. I pray your recovery goes well. I found your book “Within the Frame, 10th Edition” to be very inspiring. I decided to buy another of your books, “The Soul of the Camera,” as my way of contributing to your financial support. God bless you and your artistry.

  143. Dear David
    We have never met personally, but on my photographic journey you are nevertheless an important guide and a mentor for me. Thank you very much.
    I wish you that you are able to imagine again and again what it feels like to be in a new balance and to be able to achieve all goals. All the best for your recovery.
    Greetings from Locarno, Switzerland

  144. Hello David,
    I have followed you and your work for a very long time. Your books and monographs have inspired my photography, and resilience in the hardship inspired me to persevere. I still remember reading about the guy who fell off a balcony in Italy and survived to walk, talk, and shoot again. The man who could do this seemed like a Superman to me.
    I stopped following your work about three years ago when my became ill. Three years later she died of a progressive neurological disease at the age of 56. After 34 years together, I felt like a lost puppy in need of inspiration and insight. So, two days after her death, on April 28th, I look for your name on the web and found you again. I was seeking inspiration and resilience, and there your were.
    So it is with a heavy heart that I discovered that you are continuing to battle with the events that drew me towards you many years ago. Once again I am astonished by your will, your candid approach, your optimism, and your vision for a life well-lived. David you are a Superman, you will thrive, and you will continue to inspire.
    I wish best in your recovery and look forward to continue learning and growing my vision by exploring yours.
    Be well… bruce

  145. David, you continue to inspire even when faced with difficult decisions. I look forward to you being up and about and sharing your wonderful photographs. May you recover quickly, heal as well as is possible, and become the bionic man you watched as a child! If it takes a village, you’ve got quite the city!

  146. I’m fully supporting you in those difficult times ! I hope that the small amount paid for those wonderful images will matter. Get well soon !

  147. Dear David,

    Ever since Chase Jarvis put you on my radar 15 or so years ago, you have been an endless inspiration. Even though we have never met, you feel to me like a companion, mentor and guide, not only on my photographic journey, but my life journey. Your books are on my shelf, and your words are often in my mind, particularly if a camera is in hand.

    I am so sorry to hear that the wounds of that dreadful fall never truly healed, and pray that our gracious Father will provide you (and Cynthia) with the peace and restoration you need and deserve.

    Rest well, safe in the knowledge that your audience will be eagerly waiting for whatever you create next. Whether it’s African tribesmen, sharks, or if you suddenly decide motorsport is where it’s at, the duChemin soul will infuse the images with that magic we’ve come to know and love.

    Much love
    Gavin

  148. Sending positive energy your way! Thanks for sharing this challenging journey with your community. Your words as always are so beautifully written. You continue to be an inspiration. About 5-6 yrs ago, just a few months after picking up my first ‘real’ camera, I attended your Coastal Vision workshop with you and Dave, in his magical barn. I learned so much more from you and Dave than simply the ‘craft’ and ‘vision’ of capturing images. I had many meaningful conversations with you guys, the other amazing presenters and other participants. The most inspiring was you sharing your experience after the fall in Italy. I too had (although much less serious) shattered ankle incident the year prior ….. leaving me with restricted ankle mobility, a couple of surgeries, lots of ‘hardwary’, rehab, and a cascade of several other hip and back pain issues. You inspired me to accept the circumstances, and find new ways to move forward. Some days when parts of my body complain a little louder, I think of you and am inspired to carry on.

    Wishing you all the best as you physically heal and mentally move through your recovery. We are all cheering for you!

  149. Dear David,
    There is little I can say that has not already been said by your very large fan club.
    I have said before that you are a brilliant writer, and this piece might be your best.
    It take’s great courage to be as open as open as you are and I am very grateful to you for
    sharing your story.
    Will look forward to future updates.
    Wishing you a smooth recovery.
    Ann Giuli

  150. Hey David!

    I heard your surgery went well according to another comment! I’m glad to hear it!

    I can’t understand what exactly you are going through but I can understand to a bit after having a recent surgery myself and not knowing how my life will change. I am wishing you a speedy recovery, peace about your decision, and an easy transition to your new change in life.

    Sincerely,
    Kathryn “KT” Wise

  151. David. All the best for your rapid recovery.
    Dr Phillip Miller provided some amazing insights into post surgery.
    I communicated with you earlier this year, I was due a hip replacement and you were waiting for a date for your foot surgery.
    Pain is something that we can take drugs for but they do not solve the problem. Pain is debilitating and gnaws away at your quality of living. We have teeth refilled, root canals and implants, implants are probably not classed as a prothesis but they improve your quality of life.
    In my case I have now had both hips replaced, the second on the 7th May, yesterday I walked unaided for the full day, progress. More importantly no pain. The motion of my hip is still restricted but more importantly, the pain has almost gone completely and there is improvement every day. Prior to surgery the quality of life was slowly getting worse.
    Both of the surgeries above , implant and replacement are invisible. A prothesis was once noticeable but recent advances have improved the invisibility of prothesis and the the technology of prothetic limbs have improved motion.

    I know from your previous correspondence that life has been challenging. This new challenge I am sure you will meet with the determination you have had for the last number of years.
    May your recovery be swift.

  152. Hi David,

    I am shocked by this news. I can’t imagine what you are going through right now and I don’t think I will ever understand how you are feeling. But I do believe that time will heal all wounds. With an unwavering mindset and strong persistence of yours, the road to recovery will be swift.

    Your books have always been such an inspiration to my photography journey. The content is different from the usual books that share the standard knowledge and technicalities of photography. You never fail to make me ponder the real meaning of photography. You are just a real life example that it is possible to keep doing what you love most.

    I wish you and Cynthia all the best and do stay strong. Sending good thoughts and rooting for you from Singapore!

    Jasper

  153. Your books are just amazing and very inspiring. I wish you have a good reovery.

  154. David:
    That’s a tough choice you made, but I’m sure it was the right one. I hope you’re back out there soon lugging that gear around and making great photographs.

  155. Best of luck moving forwards, David. Not an easy choice or situation, but you are a strong person with excellent support, so I believe you will make it through and continue to live your life in a fruitful, positive manner. You have my best wishes and thoughts coming your way. You are very courageous to go public with this.

  156. Dear David,
    Thanks for all you do. I love reading your books and your approach to photography. Speedy recovery.
    Sincerely
    Geoff

  157. Hi David,

    I really enjoy your blog, ebooks and books and have been following you quite some time.
    I have learned a lot from you, both on photography and on postprocessing in LR.
    Very sad to read about the amputation, hope you fully recover with the help of the prosthesis,
    and get back to photographing in the near future.

    Best wishes and Refua Shlema (Hebrew blessing for full recovery)
    David

  158. Hi David, so sorry to hear you’re going through such a difficult situation.
    Hope you’ll have a very speedy recovery and get back to exploring our beautiful planet with lots of passion and energy.
    Stay strong and please continue to delight us with your amazing photos and words!

  159. Dear David,

    All the best with your new foot. I trust it’s an excellent twelve inches.

    Best wishes,
    Andrea Coffey

  160. David, I can only imagine how difficult it has been to reach this decision. I’m sure in the long run it will feel like the best decision you made and you’ll be able to outrun those penguins in Antarctica (probably not the lions in Africa). Get well soon my friend and looking forward to seeing you at some point in the future!

  161. Your e-mail sharing some details of your medical and physical challenges was an act of courage, but was consistent with
    your long focus on the human connection as necessary for both a good life–and good art. Your vision and focus on the
    emotions and backstory of life and art have really helped me find my own voice in a way that most teachers are not able to do. “A Beautiful Anarchy” and “The Soul of the Camera” set a tone for me for both my photography and life goals in general, and for that I thank you.

    As a physician/surgeon who has operated on thousands of patients, I have some thoughts about what you may deal with over the next several months.
    1) After any major surgery, a period of depression is very common–no matter the outcome. It is the result of both physical and psychological stress and hormonal shifts that are not always predictable. It can be quite severe, so expect it
    and ask for help early if you recognize it happening to you. No one is immune.
    2) You will likely feel exhausted for months–much longer than you expect. Three months would be likely the minimum and full healing will be more like 6 months to 1 year.
    3) Body image is a little discussed topic in medicine–but has a profound affect on wellbeing and recovery after a surgery. A surgery that changes the visible body structure requires a major adjustment in ones self image, that is not always easy or wanted. There will always be times of self pity–we all morn such a major loss. I believe it is helpful to
    change the message as often as needed, to a message of acceptance and put a name on this new self. I might suggest
    the new description of your self might be something like this, ” I am a survivor and I have a survivors body.” This self naming allows for both acceptance of the change–and is a positive way to view the new body/self.
    4) People connections and honesty are huge helps in physical/emotional recovery, and you are blessed with large amounts of both. It sometimes helps to hear about other peoples amazing recoveries, but more often then not it
    is just depressing when you are in pain and struggling, so turning inward is OK too. You know your own personal goals and your team will set goals for you as well.

    Best wished for a good recovery.

  162. Your e-mail sharing some details of your medical and physical challenges was an act of courage, but was consistent with
    your long focus on the human connection as necessary for both a good life–and good art. Your vision and focus on the
    emotions and backstory of life and art have really helped me find my own voice in a way that most teachers are not able to do. “A Beautiful Anarchy” and “The Soul of the Camera” set a tone for me for both my photography and life goals in general, and for that I thank you.

    As a physician/surgeon who has operated on thousands of patients, I have some thoughts about what you may deal with over the next several months.
    1) After any major surgery, a period of depression is very common–no matter the outcome. It is the result of both physical and psychological stress and hormonal shifts that are not always predictable. It can be quite severe, so expect it
    and ask for help early if you recognize it happening to you. No one is immune.
    2) You will likely feel exhausted for months–much longer than you expect. Three months would be likely the minimum and full healing will be more like 6 months to 1 year.
    3) Body image is a little discussed topic in medicine–but has a profound affect on wellbeing and recovery after a surgery. A surgery that changes the visible body structure requires a major adjustment in ones self image, that is not always easy or wanted. There will always be times of self pity–we all morn such a major loss. I believe it is helpful to
    change the message as often as needed, to a message of acceptance and put a name on this new self. I might suggest
    the new description of your self might be something like this, ” I am a survivor and I have a survivors body.” This self naming allows for both acceptance of the change–and is a positive way to view the new body/self.
    4) People connections and honesty are huge helps in physical/emotional recovery, and you are blessed with large amounts of both. It sometimes helps to hear about other peoples amazing recoveries, but more often then not it
    is just depressing when you are in pain and struggling, so turning inward is OK too. You know your own personal goals and your team will set goals for you as well.

    PS: I understand your intent to give a gift of your work ( 0 to whatever) to your supporters, as you face at least a temporary loss of income, but your art is great. I for one ,who have benefitted from your life and work, would love to pay whatever you would ordinarily charge for you work, and then some. The ordinary price you would charge would be the starting price, with people happy to pay that —and maybe more as a return gift to you. In that way, you would not be undervaluing your art. Just a thought.

    Best wished for a good recovery.

    Phil Miller

  163. Hi David,

    I wish you a speedy recovery from your operation. Stay strong and don’t rush your recovery. Listen to the experts and your body.

    Kind wishes,

    Kaushal Jethwa

  164. Your e-mail sharing some details of your medical and physical challenges was an act of courage, but was consistent with
    your long focus on the human connection as necessary for both a good life–and good art. Your vision and focus on the
    emotions and backstory of life and art have really helped me find my own voice in a way that most teachers are not able to do. “A Beautiful Anarchy” and “The Soul of the Camera” set a tone for me for both my photography and life goals in general, and for that I thank you.

    As a physician/surgeon who has operated on thousands of patients, I have some thoughts about what you may deal with over the next several months.
    1) After any major surgery, a period of depression is very common–no matter the outcome. It is the result of both physical and psychological stress and hormonal shifts that are not always predictable. It can be quite severe, so expect it
    and ask for help early if you recognize it happening to you. No one is immune.
    2) You will likely feel exhausted for months–much longer than you expect. Three months would be likely the minimum and full healing will be more like 6 months to 1 year.
    3) Body image is a little discussed topic in medicine–but has a profound affect on wellbeing and recovery after a surgery. A surgery that changes the visible body structure requires a major adjustment in ones self image, that is not always easy or wanted. There will always be times of self pity–we all morn such a major loss. I believe it is helpful to
    change the message as often as needed, to a message of acceptance and put a name on this new self. I might suggest
    the new description of your self might be something like this, ” I am a survivor and I have a survivors body.” This self naming allows for both acceptance of the change–and is a positive way to view the new body/self.
    4) People connections and honesty are huge helps in physical/emotional recovery, and you are blessed with large amounts of both. It sometimes helps to hear about other peoples amazing recoveries, but more often then not it
    is just depressing when you are in pain and struggling, so turning inward is OK too. You know your own personal goals and your team will set goals for you as well. Other peoples stories are not really that helpful for most.

    PS: I understand your intent to give a gift of your work ( 0 to whatever) to your supporters, as you face at least a temporary loss of income, but your art is great. I for one ,who have benefitted from your life and work, would love to pay whatever you would ordinarily charge for you work, and then some. The ordinary price you would charge would be the starting price, with people happy to pay that —and maybe more as a return gift to you. In that way, you would not be undervaluing your art. Just a thought.

    Best wished for a good recovery.

    Phil Miller

  165. Sorry for your troubles David, praying for your peace and comfort. So many loving comments for you, a lot of love flooding your way.

  166. Hi David. Sorry to hear about your plight. Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery. I think you are pretty brave and honest!
    I have enjoyed your blogs and advice.
    Raja

  167. Dear David,

    There is no word for what you are going through. I admire your vulnerability and strength to share it here.
    I wish you a speedy recovery and the ability to jump back on your feet as soon as possible to keep sharing your vision of the world through your lense.

    Love from Sydney, Australia

    Mathilde

  168. Hi David,

    Difficult days I’m sure, but new chapters and challenges await. I know you will face this with the honesty, integrity, humor, and creativity that seem to guide your life.
    Best wishes for the road ahead. I’m sure you will take it one step at a time.

    Regards
    Nige

  169. Oh gosh David, I am so incredibly shocked to learn about this. What strength of character this has taken to endure all these years and to come to this decision. I’ve gained such respect by taking a couple of your online courses and now to read this deeply personal post, I’m afraid I don’t know that I have the words to convey how it makes me feel. I do send you my most sincere wishes for a quick recovery but especially that this whole journey you are now embarking upon is the best for you. My heart also goes out to Cynthia. Be well David in your recovery and in spirit.

    From my heart,
    Diane Schuller, Parksville

  170. Hey David,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I just want to take this chance to say thank you for everything you’ve taught throughout the years – your book ‘Within the Frame’ was the first book that made photography ‘click’ for me, even though I’d already been doing it for years.

    You really helped me take my photos to the next level, from taking photos of things to taking photos about things. You taught me how to see more beauty in the world. And while that was fancy travel and work photos at first, it also become more and better photos of my family and friends that I can cherish and share with my loved ones.

    So thank you again, and I wish you a great recovery. All the very best.

  171. Dear David,

    Thank you for sharing this life changing and challenging time with me.
    You have such a positive attitude to this after suffering with the pain for too long.

    I see that you have many followers who have become friends from all over the world.
    So lovely to see such positive messages of support and encouragement from them.

    I too send my best wishes for a good recovery and a more active and pain free life ahead.
    Allowing you to continue with your passion for photography and travel.

    Thinking of you and Cynthia as you navigate the days and weeks ahead.
    Try not to put too much pressure on yourself, take each day as it comes.

    Meredith

    1. David,

      You’ve made a terrifying, shocking & courageous decision, demanding what we all want out of life ; control of the direction it takes, and making the best of whatever crap life throws at you.

      Your life will soon be full beautiful inspiring photos and writings again. For now be kind and patient with yourself, and focus on your recovery.

      Thinking of you as you start your healing and thank you for sharing your story.

  172. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us. Praying that all goes well.
    Seeing your work and reading your newsletters reminds me of how much I love photography and nature, in the midst of my own health challenges that often keep me from both. I hope to continue (vicariously) traveling through your work.
    – Kelly

  173. Hi David. Praying that you have a full recovery and embark on an even greater chapter in your life and career. Your books have been an inspiration and a blessing — so much so that just reading the descriptions even before reading the actual books are enough to make me stop whatever I’m doing and pick up a camera….

    Thank you for all that you do to make us better artists — and people.

    Best,

    James W. Parker, Esq.

  174. David,

    Your words have been an inspiration to me, not just in a photographic sense. In this world of increasing selfishness and cruelty it is so refreshing to share better things with one another. Thank you for this opportunity for me to say thank you for the fine words and ideas you’ve given as well as an opportunity to give back. My best wishes to you for a quick recovery. Your new, pain-free mobility will bring you to even more wonderful places in this world, and we all look forward to reading about them and enjoying the images you intend to share with us.

    Best wishes,
    Michael in Asheville, N.C., USA

  175. David, my heart goes out to you! What a difficult decision to make – to opt to have your foot amputated. But: This is your chance to get to a pain-free life! Where you were at was definitely not going to get better, right? So cling to that, this is your road to life without chronic pain, even if it takes a few years. I battled chronic pain from a hip surgery for two years. While that ground me down, and many a day it seemed like there was no improvement and no light at the end of the tunnel, I also knew that without the surgery I definitely would not have had a chance to get better.
    So, I wish you much strength. You can get through this! And please remember that there are plenty of people out there who do understand what it’s like to go through what you are going through, and the only way to connect with them and to get support is to reach out and share your pain. Wishing you much, much strength, and do be gentle with yourself! You taught me, via your books, how to photograph, and your honesty has been a guiding light in so many ways. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  176. David,
    I was wondering why you kept coming to my mind so often in the last few days, although we do not know each other personally. Now I know why! This shows me that we all together form a spiritual network. I wish you to feel its sustaining power in this difficult time. I wish you much strength and courage and a quick recovery.
    Regula Elisabeth, from Switzerland

  177. Several years ago my Father passed away unexpectedly and quickly. I remember sitting in a airport waiting for a flight to get home and feeling myself falling into a very dark place. It was your writing and images that helped pull me out. Your authenticity helped me more than I can ever explain to you.
    I’m sorry to hear about what a long road to recovery you have been on but I’m sure you will come out on the other side in a better place.
    Roy Underwood-

  178. David,

    I join so many others in wishing you all the best. Hopefully this will be a relatively short-term bump-in-the-road for you and Cynthia. Your extraordinary will and determination will likely be one of your greatest assets in returning you to mobility and Nomad-In-Chief.

    I’m attaching a link to the current issue of MIT’s Spectrum, focusing on Movement. The lead article is on advanced prostheses from the Lisa Yang Center for Bionics (https://spectrum.mit.edu/spring-2023/bionics-researchers-develop-technologies-to-ease-pain-and-transcend-human-limitations/) – worth reading about what’s doable now at the leading edge.

    Thank you for your years of terrific mentorship and inspiration – I look forward to many more years of you doing what you love to do so well.

    Best,
    Howard

  179. Hi David!
    Wishing you a speedy revovery and all the best!
    Sorry to hear these news! You are a big inspiration,, learning from your books! Get well soon!!!

    Best regards from South Tyrol/North Italy
    Stephan

  180. Dear David,

    Twelve years ago in June of 2011, I lost my eldest son to suicide. He was 25, full of life and love, and literally days away from his life coming together in terms of employment and acceptance into a culinary arts program at SAIT. I stumbled around in shock for well over a year and I guess that’s how I missed the news of your accident.
    I spent that summer with a little
    Canon T3i in my hand desperate to hang on to what little sanity I had. The grief was crippling I spent every day in my garden photographing delicate little flowers. Photography save my life.

    Somewhere along that road I found
    You. I devoured your books and as
    my skills improved I enrolled in your on line courses. Many an evening ended with your voice running though my head. My images took on a new look. I was no longer afraid to “commit”. My
    vision became stronger- I became a better photographer under your guidance.

    I don’t often share my entire story … I am not that brave. But I want to thank you for your courage in sharing your story. All those nights I watched “Beyond the Shutter” and “Image Works” and had no idea of the pain you were in. I was shocked when I read your email …

    Like so many others here I thank you for sharing your love of photography and your gift of eloquence. You are a remarkable man David Duchemin. And from the bottom of my heart , for all that you have given me in terms of wisdom and
    sight , I thank you.

    Sending
    Love and healing white light to you and your family. Sincerely Kristin

  181. As someone who has had two fingers amputated, each in separate accidents, I feel for you David. Yes, phantom pain IS real and you may be particularly sensitive to cold. At least I am in my hands. That being said, moving forward is possible and indeed something to look at with anticipation. Be glad you’ve made it through the trials and be confident that you will continue to do so.

  182. David, I’m a long time admirer of your work, have many books, several courses, all of the beautiful anarchy podcasts,, and several monographs. Venice my all time favorite. I’ve learned a lot from you. But I’m sorry I’ve never written to tell you my enjoyment , including about your decision to step away from social media, Facebook and Instagram which were making me squirm too. Little courageous things, leading up to the most courageous ….to amputate your foot. Sending you and Cynthia best healing thoughts and more courage. May you be better than the “good as it gets” and able to enjoy your adventures painfree in the future. Now take it easy and rest but keep up with the blog.

  183. You’re an inspiration in art, and even more importantly, in life. Wishing you and Cynthia healing, fortitude and the brightest of new beginnings.

  184. Hi David,

    I’m so sorry to hear of all you’re going through! Along with many others here, we have never met but I consider you and friend and wonderful mentor. I can only imagine what a difficult decision but I hope it is one that sets you free and allows you to move without the pain you’ve lived with so long. That can only be a good thing for both your physical and mental health! Please know I’ll be thinking of you and Cynthia and sending lots of positive energy – wishing you speedy healing!!!

    Dayna

    1. Good evening David

      Your life and lessons on life as a photographer, have opened my eyes to so much. Thank you for sharing your philosophy, tips and images over the years. I wish you a speedy recovery and return.

      Frank

  185. Along with everyone else, I’m sending you an abundance of love & joy. May your recovery be one of ease, & your adjustment be deeply beautiful in a way that adds to your creativity. We love you & we’re here for you.

    1. Hi David
      as so many others I was deeply shocked when I read what has happened to you. I admire you to have made this decision and I hope hou will recover soon!
      As getting older I thought I ‘m through with learning- until I found your books. They are so inspiring that learning is a pleasure! You are an excellent teacher, thank you so much!
      I wish you all the best!
      Greetings from Heidelberg, Germany
      Karla

  186. David and Cynthia,

    The realness and passion with which you guys share your lives is one of the many reasons I’m drawn to you and your work. I remember when you had the accident in Italy. I thought it was remarkable how you had recovered when we walked the streets of Jodhpur together. Your passion and wisdom are an inspiration every time I pick up my camera.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Here’s hoping to walk some dusty streets again together in the future.

    jerry

  187. David as a long time reader of your books and follower of your newsletter and website I feel like you have become a friend. Certainly you have become a mentor of my photography. As a friend I can say, “Don’t question your decision.” You made it with the best of intentions. Looking backwards doesn’t help forward movement. And as a friend I can say I have confidence in your ability to move ahead, adjust, adapt, and be better. As a student, I say to the teacher, “You taught me by showing me images of different tribes.” I now say to you: “Pick up your camera and show us the tribes around you as you work through the healing process.” I look forward with anticipation to your monograph on healers – doctors, nurses, therapists.
    Heal quickly we all need your cheerful rambling to help us move forward with our art.

  188. David,
    It was with shock and sadness that I read your latest post. I’ve attended several workshops and own several books and appreciate your honesty in sharing this with the community. As others have said, our words have limited benefit but I hope that the comments will provide you with some inspiration and companionship in the days ahead. As a fellow island resident, I’m thinking of you and wish for strength in these challenging times.

  189. Dear David,
    I’m sad to hear that you are going through such difficulty. I wish that our words here could help you these days the same way your words helps me on my creative path. Some of your ‘conversations’ are with me almost everyday those days, putting words and concepts on feelings and urges that I struggled to understand and to verbalize clearly to myself.
    I guess fear, doubt, and discouragement are maybe inevitable companions on your path of creating a life with this new parameters. I wish you hope and faith when dealing with them, hope and faith in the « after” and in your ability to go through the difficulties and to be able to pursue doing what you love.

  190. Hey David;
    Just wanted to let you know that I am praying that your recovery is smooth and solid, and that you will once again “find your feet”. It sounds like you’ve made a good and courageous decision, and I appreciate you trusting your blog-crew with it.

  191. I have been thinking of you a lot in the last month or two and the influence you have had on me, not only as a photographer but as a person. I hear the surgery went well. I know you will not merely survive but, as is your way, find ways to thrive. Courage, my friend. I will be in touch when the time is right for you.
    Many blessings to you and Cynthia.
    Kerry

  192. Thanks for your openness, David, and I hope you’ll be back onto your old and new feet soon.
    Also thanks for offering a way to help.
    Your images respect and celebrate all live on earth. By my purchase I respect and celebrate yours.

  193. Best wishes David. My cousin lost his foot in a car accident. He did go on to win a gold medal in the paraolympics when the US beat Norway, which was easily the top international team at the time. Maybe you won’t win a gold medal, but you’ll still be gold in our hearts. My cousin also went on to get divorced, so it’s not likely to be all perfect, but I hope you can avoid many of the pitfalls and joyfully wallow in your future successes.

  194. You’ve always written in an inspiring fashion to your readers/viewers, and now you’re acting in an extremely inspiring way. Love your fight to continue your passion for getting out there in the world and taking wonderful photos that let us in on your experiences. I do hope you can get on with that mission, and my best wishes for a return to mobility and doing what you love!

  195. We’ve missed you on social. From someone that has followed your journey from the early days, best of luck, and hope to hear of your new travel adventures on this blog soon.

  196. Dear David,

    Your writing and images speak of someone with a lust for life, humour, generosity, kindness and commitment to what is uplifting to all. This has inspired me through the many years that I have been following your blog and enjoying your images. Your positive energy will certainly help you with getting better and recovering mobility again at a good pace. Thank you for being an inspiration and a role model!

    Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa.
    Chris

  197. Dear David, I’m so very sorry to hear this news. You’ve made a courageous and difficult decision but a wise one. The road ahead will be challenging and your life will have a new normal. You’ve given so much of yourself to us, and the world. Be kind to yourself and know how much we care and are thinking if you. May all the good karma you’ve spread come back to you twofold. Sending you love and healing energy.

  198. Thinking about you lately and the influence you have had on me, and not just as a photographer. I hear the surgery went well. Courage my friend. I’ll be in touch.
    Many blessings to you and Cynthia
    Kerry

  199. Dear David:

    I have admired your work, but even more your attitude and approach to life & art for years. I was fortunate to have the chance to attend one of your workshops in Vancouver in 2014 after your original accident in Italy. Sometimes the strongest choice isn’t always the choice we’d like to make in our lives, is it? Your post makes it clear that you considered all your alternatives in a difficult set of circumstances. That takes real courage! I am so sorry that this decision was necessary, but I have complete faith in your ability to make the outcome a positive one for you. Wishing you all the best for a successful recovery. Light and Love, Christy in WA state.

  200. Hi David,

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through this, but I really hope that it will be for the better. You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers and I pray that you’ll have a quick recovery and no complications. I hope that you’ll be back on your feet soon!

    Thank you for your emails, you inspire me and keep reminding me that I can get better at my craft and make it! Through the pain and the discomfort, just remember that you have such an amazing calling. Once this difficulty is over, you are going to continue to touch so many people’s lives for the better, in the way that you continue to help me!

    Blessings and prayers during this challenging time,

    Nadine

  201. David

    I hope that you recover well and given that you are motivated, positive and fighting this should help as it did before. Fortunately you have a good mind, excellent ability to communicate and this should serve you well. Hopefully Corwin is around.

    Sorry that this fall happened, that it has been difficult. I am impressed that you’ve given no indication of it.

    thanks for your (continuing) inspiration.

  202. Praying for a successful and speedy recovery and hope you’re back at it as quickly as possible. Can’t wait to read your next blog.

  203. Big love and all the healing wishes to you, David. You inspire me in so many ways.

    And if you broke the FedEx lady, it was only her heart cracking open a little wider to the tenderness of this world. In all things, you open our eyes (and hearts) wider. You’re a wonderful human being.

  204. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes for a quick and safe recovery so you can be back with your family and doing the things you love.

  205. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I hope you keep your spirits up by looking forward to improved mobility and continuing your amazing work as an artist and mentor.
    Sincerely,
    Mercedes

  206. I’m so sorry you and your family are having to deal with all of this, but I’m glad you still had options like the surgery and future prosthesis. I hope your recovery and rehab process go as smoothly as possible. Thanks for sharing with us and I look forward to any updates you choose to share.

    Best wishes!

    Sue Olson

  207. Hi David,
    I planned to email you this week but your message yesterday beat me to it. I know it must have been an immensely difficult decision to make but with the help and advice of your medical team and the support of Cynthia I’m sure it’ll turn out to be the right one in the long term. It’s early days yet, but I hope you’re able to get comfortable during these first days of healing. You’ve supported me and countless others over many years in our search for artistic expression, so now it’s our turn to support you right back. It’s an honour to that, even if it’s only a supportive message and a small contribution. Take care of yourself and heal as swiftly as you can. It’ll be wonderful to hear your words of wisdom and see your newest photos again when the time is right for you to get out and about again.
    All my best wishes, Helen

  208. David – thinking about you as you go through your procedure and recovery. You were very kind to me very early on in my photographic career, speaking highly of a photo I submitted to one of your video reviews. I will never forget the boost of confidence you gave me and my work.

    So if I can return the favour, you have thousands of friends all over the globe who are cheering you on now. We only want what’s best for you and we know that you can persevere!

    Much ♥️ to you! I appreciate you!

    trevor.

  209. I am almost without words after reading your email to all of us but appreciate knowing what is happening with you. Sending healing thoughts but feel certain that you’ve got this!

  210. David,

    My hub has followed you for awhile and sent me a link to this post on your blog. I was in a near-fatal car accident 30 years ago and have bilateral ankle and mid-feet fusions (among other orthopedic injuries/repairs) and we have been contemplating amputation. To say I’m interested in your journey is an understatement. Your work and writing are joyful and I’m confident you will find a way through this next adventure. I wish you and Cynthia fortitude, patience, good humor, and lots of love in the coming days. Now I’m off to buy your monographs. Feel free to contact me to commiserate/rant/rave/marvel. Be well. sue@inkspiration.com

  211. Hi David,

    We met some time ago, on the Ladakh trip with Matt in 2008. I’d heard about your fall in Italy, of course, but I didn’t know the details and didn’t realize it had been so life threatening. I was also unaware of the pain and suffering you’ve had to endure as a consequence.

    The thing I remember most about you from our Ladakh trip is your positive attitude. It certainly added a lot to our trip and it was fun to have it along for the ride. [FWIW, the 2nd thing I remember from our trip is when your Canon 5D Mark ? stopped working. Fortunately, you had another.] What I’ve learned since our trip is something your toughness. Anyone who falls 10 meters — onto concrete — and survives has to be tough. Anyone who survives chronic physical pain without complaining is tough. That’s top-notch toughness.

    I was quite a bit older than you when we met. Still am. The most difficult life lesson I’ve leaned — so far — is that living a long life means saying good-bye to the things we love that have become a part of us. The toughest of these are the friends and family we’ve loved and lost, and the toughest of those are the children. Losing our physical capabilities is also a huge loss. I understand how you’re feeling.

    I think of you and our trip from time to time. I’ll be thinking of you more often now, and I will be following any progress reports you care to share. Continue to hang tough. I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery.

    Ron Carroll
    Hingham, MA
    USA

  212. Hi David,

    All the best wishes for your recovery. Your story is very inspirational. I hope and pray that you get to do your passion (photography) once your recovery is complete.

    Best of luck.

    Regards,
    Shekhar

    1. The line that grabbed me most from the compelling account of your physical struggle is this one; “I’m hopeful that this might deepen my understanding of myself and what it means to live a courageous and creative life. ” That should be the mantra of all our lives. Your character shines!
      Best always
      Bob

  213. Oh David, First let me just say thanks be to God that you survived that fall ! The journey you have been on since then sounds excruciating and what I know is that chronic pain is torture…and you need to be able to walk if at all possible! You have faced an unthinkably difficult decision and I am so happy for you that you will have relief from that pain & suffering, There will be some new pain, but hopefully that will all heal up in good time. Praying for a speedy recovery and transition to this new way of life. I know I am from a different time in this life of ours, but please know that I am forever thankful for you – you have always been a joy-bringer!! I am always cheering for you from afar, sending love from Manitoba <3 – Lola

  214. David,

    All the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. The brain fog takes a long time to disperse but it will do so. You do just have to give it time. Best wishes to your Cynthia too. We load the ones we love more than we know, I reckon. If I could send you a bucket of strength I would but my thoughts will be with you.

    Go peacefully, wherever you may go. And when it’s dark where you are remember the light is shining someplace else for a while but quite soon it will be your turn again. Give it time.

    Will

  215. The Darkest Night

    I enter the longest night
    For the first time old.
    For the first time broken.
    I am not kneeling to kiss the ground—
    I have fallen—
    And still I kiss the ground.

    Here in the Solstice dark
    I know you, your despair—
    Figures run across the moonless horizon—
    I see you, Grief. I see you, Anguish.
    I see you, relentless depression,
    Inequity, the unfairness of it all.
    I see you as paper-doll silhouettes
    Flailing in the darkest dark,
    Here at the end of the year.

    4:35 am. A waning crescent moon rises,
    Pale as the rim around
    A child’s milk glass
    Left out in the kitchen overnight.

    I am cold.
    I need to rise—I reach
    My hands out to you and you and you.
    Catch me up, dear friends,
    And I will steady you.

    Let us weave ourselves together
    Into the basket of the world,
    Hand over hand over hand.
    Fill us up, Great Spirit,
    We will brim over.

    My hand to your hand, dear friend.
    Sandy Brown Jensen

  216. Oh, David. I am so sorry to hear that you had to make this decision, even knowing it was the best one.

    I still remember showing up in Ethiopia having broken my big toe the morning of my flight, my Blundstones acting as the perfect compression sock. I kept quiet about it because I thought, “David is climbing around these rocks, so don’t be a whiner.” I think it was 2 days into the trip before it came up that I had a broken toe, and you were so full of compassion.

    When you’re feeling low, when you wonder if you’ll ever be able to get back to an active life, go check out Tyler Turner’s Instagram (@tyturner14). An avid skier, surfer, and skydiver, Ty lost both his legs 6 years ago in a skydiving accident. At the 2022 Beijing Paralympics he took home gold and bronze in snowboarding. Now, granted, he’s a bit younger than either of us, but he has the same indomitable spirit that you do. He’s also been up front about the challenges, especially when he and his partner Kayleen were living aboard their boat (last year they sailed it down to Mexico). I hope you find some inspiration in his journey. <3

  217. Best of luck David. This post was more inspirational than your usual ones, and that’s saying something. I’m glad you shared your personal story.

    Greg

  218. It’s crazy how life can simultaneously stink and be completely amazing. Here is hoping your recovery is amazing, and that you give yourself the grace to focus on the completeness rather than the speed of getting back on your feet. Thanks for years of sharing your awe inspiring work. I do really look forward to your return after that drug haze has departed.

    Also best of luck to Cynthia sticking by you through all this!

  219. Lots of love and lots of strength in these difficult times. I have been following your teachings for many years! Thank you David.

  220. David,
    As an old trauma nurse I can understand your hesitation to have your foot removed. But this will open up a whole new chapter in your life. A prosthetic foot will only hold you back if you let it. Check out the “Invictus Games”, these men and women have been through immense life changing circumstances and overcome them.

    Douglas Ford

  221. David, I’ve been following you for years and although I knew about your accident I had no idea of your current situation so was shocked to read your news. This really is a big challenge on so many levels but perhaps you’ve already been through the hardest part – making the decision and living with the anticipation of what you were about to do. Now things can only get better – everyday one step forward – no pun intended. I recently went to hear a talk by the photo journalist Emilio Morinetti and heard him talking about the experience of losing his leg. Obviously I’ve no idea what he feels in the small hours of the night but it certainly hasn’t held him back in pursuing his career. And knowing you, though your musings, I know it won’t stop you either. You have way too much passion. You will be back out there before you know it. , loving life and living to the full.

    And just a little P. S, …you moved to Nanoose just weeks after I left Parksville. I would have so enjoyed meeting you.

    I wish you well David. I will continue to follow and be inspired by you – and watch your recovery.
    With kind regards Sharon

  222. David,
    You’ve been a hero of mine for quite sometime – especially since you graced the cover of your Photograph magazine with one of my images – many thanks for that!!
    I applaud your courage to take this next step in your life’s journey.
    Wishing you all the best in your recovery – may you be walking the trails pain free and back to photographing soon!
    love and blessings
    – Kathy Beal

    1. Dear David:
      My wife gave me your book, Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision as an anniversary present in 2010. At the time I was increasingly frustrated in my job, of doing the same things over and over again in soul-killing rhythms. I had long dabbled with photography, but never could make the time to develop my interests. I changed after I read your book. Over the years, your works and person have become indispensable guides to my growth as both a photographer and a person living a more inclusive and richer life. I thank you for enriching my life. Please know that I am among the many, many people who wish you a successful recovery from amputation surgery. Your road ahead is no doubt arduous. I have no doubt that your strength, values, quirky sense of humor —along with the love and support of your loved ones, friends and fans—will help you overcome rehabilitation and achieve a richer life you desire.

  223. Dear David,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during your recovery.

    I look forward to seeing the amazing new opportunities and adventures you create for yourself. Your strength, heart, and creativity will see you through this time to the incredible future you have chosen for yourself.

    You’ve got this!

    Mary

  224. You and your family are in my prayers and I am sure everything will work out and you will be back out photographing your world soon. Over the years, you have provided so much information to me and made a big impact on my photography. While I would still like you to invent the “unstuck filter”, thanks to you I reach for it for less than in the past.

  225. Dear David, just read about your operation. For what it is worth, I think you did the right thing. I am a follower of your work for some years now because of your vision and the way you and your team share it with the world. Thank you for that. For now, I wish you a uncompromising recovery and a painless life. All the best to you and your loved ones, from Belgium, Frans

  226. David,

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery and some peace for you and Cynthia during this stressful time. Thanks for being brave enough to write about your experiences, your photography has always been an inspiration but this message is also an inspiration to be human.

  227. Dear David, I was so sorry to hear your news and wanted to wish you and Cynthia the love and strength to get through this. Many others have written so eloquently and I just want to echo their words – you are a wonderful person, full of inspiration and kindness. You’ve touched so many lives and it is pay-back time for us to support you.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and sending all the positive wishes possible.

    Jackie x

  228. Dear David,
    Thank you for speaking about this event so openly and for sharing your emotions. For me, it was a reminder that difficult moments do not happen only to other people, they can also happen to us, even if it seems scandalous and unfair. Such events remind us that we all share in the same fragile fate and uncertainty, and that we must learn to reconcile ourselves with this unwelcome fact. This truth is so much at odds with the terribly misleading message our modern consumer society sends us: which is that we all deserve only pleasure, success, getting whatever we want, and even immortality. Such however is not the case.
    No life has been well lived unless this truth is fully understood. Unexpectedly, there is also a good side to it, which most spiritual traditions tell us about: our worse difficulties are what opens up new doors in our lives, and propels us along new avenues we never would have dreamed of. They are what makes us GROW, they are what turns us into human beings.
    I also admire your wisdom in asking for help: not everyone knows how to do this, or how important it is. Yet it is a profound way of admitting that we cannot do it all, that we know our limits, and that that’s okay. It also shows that we trust in our friends. Is there anything more important than that?
    I hope you will have a speedy recovery, and that you will see great improvement thanks to this operation.
    Claire

  229. Hello David,
    I am very sorry to hear about your foot. It is a very brave decision to go for amputation very impressive. It shows how much you love your job and that you are doing everything to be able o keep doing it. This in itself is very inspiring .
    Keep up with this determination, energy and positive spirit. 6 weeks indeed is rather fast given the severeness of the surgery. The remaining part is hopefully just training.
    I wish you an uneventful recovery and all the required strength and energy to help you go through the process.
    Best wishes
    Astrid

  230. Hi David,

    I wish you a quick recovery. I am following you for many years now, and I can tell your thoughts, ideas, advices or even opinions on gear helped me a lot during my photography journey. I hope you soon come back to those things we all love: the photographs.

    Best whishes from Hungary,
    Sandor

  231. I hope your surgery went well an wish you an as good as possible recovery. Lot of courage to you and your family

  232. With many thanks – from the UK- for all your pics, guidance and wisdom over many years. Wishing you a speedy recovery. You are very much loved and appreciated as shown by all these comments. Take things gently.

  233. Hello David. So sorry to hear the news. I wish you a speedy recovery and all the best in the coming years.
    There is a quote of yours that I often pass along to many of the friends in my photographic circle when they come up against a life challenge that conflicts with their creative life…
    “Photography is about life, life is not about photography”
    It is only our chosen therapy; that “thing” that helps us get by. It’s how we deal with and interact with life. Undoubtedly, you will come through this stronger and more full of life and creativity than you ever thought possible.
    Hang tough!!

  234. So sorry to read about your amputation. But you are a positive warrior and I don’t doubt you will get over it.

    Hope your new bionic leg will carry you all over the world again and let you make many more beautiful photographs.

    Thanks for the 3 monographs and the stunning wallpapers. I would have liked to be able to pay them much more.

    Cheers
    Francine

  235. Dear David

    Looking back in their life most people have regrets about what they have *not* done, more than about what they have done.
    It takes a strong mind and, in your case, a bold decision to avoid such pattern. Congrats to you for both.

    My hopeful prediction from remote is that you’re going to be solidly happy with your choice.

    It may look like a long way to this point – sure longer than usual shutter times of e.g., 1/500 seconds – but your patience and discipline will be a good investment.

    I wish you the quantum of luck we all appreciate in such a situation!

    Looking forward to seeing your Rolex dancing on the screen again during your next fabulous workshop!

    Daniel R, Switzerland

  236. Brilliant to read such a positive view. All digits crossed for your quickest possible recovery./

  237. David, I hold you and Cynthia in my heart with the knowledge that this too shall pass. I hope that by the time you read this, you will be quite a distance on your path to recovery and healing. You are an amazing person and I know you will continue with your uplifting work. Now is the time for us to support you. Don’t forget your camera!

  238. David & Cynthia ~ may you be held in Grace. Sending you both love & courage for this next part of your lives. Looking forward to crossing paths again on the Mara and/or Venice.

    1. Echoing Scott’s word above … May Peace and Grace go before you when you walk the journey that is ahead of you. You are loved no matter what – thanks for sharing your knowledge and heart with so many of us.

    2. Dear David, I do hope that the love and sweet words are a balm at this time. But at your darkest moment there will be a light, even if it’s very small one and it’ll be your courage, hope and determination that will enable the next step and then the next. I have seen the wonders of the human spirit climb out of adversity, one step at a time. May you be bathed in love and hope.

    3. Hi David,

      Sorry to hear about your amputation. I wish you a speedy recovery and all the best for the future.

      Bon courage,

      Richard

  239. Your words are as moving as your pictures which is no wonder since both are ensouled, the product of deep thinking and introspection. I followed you work for a long time read your books, enrolled in your online courses and you have been an inspiration to me not only on a technical or even photographical level.
    I wish you will recover and keep on doing the things that brings you joy.

  240. Hi David
    wishing you a speedy recovery both emotionally and physically – love and hugs from New Zealand although currently in Czech Republic.
    Shona

  241. I cannot imagine how difficult this decision was to make for you. I also understand how horrible and debilitating it can be to live in constant pain. I live in that world. Since you made up your mind before the surgery I have no doubt you will tackle this challenge with determination and come out the other side with a new perspective. Less pain and greater mobility seems like a welcome change when you have lived with the opposite. I wish you well. I wish your wife all the best as well, I gather she is a very strong person, and I am sure she has also struggled as you have come to this decision. Thank you for sharing your story, I have followed for several years.

  242. Hi David

    Sending hugs and well wishes from Western Australia. I am praying that your surgery and the recovery process goes well and that this time next year you will be doing well and traveling.

    You have been an inspiration to me in my Photographic Journey and as I have just retired I am hoping to be doing more to improve my skills.

    Christina Young

  243. Heartbreaking to hear this news but hopeful that you’ll recover well. Sending healing thoughts and positive vibes. Thank you Cynthia for taking care of David.

    I want to send some token amount but don’t want anything in return. How do you I send you the money? I have Paypal and Zelle.

    Emet | emet1225@yahoo.com | emetmartinez.com

  244. Dear David,

    Nancy and I are wishing you and Cynthia all the best for a speedy return to “normal.”

    We were stunned to learn about your surgery. I had thought (having heard nothing to the contrary) that you had (mostly) recovered from your fall. So very sorry to learn that was not the case. But I know you and your doctors have thoroughly explored all the options and concluded that this was the most promising path toward the best possible outcome. Now, just “focus” on getting well.

    David, your photography has been a powerful force toward a broader, deeper understanding of the “beautiful anarchy” of this amazing world. Knowing at least a bit of your resilient history, I’m confident that you will overcome the present short-term limitations to achieve an even more compelling voice in the future. So many of us have benefited from your advice, your perspectives, and your passion to help us in our own photographic journeys. All of us will continue grow as photographers, and as human beings, through your continued insightful guidance. Please keep up the good work!

    Hang in there, my friend, through some temporary stormy seas to reach the shore and continue revealing to all of us your important vision of our beautiful world.

    With hope and love,

    —Ron Clemmons
    Birmingham, Alabama

  245. Dear David and Cynthia. Hoping with all my heart that it goes well and you get the result you need. I know the two of you will face this together with all your grace and courage, and I know you have plenty of both! All my love,

    Kris

  246. You have my warmest thoughts and encouragement. Seven years ago I died and was brought back. Followed by open heart surgery and a five vessel coronary bypass. Thought my world was irrevocably changed for the worse. Heart and attitude helped make that not become reality. As a motorcycle safety professional I trained several people who had prosthetic feet and/or legs. Some rode scooters where you didn’t need to use foot controls but others actually rode motorcycles successfully with foot controls. I can only imagine how tough it is mentally to think about but there is a wonderful and positive “other side”. Cheers and regards!!

  247. Hi David, I can’t believe I’ve been seeing your smiling face on emails and webpages and you have been going through so much. I prey for a speedy recovery and that you become the new you soon. There are going to be ups and downs, but if you can talk to us like you just have I know you will get through this just fine.
    Bob

  248. Hi David
    Hang in mate. Currently nursing my wife after shoulder reconstruction, 6 weeks in a day and night sling and 9 months rehab. Good to share with all of us out there.

    Also tough on family and love ones but wishing you success and especially to be pain free.

    Regards Joel

  249. I’m relatively new to your newsletter and have never written on a blog but I know what a broken pelvis feels like. It so happens I can’t take pain meds, so I got through 6 weeks in a hospital bed by looking at the clock and taking 30 min. at a time. Over and over. You are brave to share all of your pain and worries, and I know anyone reading this wishes you a quick and easy recovery. I along with all of your fans will be anxiously awaiting news of the steps, figurative and literal, to your recovery.

  250. Hello David,

    I wish you a speedy recovery and that you are upa and operating way ahead of schedule.

    All my best!

  251. I’m not one to usually comment, and having just read this my thoughts are jumbling around, but soon I’ll not have service so here goes. David, you’ve been the voice in my head for years, and not just for photography either but for life. May your Spirit soar again, stronger than ever.

  252. Hi David …here’s to a speedy recovery. I’ll be praying for you and your family🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
    P.s: you did talk of this gracefully
    Sending lots of love and light🫶🏽🫶🏽🫶🏽

  253. You have done so much for us and now it’s time to take care of yourself. Thank you for being brave to share something so personal. Sending prayers for healing both physically and mentally as you go though this tough period in your life.
    Now you may have time to reread all those photography books you’ve purchased!! And may I suggest some books of poetry (Mary Oliver comes to mind!)
    Best wishes to you, and Cynthia, as you recover and heal.

  254. I was saddened to hear this news. Thank you for sharing the details.
    I wish you all the very best in your Journey.
    I am completely confident that you will back better than ever.

  255. My thoughts are with you over the challenging weeks, and months that lie ahead, David… For over a decade, you have enriched my life, both creatively, and personally… I feel that I owe you so much… The least I can do in this moment is to let you know that I am thinking of you. May a future with greater mobility, and reduced pain, help illuminate the path forward for you, and provide positivity and hope for a better a future. A future that you deserve. Big love, Ricardo, Melbourne, Australia.

  256. Best wishes on your recovery. Looking forward to hearing about your progress, your plans and your new puns.

  257. I’m shocked about this news. Your fear is palpable and it’s totally understandable.
    Once again, you happen to be a big inspiration for many of us, beyond your sound opinion about the photography craft, now as a human showing this vulnerable side at this very moment.
    I have nothing for you but gratitude and all the best wishes that these harsh times bring growth to you and your beloved ones.

  258. David, you are absolutely the best and I grieve for the loss that you and Cynthia are undoubtedly feeling right now. I cherish the memories of all the time we’ve spent together; the sharing of our mutual love of Kenya, both the people and the wildlife, and how your humility and sense of humour has enriched my life. Much love to you both and if I have belief in the ability of anyone to come back from this stronger and more creative, it is my belief in you.

  259. Your courage is inspiring. Keep being you. Hope you stage a good recovery.

  260. Sorry you have to go through all this, but I know you will be ok – you have the attitude, the support, and photography, writing and teaching isn’t done with the foot, it’s done with the mind – and your’s is top notch! Sending all the positive thoughts I can your way.
    Oh, and selfishly, maybe now would be a great time to restart the podcast! I can’t tell you how much I miss it!

  261. Dear David,
    Thanks for the personal post.
    I have had a problem with my foot since I was ten years old. I ran too fast downstairs to basement and it somehow twisted. It got better over time but started acting up again in the army when I jumped off an armoured personnel carrier. Ended up in hospital and on sick leave. Again it got better and was okay for more than twenty years when I had a desk job. I didn’t really like it but it made normal life easier. I got to see places, like you have. Kilimanjaro and Annapurna, the big five in Africa and Orangutans in Borneo. Samba and Ipanema. Now I am retired and it is again making it difficult to take regular walks.
    But that is nothing compared to your foot. I feel sorry for you. But the modern prosthetics are amazing. Before you could get a wooden stick that you could sort of walk with. Now people can run in the Olympics with an artificial leg.
    I don’t want to wish you to get well, because wish is not certain. You will get well. And in no time you will not only walk but run. As you know, sometimes we need to run after the good picture.
    Take your time to get well and then go for it again!
    The world is waiting.
    Best regards, Ilkka

  262. I hope the volume of mail does not overwhelm you during this difficult time but shows how much of an impact you have had on the photographic community over the years. I have enjoyed most of your books and feel that your web posts are among the only reasons to actually use the world wide web. Your work and thoughts are absolutely inspiring.

  263. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey. Wishing you an uneventful recovery knowing you will face this as you have so many other challenges, with grace, strength, and thoughtfulness. I have long been inspired by your words as well as your photographs. I am confident you will be planning a new creation soon.

    1. Hi David, thinking of you and praying that all goes well. Wishing you speedy recovery. Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration, I really appreciate everything you share about photography. You are an inspiration to many and I know that as your journey continues you will continue to inspire many.
      Thank you, continue to be strong.

  264. David,
    So glad to hear that the surgery went well. I really appreciate you sharing such a personal journey with all of us. We may have never met, but I feel like you are a dear friend. I want to wish you a speedy recovery and get back to doing what you love. I think of many veterans that have been amputees that have gone on and done amazing things. With your passion and tenacity you will do the same. I pray that this new chapter will offer you more freedom and a new lease on life. You are brave, strong, and a true inspiration. Much love to you and Cynthia. I hope to share a beer with you one of days.
    You got this!!

  265. Dear David –
    Thank you for sharing this huge news with us. Though we’ve never met in person, I feel like I know you through your blog posts, your videos, and of course your magnificent photos, as well as a few emails we’ve exchanged over time. What a difficult decision you had to make! But it sounds like you chose the path most likely to get you back to living your best life. You’ve long inspired me with your photography and writing – now you’ve also inspired me with your courage and grace. Wishing you full and speedy healing and a beautiful, pain-free, creative future!
    Warmest wishes,
    Avril in Vancouver

  266. Dear David, Your courage tells me you will emerge from this journey with a better life than enduing the pain you’ve experienced. You are already a winner – you survived the fall others did not. That bodes that all will be well. Wishing you a speedy recovery and smooth adjustment to your new 6-million-dollar-man foot so you can get out soon to take more beautiful and moving photos.

  267. Dear David, i have complete confidence that you can and will come through this latest challenge a better person with even more wisdom than before, and your wisdom has already guided so many of us already. Just know that we are all cheering you on, as you do the hard work of recovery, you made the right decision, living in pain is not a good way to live, and I am happy you were able to get past the human ego. Wishing you all the best.

  268. Hoping for peace that passes understanding and that you will soon be dancing like no one’s watching. Love and blessings to you.

  269. Wow – you are an awesome photographer and writer. I am blown away by your raw, transparent, and eloquent writing on your current challenge. And that is what it is, the current challenge, There have already been some, and will be more and different, I am praying for you and hose you love and support you, and you support them.

    And looking over your awesome offerings which we can both benefit from.

    David

  270. David, I share the sentiments of all who posted before me and although it may be crass to say “DITTO” to all of them, that is all I can do—the information you have shared—emotional as well as practical—is just overwhelming. Suffice it to say that every one of your many, many fans holds you close to their/our/my heart and wishes a swift and successful transition to the bionic man. As I live in Napa, now, I am trying to build a long straw, as I know that some of Napa’s bounty will be enjoyed by you and Cynthia. Stay tuned. Many heartfelt hugs.

    1. Sending heartfelt prayers and thoughts your way. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts as you weather this challenging season. You will be changed and you will be more human.

  271. Dear David, You are an undeniable source of inspiration, and your mentorship is second to none. Your online class, particularly the video on “your voice,” has been a game changer, triggering a significant evolution in my approach to photography.

    While I’ve gleaned substantial knowledge from your YouTube videos, it’s your books that have granted me deeper wisdom. The effortless style with which you write and simplify intricate ideas is truly commendable.

    The news of your foot amputation took me aback. But upon reading your entire update, I’m firmly convinced that with your new prosthetics, you’ll be back soon to resume your invaluable teaching and sharing. I’m eagerly awaiting your return.

    Cheers, Swami

  272. David DuChemin, you are a hero and you are an inspiration. I took one of your online classes and the video about “your voice” completely changed and is still changing me as a hobby photographer. i enjoyed many of you youtube videos but above all I’ve a learnt a lot through your books. I am impressed by the casual style that you write and how you put your thoughts into easy to understand words.

    this news of your foot being amputated was certainly a shock to me. but after reading the whole page, I’m convinced you will be back to teach us and to share with us soon. looking forward.

    cheers, swami.

  273. Dear David,

    I wept when I read your letter and have always appreciated your heart and transparency but glad about your decision to do something decisive about the chronic pain, even if the solution was a bit daunting.

    I pray for a rapid and uneventful recovery and that you will be back on your feet (foot?) in no time!

    The technology and prosthetics of today will no doubt give you a newer lease on life and with much less pain.

    Thank you for including us in your journey, photographically and into some of the intimate details of your natural life as well.

    I have had chronic back pain for nearly ten years now and between the daily stabs, two failed implant surgeries, a successfully implanted yet ineffective stimulator (still installed), several procedures plus the plethora of pain meds, my 70 yr old battered body is ready for the complete “overhaul” that I’m promised, thank the Lord Jesus, at the blessed Resurrection so I don’t get to complain as I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I still have been given more grace than I will ever deserve!

    I did purchase your beautiful bundle with the best that I could afford right now and will continue to pray for you and Cynthia through this process and hope that the down time brings you both closer than ever (if that is possible) but also perhaps to the God who loved us enough to endure the cross and grant us passage into His Kingdom.

    Godspeed my dear Friend and get well soon!

    Stephen

  274. David,

    I’m saddened to hear that the injuries to your foot had progressed to require this outcome. And gladdened that you are doing well following the surgery.

    Debbie and I send our best wishes, and prayers for a satisfactory recovery. And prayers and thoughts for Cynthia as she supports you in this time.

    Looking forward to reports on your progress back to health

  275. Hi David. Wishing you a quick recovery so you can continue on your journey of inspiring others and guiding them on their journey. I have always admired how you look at the world through an original lens. Giving us a window into your journey is generous and uplifting. Thank you for that gift. Look forward to your next chapter in your unique story. All the best.

  276. Hi David. Wishing you a quick recovery so you can continue on your journey of inspiring others and guiding them on their journey. I have always admired how you look at the world through an original lens. Giving us a window into your journey is generous and uplifting. Thank you for that gift. Look forward to your next chapter in your unique story.

  277. I bought your books a few years before your life changing accident. Always followed your blog …then…nothing. A few months maybe…? Read your blog from whomever wrote it about your accident. Now this. Obviously you are positive force. The Good Lord has more for you. Blessings,
    AnnaMaria

    1. David, Sending you Best Wishes and Prayers for your recovery. 🥰🙏👍

  278. Hi David,

    As a deactivated Catholic, I don’t think I am equipped to send prayers your way, but I will send a flurry of positive thoughts (which, last time I checked, fly as fast as angels) that you experience a quick recovery.

    Your decision to pursue this procedure certainly took courage, as did your decision to share your fears with us. That honesty and transparency is what has made you such an amazing teacher over the years, for which I know so many of us are grateful.

    In fact, I recently went through an exercise of answering 12 questions related to photography (https://photowalk.show/roll-of-12), one of which was who inspired me on my photographic adventure. I chose you. At risk of making this post too long, here is my entire answer to that question:

    *************

    At the very start of my photographic journey, I don’t think I had any inspirations, really, at least none that I can recall. I know I had family members who dabbled in photography, but none of them were particularly serious about, and neither was I in the beginning.

    But as I began to think about photography more, and my desire to improve grew, I’d say I got the most consistent inspiration from David DuChemin. I read almost all of his books, followed him regularly on social media, and took a few of his courses. Not only is he a fantastic photographer in his own right, but his approach to teaching photography was so different from most of what I had encountered up to that point. He not only really helped me understand the technical aspects of my camera and post-processing software, but his focus on vision and intent really challenged me to go beyond the surface of this hobby (i.e. pretty pictures) and define why I wanted to lift the camera to my eye in the first place. I am still attempting to answer that question (my “why”), but he was the first person to make me aware of the question.

    *************

    So all that to say, I’m sorry that you are having to go through this painful time, but I hope the outpouring of support from this community of people whose lives you have enriched makes the pain a little more bearable.

  279. David, so sorry to hear about your foot. Our maid of honour from many years ago was hit by a car and here leg and her life was forever changed. After years of struggle and surgeries she just finally threw up her hands and decided to have her leg amputated. The amputation was radical, just below her pelvis. She is in a wheelchair but the pain is gone. Her kids got their mom back after so many years and she and her husband laugh and cry together. She is a master weaver and she has gotten better every year. I have yet to come on a workshop but I have learned so much from your blog. Stay positive and keep that sense of humour. The change will be scary at first but as you learn to live with the new foot and without pain I am sure you will have made the right decision.

    Good luck from Ontario
    Sandro Del Re

  280. Dear David,

    Thanks for your courage in sharing your health challenge in such a personal and forthright way. I always appreciate your writing on photography. You remind of why I love photography: it makes me think and makes me see. Best wishes on a good recovery from the surgery.

  281. Really sorry to hear of your situation David. With very best wishes for a smooth physical and mental recovery.

    Kind regards
    Peter W

    1. David, you have been an inspiration to me with your humanitarian photography. Every photograph that you take has a story to tell. I look forward to more stories that you tell us about. You will once again teach us about life and photography. I look forward to that day!

  282. What a tough decision to make and I’m sure once you’re well on the road to recovery that you’ll wish you’d have done it sooner! Sending best wishes to you and the family from geelong, Australia!

  283. Good morning from the Snowy Mountains in NSW Australia! Wishing you all the very best for a quick and successful recovery. Sending support to your family too!
    I don’t actually know how long I’ve been following you, reading your e-books, watching your tutorials – thank you for passing on your knowledge and thoughts!
    I don’t comment often but this is one of those times.
    A different approach to everyday life will be conquered in no time!
    Wanda

  284. Hi David from Australia, as a fellow photographic traveller, I know how you must have struggled in Antarctica, even though my feet were good, it was a bit slippery and hard to get around on the snow and ice but ever so enjoyable.
    You have made a good step forward (no pun intended) towards better movement by going through with the surgery and I wish you a speedy recovery and many more travels with the new foot.
    Thank you so much for the photo bundles you offered, I shall enjoy them as my wallpapers.

  285. David,
    The sheer number of heartfelt responses that you’ve received today should help you to feel proud of how much you mean to so many people. I am one of them who has purchased your courses and downloaded your ebooks, and read your newsletters and feel very saddened by your current medical challenge. I hope you can recover uneventfully, and get back to showing the world through your eyes. You are very inspirational, and I look forward to hearing about your recovery as well as your next adventures.

    Blowing wind into your sails!

  286. You didn’t just break the Fed Ex lady. You broke me, too.

    I’m not sad for your foot. At least, not in the “oh, that’s terrible, what tragic misfortune” way.

    I am sad for your loss of what might have been. We all have plans and aspirations, expectations that may or may not be realistic, that we carry with us because we have no tangible reason to dismiss them. For those, I grieve, and for you and your grief. As someone that has gone through two major medical challenges (including nearly dying) I’ll claim to know a bit about life changes, grief, disappointment, adjustment, and ultimately hope.

    I have every confidence that you’ll find a way through this if you want to. I think you’re the type of person that does, and will. Please be kind and loving to yourself, encourage yourself, be patient with yourself, be happy with your successes. Accept that stuff happens, and you can’t change the past. Deal with the present, and hope for the future.

    I look forward to getting to Victoria Island and buying you that beer I promised a while back. And hearing about your lemonade.

    All the best.

    1. Best wishes, David, for a quick and full recovery! As someone who loves walking myself, I am very much aware of the simple pleasure to taking one step after the other. I very much hope that you will return to this pleasure quickly!
      In the meantime, I just want to let you know that I am very grateful for the many good ideas and the advice that I have received from you for my photographic journey. Asking the important – and so hard to answer – questions, and understanding that there is so much more to making a good image than that one specific camera…
      All the best, David!

  287. Hi David,
    I am so sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through. Before this I had actually been thinking about writing to you to tell you how important your writings and thoughts are to me but feel it is important not to wait any longer. There are so many photographers that I get emails from after having randomly signed up with them hoping to gain something (I’ve started unsubscribing to them) but yours are the only ones that I look forward to, actually learn from and feel connected to. I’ve also bought some of your books because I find value in what you say and have been inspired by you.
    I hope that your recovery is not too difficult and look forward to hearing that you are back where you want to be.
    Thinking of you,
    Judy

  288. Hi from Australia David.

    Sad news to hear 🙁

    Wishing you the inner strength (and good friends) to help you recover and overcome the challenges you face. May you have a speedy recovery and have good times ahead.

    Warm regards.

  289. David, showing your nude soul to everybody is like taking a photo, a great photo.
    Thanks.
    I will be waiting for you!!!
    Paolo – Italy

    1. Mr. Duchemin my photo bro. I wish you strength in your upcoming journey. I don’t have to tell you that life is full of challenges, I’m sure you’ve had your share.

      A native prayer for healing:

      May your hands be cleansed that they create beautiful things. May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be. May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its message clearly. May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.

  290. Dear David,

    I cherish your thoughts on photography and life. I always read your emails/newsletter, as I found them motivating and inspiring. Admittedly, this last message caught me off guard, but once again, your response to the challenge you are facing is brave and honest. I can only hope to be hearing from you soon, sharing some good news on your progress. Warmly. France

  291. David,
    You are a great inspiration to me as a photographer and now as a human. Thank you for helping me grow as a photographer and for sharing your personal story. I wish you a speedy and very successful recovery and progression to an active life.

    Best wishes,

    Mark

  292. Hi David,

    your passion and the way you talk about photography has had a big impact on how I approach the art. This post really shows just how strong that passion is. I hope your road to recovery is as smooth as possible and continue to inspire the rest of us with your art.

    -Daniel

  293. Thanks David for your latest and most personal missive. I hope the surgery went well and that you will make a speedy recovery.
    Although I haven’t always totally agreed with some of your offerings, I have been a huge fan of yours for years. I have bought most of your books and subscribed to many of your courses. I recommend your work to the students who do my own (local suburban) photography course. I believe you are one of the best photography teachers going around and I wish you all the very best in your medical progress and of course in your work.

  294. I work in industrial health and safety and am a “wanna-be” photographer. Your message resonates with me in many ways. Thank you so very much for speaking out. It matters. You matter.
    Tracey

  295. Dear David,
    What a huge and brave decision you have made.
    Wishing you all the very best for your recovery and here’s to a new lease on your photographic journey.
    May you climb, scramble and hike through uneven terrain to get your marvellous images.
    All the very best to you.
    Jane Campbell

  296. You are setting an example for many by your candor in discussing your fear and your strength in dealing with it. I have only recently discovered you as a photography educator. Currently I am enjoying your PhotoWerx curriculum. Your teaching style works for me and your strength of character makes you someone I want to follow.

  297. Wow! Oh my goodness, what a challenge you have ahead of you. But you have already overcome so much just surviving and living with a broken body. So, this YOU CAN DO… know it, believe it, and we are all here praying, rooting for you, putting out to the universe healing thoughts and quick recovery. Thank you for your sharing so much of “YOU”, it truly does inspire us and gives us all the proverbial “kick in the pants” to get out there and take NOTHING for granted.

    Prayers and hope –
    Pam

  298. Awww, David… thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It’s sometimes tough to be that vulnerable and you did it so well. I look forward to hearing about how your prosthetic enables you to do the things you love doing. And thanks, as always, for contributing so much to our common love of photography.

    Carol

  299. Hi David,

    Hope all goes well. A very difficult decision but quality of life is what it’s all about. Your books, blog, and photography have meant a great deal to me over the years. Thank you! I hope you have a very quick recovery and look back at this as one of the best decisions that you have ever made.

    –Steve Owen

  300. Dear David, Your work was an inspiration at the very beginning of my photography journey over ten years ago. It’s not too much to say that a bit of your insight has been hard coded into nearly every photograph that I’ve made, and that journey has led me to a beautiful life. So thank you.

    I hope the surgery has gone smoothly, and I hope that you’re able to proceed with the next bits of your personal journey pain free. And I know you’re going to kill it with rehabilitation because that the type of person you are.

    For the Craft and the Vision.
    David Mangels
    Four Crows Photography

  301. You can do this! Funny that you mention the Six Million Dollar Man because I was going to tell you remember him. They have made great progress in prosthetics over the years. Take your time and as you know recovery is just as much mental as it is physical. We will be here whenever you are ready and we are here for you.

  302. Dearest David,

    I just read your letter and my heart feels so small at this moment… my prayers and best wishes for you always… keep doing your great and awesome art…

    a big hug from México.

    DM-

  303. David, You have inspired me for many years. I have read just about everything that you’ve written and have adopted much of your philosophy. I advise every one of my photography student to follow you. I was elated when you agreed to speak to the members of the West Shore Photography Club via Zoom on December 7, 2020. (I believe it was one of your first Zoom presentations.) I remember much of your presentation–even though I was taking pain killers–having had knee replacement surgery five days prior. You have my sincerest wishes for a speedy recovery–with full mobility and no pain.
    Sincerely,
    Dennis Baker, President
    West Shore Photography Club; Mechancisburg, PA.

  304. Wow….thank you for your honesty and openness. I pray for ALL the blessings to come your way and that you heal perfectly and as fast as humanly possible. I know that you will be out there again, taking photos of amazing places and educating us. It may take a while, but keep your chin up – you made the right choice in not living with unending pain.

  305. Hi David,

    Hard to find the right words (though, thankfully, those who have preceded me have done a great job).

    I’ve become a student of Stoicism over recent years, and the words of the philosophy often refer to the benefits that come from adversity. History is full of examples.

    Hard as I’m sure it must be to recognize at the moment, I can tell from your writing that you’ll rise above this, and that it will profoundly change you – and your photography – for the better. Mark these words my friend, because I know there will come a time when you’ll be back on your feet ( …ok, maybe one of them), recognizing this happened for a reason.

    In the meantime, continue – as you’ve done – to be grateful. As you’re aware, there were so many other ways it could have gone and you have so much in your life to celebrate.

    A speedy recovery to you,

    David.

  306. Smart and brave, David. Sending you and Cynthia my best wishes for recovery and rehabilitation at a pace that confirms your decision daily. I look forward to updates when you’re ready. And it is very satisfying to have any role in encouraging one of the most generous and inspiring professionals on the planet – can’t wait to review the monographs.
    A lot of love on this page!

  307. Dear David,
    For more than a dozen years you have inspired my art and craft. I’m so grateful for your profound teaching gift and your generosity. At this time I’m holding you in the light (as the quakers say) and trusting in the genius of the human body to heal and be made whole even with the wounds and scars we wear.
    Every blessing to you, friend.
    Peace,
    Geoff

    1. Hi David

      Hope the surgery goes well and you get back writing and creating asap . Thanks for all the great words and pictures and looking forward to hearing lots more.

  308. Dear David,

    Went through a tough time some years back and all those little posts on Facebook came to mean so much more to me in the middle of the night when things got scary. That is when I truly appreciated what “GOOD” can come out of social media. So I add my little note to you, like all of us, wishing you well, seeing you whole and free from pain.

    We eagerly await your return to us – selfish aren’t we? But it means you are on the mend.

  309. Wishing you David a speedy recovery and hope you get back with new strength and quality of life to what you love.
    You are an inspiration.
    Luc

  310. Hello David,

    You’re always such an inspiration to so many. It’s definitely your indomitable spirit, courage, creativity and talent, that I admire. I know you will get through this and have a good outcome. Sending you healing wishes and love.

    Anna

  311. Thank you for sharing this frightening but oh-so-hopeful decision. Recovering from my own hip replacements (two in one year), I have a sense of how challenging recovery can be. But I have no doubt that you will make your way through the tough moments and regain mobility. And your photographer’s vision – already tested by your terrible fall – will only deepen and brighten, drawing the eye further and further into what you see and use your photography to share. Feel free to draw on the love and support that surround you, knowing that you have given and will give so much yourself. My best wishes for a recovery that is as fast as possible with less pain than you might expect.

  312. Who knows, you might secretly think in the near future: “If I had known it would be like this, I would have done it earlier”. How about learning some martial art with and without the use of crutches? Not only to learn how to defend oneself but also to rebuild one’s muscles for better strenght, stamina, and control.

    Thank you for your monographs and wallpaper collection.

    Hope your recovery will be quick. Can’t wait to hear from you again.

  313. I hope this message finds you in good spirits despite the challenges you are currently facing. I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt support and admiration for your incredible journey as a photographer.

    Over the years, your work has been a constant source of inspiration for me. Your keen eye for capturing moments, your ability to evoke emotions through your photographs, and your unique perspective have left an indelible mark on my own artistic aspirations. Your photographs have transported me to distant lands, allowed me to witness breathtaking beauty, and helped me appreciate the world in a whole new light.

    I understand that you are about to undergo a significant and life-altering experience with the amputation of your foot. While it may seem daunting, please know that you are not alone. You have an entire community of admirers, including myself, who are standing by your side, ready to offer support and encouragement throughout this journey.

    Your talent and passion as a photographer go far beyond physical limitations. Your ability to capture the essence of a moment, to tell a story through your lens, and to ignite emotions in your viewers will undoubtedly continue to shine brightly. Your photographs have already made an everlasting impact on countless lives, and I have no doubt that your resilience and determination will allow you to overcome any obstacles that come your way.

    As you embark on this new chapter, please remember to be kind to yourself and to give yourself the time and space to heal both physically and emotionally. Allow yourself to adapt to the changes and embrace the new possibilities that await you. Your journey as a photographer will continue to evolve, and your experiences will add depth and richness to your art.

    Know that your admirers, myself included, eagerly anticipate your return to the world of photography. Your remarkable talent and unwavering spirit will undoubtedly shine through, inspiring others and leaving an indelible mark on the artistic landscape.

    Wishing you strength, courage, and a swift recovery. You have the power to overcome any challenge that comes your way. You are not just a talented photographer; you are an inspiration.

    With heartfelt support,

    Julieleanne

  314. Dear David,

    I’ve never met you, but your emails, write-ups & of course your photos inspire me. I’m friends with Jason Bradley & he thinks the world of you. I’d hoped to do one of your trips, but now I see why you’ve been a little busy. I’m sorry to hear about the foot! The things that life hands us. 2 years ago I had a horrible bout with Trigeminal Neuralgia. 2 very scary brain surgeries, possibilities of blindness, deafness & other very bad stuff. You don’t walk through that sort of thing & come out the same. I came out more determined than ever to live my life to the fullest, to travel to far-off places, to squeeze every last bit of wonder & joy out of the world for as long as possible. As soon as they pulled the PICC line out of my arm I had a plane ticket to Kenya & Egypt & I was off. Not a morning has gone by since that I haven’t awakened, grateful to be alive, ready to seize the day. I have no doubt that you will come through this bit of fire the same way. You are resilient & resourceful. This recovery part will be hard, but keep at it, and know that you have a legion of us out here, pulling for you & cheering you on. You can do this! I’ve got your monographs & wallpapers now, & I’m delighted. Thinking of you, out here in California. – Kris Norvig

  315. David,
    I’m holding you and Cynthia gently in my thoughts as you recover from surgery and face the next steps in your journey towards healing. I’m praying there is some relief ahead as I can only imagine the pain you’ve been struggling with these last years. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for the gift you have been for my creativity as well as helping set the course for two of my (now adult) kids. Turns out I have two professional photographers in the family. A wedding and portrait photographer and a music and concert photographer. They are providing for themselves because you taught me the art of storytelling and how you could use a camera to do that. I’m grateful for what I’ve been able to capture of our family over the years and the ripples that teaching has had down the line. Bless you. 💛

  316. What a decision for you. I appreciate your philosophy and photography so much and have followed you for several years now so knew about the accident and challenges with mobility. Having had a similar accident with one foot, I empathize completely. I wish you a speedy recovery and successful transition to your new physical version of your self. I am quite confident your spiritual self will remain thoroughly intact and steady.

    I’d like to add a note of support to Cynthia who is going through this with you and will help you meet your challenges each day.
    All my best and kindest wishes to both of you.

  317. In 2007 I was lucky enough to receive one of your books as a gift, and that “gift” has expanded and multiplied over the years as I have purchased and read many more of your books. I’m honored to support you today and wish you a strong and health recovery. To me, -you- are the gift.

  318. David, I just downloaded your most recent monographs & wallpaper collection. I haven’t had a chance to spend time with the images yet, but I know they’ll be remarkable. But what really impresses me is your attitude. Your fight, your perspective, your love of life. I wish you all the best in this difficult time. We need good souls like you firing on all cylinders. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

    Stephen

  319. David,

    I am happy to read that your surgery went well and wish you a speedy recovery.

    You have given so much of your talents as a photographer and humanitarian that it’s time for us to give back. Positive thoughts are being sent your way and thanks for the many hours spent reading your thoughts and vision about photography, and life.

    A new beginning in your life is before you. Be the positive, sharing and charismatic man in your recovery!

  320. Greetings from Sydney Australia.
    I’ve been a big fan of your work for a while now but haven’t picked up my camera in ages. Life seems to get too crazy and when it does I tend to lose sight of what’s important. Your images and the gratitude that you write with have helped me so many times and brought me back to doing what I love. By the time you’re ready to try on a prosthetic I’ll be the proud dad of a baby girl and I’ll sure as hell have my camera at the ready to capture all of fleeting and precious moments.
    Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery and cheering for you from the other side of the world.

  321. Hello David, oh Dear! What a shock to open my emails this morning. I am a long way from BC and have never been on one of your workshops I do follow your work and have been inspired by your words over and over.
    I too recently took the plunge and had a major part of my internals removed, even against the advice of my specialist because of my age. My surgeon was excellent in every way and a wonderful communicator and that inspired confidence. I was convinced in the end it was the right thing for me. I have made the best recovery and while nothing is perfect I feel relieved and happy to get my life back so I can take more photos.
    I therefore wish you the same wonderful recovery. You have the desire and the courage. I’m sure you will do well and feel excited by your life and craft again. It’s a journey for your loved ones too.
    All the very best to you and to them 🙏

  322. David, You have always stood as someone who has overcome the low ebb in life. Your smile is a testimonial for that. Sending you so much love, hugs, and healing.

  323. Tough news but remarkably positive. I wish you a speedy recovery and quick adaptation to your prosthesis. I look forward to your next photos.

  324. Hi David and Cynthia,
    I know this is a very trying time for you both. We hope that God watches over you both and brings you through this ordeal in the best way possible. At least you are a “veteran” of hospital procedures which I know helps when there is a big operation ahead.
    Here’s to a bright future.

  325. Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery and all the days of adventure, creativity and inspiration ahead.

  326. What a wonderfully long list of responses for you David. I wish you all the very best for your recovery, and pray that your new bionic limb surpasses all expectations. Your work inspires so many of us, not just your beautiful images, but the wisdom that comes along with them.
    One day at a time, and each will be better than the one before. 🙏

  327. Hello David
    We have not met but I am a huge fan of your work, your art, your sharing and your honesty. You have taken me to places I have yet to see and helped me see those that I have seen. Your courage through your fall and now through your brave choice to amputate in the hopes of greater mobility. Is inspiring and I wish you well. I will be buying your generous bundle and look forward to following you as you climb the next mountain.
    Thank you and bless you.
    Ron

  328. I have an adult daughter and a young grandson who both have disabilities. Their courage, determination, and acceptance of their challenges in life is an inspiration. The challenges that we face in life don’t have to define us, but they do impact who we are and how we live in this world. Some go down a dark path when faced with these challenges, but others just get on with life and figure it out. Having read your writings for many years, I suspect you will be one of the later. It will take time to heal and adjust, but you will figure it out. Meantime, based on just the number of comments already posted, it looks like you have an army of people willing to support you on this journey. Prayers for a good recovery and the wisdom and strength to journey down this new path in your life.

  329. David, I was so shocked to read this but then I had no idea about your accident. I was signed up to do the Coast & Vision course with you and Dave Brosha when Covid hit and the course was cancelled. I admire your courage and pray for your recovery and look forward to reading about your progress in the future. Karen

  330. As I expected, I had to scroll a looooong way to get to the bottom of the page to add my note of well-wishes. You clearly have touched a ton of people. My prayers are with you in your journey to get back to your passions. I have been greatly influenced by your content and style of teaching and often share your wisdom when I’m teaching in my little photography club. I have no doubt that whatever this journey turns out to be, that you will find a way to use it to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Many blessings to you as you work through these next steps (ooops, pun not intended!).

  331. David, I just want to leave you a word of encouragement. I can only imagine what the limitation for the past years has done for your getting out and around. I do hope this new start will work out well for you, and that you will be much less hampered by distractions.

    Get well soon, and feel better. Keep pushing ahead – as I’m sure you will. Blessings on you.

  332. Hi David,
    I admire your courage and vulnerability. Thank you for sharing what you are going through being that it’s so personal. Corwin said that all went well which is really good news! You are in my prayers and I wish you a really speedy recovery. 

    Just a note: You probably know this but Mark Inglis became the first ever double amputee to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 15, 2006, and there have been several others since. 

    Blessings for you and your loved ones.

  333. Best wishes for a speedy recovery David. There are more great photos out there for you to make. I look forward to seeing them and hearing about your process, which often *is* more about life than photography. New perspectives await.

    1. Quel magnifique courage de partager quelque chose de si intime! Nous avons tant reçu de vous, lors de tous les cours, que j’espère que tous ces messages vous apporteront un peu de soutien dans cette épreuve. J’ai toujours pensé que tout ce que vous disiez de la photographie pouvait s’appliquer à la vie elle-même. Merci pour cette belle philosophie transmise avec simplicité. Tous mes vœux pour votre rétablissement. With love. AF

  334. Dear David,

    my deepest respect for your courage and your decision and my heartfelt wishes that the recovery process will go as well as it possibly can, giving you back your (hopefully) painless freedom to roam the world again. After reading your newsletter today I was shocked, but looking through the comments and learning that surgery seems to have gone well I am really relieved.

    Take all the time you can to get well.

    Very best wishes,

    Boris

    1. Hi David,

      What can I say, you always, always fill me with inspiration so this was another one of those emails that actually was a big big surprise. I did not know that you fell, that you had experienced all these things. My daughter has chronic pain, lives about an hour from me. Why do I share this with you, because in many ways. I know know know how much this impacts your life, and those around you. And how it is hard to sleep at night.
      But that you shared is a big fat step forward. I would say to you, as my daughter has called me many a time at night to get through a tough tough minute or two, you can get through a tough minute or two, and that is all you have to think about. You are so, so courageous, so brave. And you take really good photos too. I thought you were so really cool because of your photography, now that is secondary to your survival and sharing of your struggles with pain and moving forward and conquering that. Love you for that. Hugs, I know, I am a loving everybody person. I am a grandma age. David, You are absolutely a HERO. You may have the down moments and they are really tough, but look at the photos that you have shared with us, and the really good classes that have been taught to us (I am still working on two of them and reviewing and reviewing them). But your humanity and goodness is what makes you who you are.
      I know, too many words. You can push the call button, at night, and just ask the nurse to come in and be with you for a moment when you just need a person to help you through the scariness or. pain. (I was/am a nurse too) We are there for support too.
      Hugs hope-that is what gets you through the really tough times and you will do it, you just started the hardest part. We are all here for you.

  335. Oh David, this is big. Choosing to move forward, though scary as shit, is always the right move. Accepting a new normal will be challenging but you are strong and capable and have all these wonderful humans’ positive vibes behind you!
    You just have to put one foot forward…🫢…too soon for that easy quip…??
    Grieving for you…seeing you through, with all the good mojo I can muster!

  336. Re: your foot issue. I think to put this into perspective; it might help to tell you a story from many years ago. At that time, I was in High School, thinking about going into prosthetics. (this is around 1967-68). I learned there was a shop not horribly far from me that made legs. I figured it would be a good idea to “touch my toe,” as it were in the job, to see how I liked it (or not). So for many months, I biked over there on Saturdays and made hundreds of ankle joints. (Everything at the time was made of wood, leather, and metal (for the supports.)

    One day a guy came into the shop with two canes. By this time, it was easy for me to recognize if a person had an AK or BK prosthetic (above or below the knee). This guy I could not figure out. He sat down on a chair, removed both legs with very little stump left on both legs. He came in for maintenance.

    At one point, he lowered himself down to the floor, hand-walked himself over to the bathroom. He lowered a shelf that was in there (I never knew what that shelf was for, it was in an odd location). He peed, lowered himself back down, flushed the toilet, and hand-walked himself back to his chair, picked up his paper, and continued to read.

    It’s very hard to complain about anything when you see that. I’m 72 now and I still think about that guy.

    May you be as resilient as he was.

  337. Hi David, I’m so glad to hear from you.
    I knew a surgery was planned for the beginning of this year, but not hearing from you made me afraid that something was going wrong: surgery too often postponed or some complications after the intervention. Now, I’m glad to know everything seems to go normally, even if I know that’s difficult and scaring time anyway.
    I hope everything will gradually evolve according to your expectations and I’m sure you will find a way to get back to your career, continuing to connect with us and the World with the authentic, and humane way that characterizes your work and your personality.
    Take care and be indulgent with you and your healing that will necessarily require some time. My thoughts will be with you.
    ” Bonjour ” from Sherbrooke, Qc

  338. Hi David/Cynthia
    I know you have more comments than you know what to do with but I just wanted to weigh in with love and good wishes to you both – because I know this is a team effort.
    Linda C is on a tour with me atm and has been keeping me updated. She forwarded your email to me.

    I can’t really conjure up the right words. Perhaps they don’t exist. It goes without saying that I hope the operation does what it needs to do for you and that recovery is swift and uncomplicated. I know you are the kind of person to rise above adversity and I hope that helps you through. I suspect an element of black humour will help. Along with seriously unwise quantities of Prosecco.
    Big hugs and warmest wishes to you both. I will follow up on your monographs as soon as this tour is done.
    Stay strong and keep positive. Your people need you. Xx

  339. I feel compassion towards your experience. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for telling us. Being strong enough to be vulnerable and accepting is adding good every day to your healing on every level. I am very encouraged for the healing your heart and mind and body will return to in the moments you will be stretched towards growth.

  340. What a powerful and courageous perspective you share David! Thank you for sharing and for all of the diligent care you took in planning and creating the communications with your followers. This shows how much you actually care about your impact on others. Good luck with the recovery and I can’t wait to see how this new reality affects your creative process and outputs!

  341. I wish you a speedy and uneventful recovery, and a return to a life without worry and fear…

    jj

  342. First, I’d like to say I admire your courage for sharing your story and for making the difficult decision of amputation. Second, there were two things you mentioned that elicited some emotional memories for me. You said you spent 40 nights in the hospital. In 2019 my daughter was hit by a van while crossing the street and spent about 30 days in the hospital before being flown home on a private “Angel” flight. Here she was in in-patient rehab for another 3 weeks followed by out patient therapy for about a year and a half. I’m happy to say she’s doing very well now. Second, last year my daughter and I attended Doc Opera, a fundraiser for a student run health clinic. Performing in this show was my daughter’s friend whom she knew from their dance studio. They had danced together for years and now both we going into the medical field. This girl was still as talented as ever. However, now she was performing with a prosthesis. Her leg had been amputated from the knee down due to an infection. Yes, my tears were flowing. Both these young ladies had the courage and strength to overcome their hardships and based on what I just read, I have no doubt you will too. God Bless and stay strong!

  343. Thank you for the update David. You have made a very brave decision and all our thoughts and prayers are with you. Here’s to a speedy recovery and rehab to get you back to the field doing what you love.

    Boyd Allen

  344. David, I have enjoyed your photography, your blog and your educational books and videos over the years. I am wishing you all the best in healing and recovery. Living with constant pain is something I am very familiar with so I hope that this brings you all of the mobility and pain-free movement that you hope for. Sending light and good wishes.
    Marilyn

  345. Hi David,
    I’m very touched by your message. I learned a lot about photography and life – I think they can´t be divided – from you. Thank you so much. I wish you the best. There’s no recipe for such a situation – you’ve got a strong life will and that will carry you.

    For the love of the life 😉
    Alex

  346. David I have been a follower of yours for many years. I have read your books and taken a number of your courses. I have always been impressed by your willingness to share and by your positive attitued towards life. You have truly been an inspiration in more ways than one. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through your recovery period.

  347. Oh my goodness first off I want to join others in wishing you a speedy and full recovery and hope your prosthetics allows you to return to the career you love and we are all inspired by. I also want to thank you, they say there is always someone worse off and lately I’ve been putting off pursuing much needed knee replacements. Your challenge makes mine seem trivial. You have inspired me and hopefully some day we can both return to pain-free photography.

  348. David, more greetings from amateur-hobby-land. Have greatly enjoyed your books and blogs over the years.
    A colleague’s son had the same amputation some years ago at a very young age and by his teenage years was playing ice hockey proficiently with his prothesis! So, I’m sure you made the right decision and will come through well to continue your stellar photography career. All the very best during recovery.

  349. Wow David – that’s a biggie… I’m a great fan of yours – your work, words and life have inspired me over the years for a long time now… I just wanted to say that I’m trusting you’ll recover quickly from the surgery and that you’ll make great progress learning to use and live life with your prosthetic foot. I’m sure you’ll have some very challenging days, but being pain free will be a blessing. All the best for the next few months as you recover and enter into the next part of your journey… Looking forwards to seeing your work as you move forwards.

  350. What a hard choice to make. Really hope all goes well and smoothly. You have been a photography inspiration to me for many years and now even more a personal one. Thank you and good luck.

  351. David, you are making a good decision, one that will prove itself after a little time. Several years ago my wife was hit as we rode our motorcycles on a bright December morning , by a kid with 12 moving violations. Her leg was already off above the ankle when I got to her, and later had to be amputated above the knee (below the knee is much better than above) that evening. The good news was no head injuries and modern medicine has provided replacement mobility. Surprisingly, over the years a number of people commented that a decision like yours was something they wished they had done sooner, so we wish you a speeding recovery, and look forward to seeing new photos and how they intersect with your life. Our thoughts are with you going forward. In support and love, Jamie and Sharon

  352. Before your accident, I was a follower of your work. I can’t pretend to know the depth of struggle to feel whole again after a life-changing accident and the pain and frustration that chips it away. Know you’ve still been an encourager and teacher to us to be better. Better at so many things. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to give back and I can’t wait to see where your next steps take you.

  353. Hello David,

    You once did a presentation to our photo club and I have participated in many of your online courses, learnings which still make a difference in my photography day by day.

    Thanks for sharing so openly about these difficult times – and asking for what you need: you are role modeling a lot of good stuff next to your photography.

    Wishing you a good recovery and that this will open up a new quality of life again.

    I’m flying to Vancouver on Saturday and will be thinking of you as I land in your wonderful corner of the world.

    Dirk

  354. Dear David, I am hoping that you feel some relief soon. You are showing such courage, both with your decision and then to share your story with your many admirers. Your heart, generosity and kindness shine through in all of your writings and teachings, and I believe these will serve you well as you recover. May you be surrounded by love and comfort.

  355. Holy smokes, man! Go big or go home! I am wishing you a very quick and easy recovery and more importantly sending you healing thoughts and wishes for a return to a more normal future! Thank you for your vulnerability and honest words. You’ve long been my favorite photographer and hopefully, we’ll hear more from you in the future as you’ll be feeling so much better!! Godspeed, my friend!

  356. I feel I know you personally after many years of readings books and magazines which I bought and collected. I remember you telling us when you fell and the physical and mental pain and anguish you went through. I was with you then and I am with you now. I am and I am sure all of here have your back on this new journey with our prayers. We know that you have the Will and strength to recover with more life and greater photographs in your future.

  357. Greetings from Detroit, Michigan. You have already proven with your life and your work that you have the power of RESILIENCE! Draw on that now when you need it most. Sending healing thoughts for a smooth recovery and strength and cheer to get through the rehab. Also comfort to your family and circle of support. Thanks for all of your inspiration and instruction. So many people around the globe are sending you good thoughts for this epic journey.

  358. I have enjoyed photography as a hobby in the rankest amateur level for at least 83 of my 88 years, so timidly may I address you, a master photographer, unprofessionally? This trial has brought you closer to your family and friends, and them closer to you, and like many of our trials they begin with our own misteps. After sparing your life, are you closer to the Lord or have you been too busy to invite Him into your life yet? He will come in only at your request. None of us knows if today is our last opportunity to ask Him for salvation. We are all sinners, and He paid the price for those sins on the cross and rose from death to apply that payment to us individually if we ask Him. “Lord Jesus Christ, I confess I am a sinner, please save me.” I did that 49 years ago and am more glad each day for doing it.
    Sincerely,
    William Keiter, M.D. (ret.)

  359. I wish you a quick recovery David.
    A lot of things I learned from you and I thank you for that.
    Be strong. We are waiting for you to continue together the beautiful journey that you initiated.

    Florian C.

  360. Sending love from Australia David. You have inspired so many in our photographic community. I always reach for one of your books when I lose direction with my photography. I’m glad your surgery has been successful and know the road ahead will be a challenge but I also know you’ll give it everything you’ve got and in no time at all you’ll be out photographing again. We will be cheering you as you hop and jump into the future.

  361. Dear David,
    While I have not been shooting as much photography – even for fun – as I used to, I still enjoy your emails. As you say, they are just as much about life as they are about photography. I admire your work and love following you because you are such an inspiration. I read your last email with the same anticipation I did when I read your email about Italy…only this time, it read differently because after reading about your recovery from Italy, it is very clear that you are a survivor. I hope your procedure goes well and you are pain free as you recover. I wish you and your family much love, and healing energy as you navigate this. All the best,

  362. Well, fuck. What a headline, certainly caught my attention. Especially as I’m listening to Nick Cave at the moment. As I sit in my office, if I turn my head left, I count 10 of your books within reach. On my computer are a host of courses you’ve created. Your style and approach to photography resonate with me and inspire me to be better and help me chart a course to move in that direction.

    I’m grateful for your instruction and for what you share; for who you are.

    After a decade in the Marine Corps and a misspent youth, pain is my shadow. What a gutsy decision to make to improve your life. Physically and mentally challenging. Challenging for your family. Likely spirtually challenging.
    But you made the tough decision to make things better. Ballsy move; well done.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and fruitful rehab. I hope these comments (0ver 300 currently) help you keep your spirits up when times feel dark. As Churchill said, if you are going through hell, keep going. It won’t be fast, but you’ll get to the other side.

    Be well, my friend.

  363. Dear David

    As a keen follower and grateful recipient of your knowledge and generosity I know that you will recover fully and be able to do the things that you miss doing.
    Your optimism, realism and sense of humour will carry you through the inevitable tough times as you adjust.
    I and the Knysna Photographic Society send you our very good wishes and look forward to you being fully recovered.
    With love
    Peter

  364. As a retired Presbyterian minister and before that a rehabilitation counselor who helped people with amputations, I can encourage you that we live in the best of times for medical miracles and rehab practices. Your photographs and writings (I go back to them over and over) have always challenged and inspired my photography habit, and you gave me the idea to do pro bono photo work for non-profits. Your depth of focus on the beauty of the earth and the wonder in humanity are rare. Your core of creativity is in all that you do, and will serve to overcome the fears of the unknowns ahead. You may be too weary to run anytime soon, but I’m pretty sure you will walk and not faint. DM

  365. Hey David. Hope all goes well and you kick it’s arse 😉 Take care Mate and see ya on the flip side.

  366. Wishing you the Very Best David! A speedy uncommplicated recovery and the ability to have full, pain free mobility in your future. Rest well & take care!

    Best,
    Larry

    1. Hi David
      I hope everything goes well for you and your new leg takes you on many pain free journeys.
      Keep us informed how things are going.
      ATB

      Carole

  367. Dear David thank you for being such an inspiration for many many years now. The insights you share in your blogs and the very human approach that transpires into photographic work reveal that you are a consummate artist. No doubt that is a profound quality that is still within you and will shine on. If I may let me give you this quote from Neale Donald Walsch of Conversation With God : “..I believe that God wants you to know… that this is not the end but the beginning. All endings start something better. It is inevitable. Here is God’s promise. Life proceeds, it never recedes. Life progresses, it never regresses. Not even death ends anything so how much can this particular event matter? It is true. When one door closes, another does open. The movement of life is ever upward. Six months from today, you will know this. For now, trust it. Do you think God does not know what she is doing?” my very best and do not cease inspiring us with your blogs, youtube Craft & Vision. you are still You even grander than you ever were. hugs to you and Cynthia. Dear Cynthia i send you all my love and very best for the support you give to David. You are I am sure the angel in his life.

  368. An admirer from the middle of the continent sends hopes and wishes for a smooth recovery. Am responding to your email received today. Have taken several courses of yours and have at least four print titles. Have just purchased Drawing the Eye, 2nd ed. In your teaching and work, there is terrific inspiration and concrete suggestions for deepening my practice of photography. Many of your ideas have gotten my photography closer to my visions. Thank you and get back to work as soon as you’re healthy.

  369. Over the past several years, your blogs and books have been a source of inspiration that has challenged me in ways that are difficult to describe. Some have taken me on a journey with my photography that I never would have gone on if it wasn’t for your encouragement. You write the words from my heart and soul that I have a hard time articulating. For so many reasons, I am thankful for you. I will pray for you (and Cynthia as she travels this road with you). For healing, for strength, for wisdom in all the details and decisions that are yet to come. But mostly that you will continue to do what you are called to do and are so incredibly talented at. I wish you the best knowing there will be struggles intermixed with victories. I pray you will use your network of friends when you need them…….and even when you don’t. Take care always.

  370. Thank you for such a personal story. Thank you also for everyone who shared wonderful stories of their own in the comments. Lovely messages from so many people who value what you do David. Thank you for the beautiful images. Wishing you all the best for the next chapter in your life
    Best wishes,
    Hannah

  371. Best wishes to you during your recovery. As in all things, one day at a time.

  372. Hi David,

    Thank you for sending me this note. I deeply appreciate your openess and honesty about your situation and how you feel about your loss. I remember some time back you wrote about your accident in Italy and the lasting effects. I appreciated your candor then, as I do now.

    Yes, this is a “loss” experience and it sounds like one which you have been dealing with for awhile. My family has experienced a substantial, but not catastrophic loss, several years ago. Recently, my daughter and I listened to an podcast of someone who had gone through catastrophic loss and how he dealt with it. I bought his book – A Grief Disguised by Jerry Sittser, and am working through it. Sittser suffered a catastrophic loss of his wife, his mother and his daughter in a horrific head-on collision – one that also left his other children and himself injured. The book is about his journey through the darkness of loss. One of the things that he says that has resonated with me is that when we, by choice, plunge into the “darkness” of our loss and pain, we can enter a new and different life. That life may not necessarily be “better”, but by choosing to engage it “adds dignity to our humanity and gives us the ability to transcend our circumstances, thus releasing us from living as mere victims.” Perhaps these words might be a little bit of encouragement to you as well. I know that you are great writer, but writing about this experience, whether just journaling for yourself or writing for others, might be very beneficial as you walk this narrow and difficult path.

    I will continue to pray for you in the weeks and months ahead.

  373. Looks like you have received a ton of good wishes and inspirational notes so I won’t even try. Wishing you a quick recovery and look forward to more inspirational photography notes in the future.

  374. Dear David,

    I have not met you and only recently subscribed to your email newsletter, but I was really moved after reading your email today about your foot.

    I suffered three severe spinal injuries last summer and had a surgery in the fall, and I am just now becoming able to resume some of my normal activities.

    Art Wolfe has kept me going for almost a year. My husband and I met Art 50 years ago when we were in the same mountain climbing organization in Seattle. We climbed with him for about ten years, and then his career took off and he was never in town. We are now reconnected and see him regularly.

    I somehow managed to travel with Art to Namibia last August with my care-giver husband when others told me I was crazy to go. I had three broken vertebrae and but I could walk short distances very slowly, and I could pull a photo roller-bag through airports, all with the help of a lot of pain meds. In the field I could barely hold up my camera for a few shots before having to rest. Art arranged a helicopter tour for us, because I could not hike into Deadvlei with the group. The helicopter tour turned out to be one of the best experiences I have ever had. After returning home I had surgery and seven days later I went to Art’s Sedona workshop. Regaining strength and mobility has taken a long time, and Art continues to encourage me to this day.
    Many of the medical staff I encounter have told me that many people in my situation just give up, ie, retire to a recliner and a sedentary life. So when you mentioned Art in your email, I felt gratitude that I know him, and want to wish you good luck with you new foot. You did not lose a foot, you are just getting a new one. Best of luck to you.

    Sincerely,
    Linda Parker

  375. Thank You David for sharing this difficult time with us.Your heart is open and big. You will make to live full life soon♥️

  376. Thank you for sharing this with us, even though it must have been hard to put into words. You are an inspiration in so many ways to SO many people. Sending you wishes for a peaceful recovery and a new lease on life (once again). Looking forward to seeing you get back out there doing what you love!

  377. I heard this woman’s story around a firepit Sunday evening. She was a college basketball player and lost her leg below the knee. She was showing off her new prosthesis that was held on by suction and much, much more comfortable than her previous ones. This is her story:

    https://vault.si.com/vault/1994/02/21/tracy-macleod-despite-an-amputated-leg-the-gutsy-collegian-still-plays-her-game

    If you want me to tell her to get in touch with you, I’m sure she’d be very happy to talk with you and very willing to share about her own experience.

    Take care.

  378. Thank you, David, for your courage and honesty in going to a whole new level in your blog.
    I think someone said once that “the personal is the highest level of evolution”.
    Being able to share that is fundamental to a good life.
    I am writing from hospital as a patient who spent most of his life as a doctor working in rehabilitation of paralyzed people.
    Showed me how good life can be even with that disability.
    Thinking of you with great hopes for your future.
    Graham

  379. David, that was a difficult read, but so well expressed. I’m sorry to hear that these challenges have continued and led to this place, but I’m so encouraged by your bravery and drive to find ways to move forward better. Even when it feels scary or overwhelming, your courage is profoundly felt.

    I’ve followed your blog, read your books, and studied your photos since the Aughts. As a writer and photographer myself, you’ve inspired my creativity for years, and you are continuing to inspire in life as well.

    Best wishes for a fast recovery, and excited you’ll be back on the hiking trails soon!

    -Jeff

    1. David you’re an inspiration to all of us. Not just for your photography and tutoring but for your bravery. It’s a tough time for you and with your determination you’ll come through it and be back to your great life
      We all care.

  380. Thinking of you over the coming months. My brother had most of his foot amputated after an accident as work 11 years ago. He did the work. You have lived with this for so long ; you will do the work. He doesn’t have phantom limb pain. I hope the same for you.

  381. I am amazed by your courage.
    I’m an ED doc and have had to both tell people they have lost a limb and been part of the team that has done it. You have show both courage and grace in the way you have faced this.
    From a professional point of view tho I lack detail it sounds as if you have made the right decision. We are not defined in who we are by the number of limbs we possess but by how we approach adversity.

  382. Hi David,

    Sending only my most positive thoughts your way.

    Although severly injured at birth, I did not realize I was any different than my sibblings until I experienced an argument between my parents about what to do about the fact that I could not tie my shoe laces.

    One of my favorite memories related to this was when I was working with a young man living with autism. He asked me what happened to me. After I briefly explained my injury he responded, “Mr. Pushie, better you like that than you dead.” I can not think about his reply without laughing. To this day I experience real joy remembering his response.

    David, you just never know when life’s most profound moments will happen.

    None of us get out of this alive. But I know you will rremain open to the real beauty in life.

    Live long and prosper.

  383. Hello David,
    First off wishing you all good things moving forward. one of the things it sometimes is difficult to get is perspective. From your post, it looks like you are there, if not well on your way. Over time I have found that life is mainly a series of adjustments, sometimes year to year, sometimes day to day, sometime moment to moment. It is ever changing. and your thoughtful writing shows that, and that you are coming to terms with it. That is an accomplishment to be proud of for sure.

    Once again, I wish you the best, and look forward to hear what the future hold for you.

  384. Hello David,
    I am saddened to hear about your amputation. For someone who loves to travel and wander and get into places most wouldn’t imagine, just for the love of a photograph, it must be tough – But knowing you (we have never met personally, but you have been an inspiration for years now) I can only see resilience and more creativity to come.
    This amputation might just be a minor speed bump in your wonderful journey and I look forward to your speedy recovery and continued adventures ahead.
    Your vision and sense of humor will lead you to everything beautiful to come – places unexplored, sights unseen and photographs uncaptured.

    Best wishes and exciting photo adventures ahead.

    Chetan

  385. Thanks for sharing a tough journey. You have the courage to make it through and out the other side to a better life without chronic, limiting pain. Life is a journey, sometimes it sucks, a lot, but you will come out the other side a better human, a better photographer and stronger being. Sending healing energy your way.

  386. Your commentaries in the past have been something I always looked forward to. I always considered you a mentor. Many times when I felt I had nothing to say photographically, your inspiration always gave me the push I needed. My wife and I felt was time to go to Africa to experience the same things you always write about. Made our plans for October. Wish us luck !

    1. David, I have been following and purchasing your books and videos before your accident. I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery.

  387. Hi David! Praying all is well with you now and you are looking forward to making new photos with a new improved foot! I’m thinking now about when a horrible accident left me at age 12 with a frozen left elbow and a bad leg but I discovered photography and even though the camera was awkward to hold at first I learned to make it work. I know that you’ll be able to make it work too and look forward to hearing more from you and how you progress.

  388. Hard to believe it was 12 years ago that you had the fateful accident. I still remember reading the news and thinking about what it must have been like to need medical attention so far from home. Having fractured my hip skiing, I know “quick recovery” only gets you so far. Looking forward to journey back from the surgery and the introspection that comes along with the process.