Wednesday, December 18, 2019

What's in a Name - "Odinman" A story about Barrett Odin; My Great Nephew

"What's in a name?"


What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” - Wm Shakespeare; Romeo and Juliet

What exactly did our friend Billy Shakespeare mean by this saying in his famed play Romeo and Juliet?

This quote is rather profound and suggests that names don't hold any worth or meaning and they are just labels to tell one thing or person from another.  In the play, Juliet says this to Romeo to say that even if he had a different name, he would still be the man she loves.

To my darling Barrett Odin; No matter what your name would be I would love you the same but your mom and dad chose a really kick ass name!

I love it and I have since the minute he was born in December 2018.  He came early, extremely and dangerously early and was required to spend a lot of time in the NICU or as they call it, "The Nick-U". 

When I heard of his arrival, I waited a few weeks because I wanted to make sure he was strong enough for visitors and I flew the 1,300 miles to Nebraska to meet my new nephew.

He was so tiny and delicate but he was strong and I could tell that he would live up to the strength of his name because when you are named after the Norse God of Wisdom, Magic and Death; you've got something going for you.

When Barrett was getting close to his first birthday I found myself back in Nebraska and meeting him all over again. By now he is pulling himself up to furniture, making funny noises and showing a lot of personality.  I started to visualize a photoshoot of him depicted as his namesake Odin and I felt a plan start to come together.

Shortly before I left Nebraska to return to Reno I met Barrett Odin and his momma Kelsey in Lake Manawa, Iowa and with the help of my daughter Whitney, I took this shot of him in the middle of a wooded area.


It was terribly cold and windy but the light was great since it was cloud covered and I didn't have to contend with harsh shadows.  I was optimistic that this was going to come together nicely especially since the star of the show was a sweet, patient and tolerable sweet little boy. I think I got 10 good shots in before we had to call it a wrap.

His mom is very crafty, in fact she has a thing called "Kelsey's Krafts" and you should check it out on Facebook. She made the Superman emblem with an O instead of the S for "Odinman" which is what I named the photograph.

When I came back from Nebraska I had to take an immediate hiatus because of some minor surgery then finally picked up the project hoping to get it done before his first birthday.

I immediately did not like the background and decided that I would need to create a new background and also get pictures of a few other components of the composition like a spear and ravens.

First of all, I needed to find a spear that resembled the spear Odin took into war. The spear's name is Gungnir and was fashioned by elves. This spear is special as it was told that it never missed it's mark. I knew I needed to find an appropriate and fabulous spear to take a picture of and that's the first place I failed.  I finally had to use a stock photo which I manipulated to the nth degree since I could not find an actual spear close enough to being as cool as Odin's spear.

Second of all, I needed photos of Ravens. Odin had two ravens named Huginn and Muninn and these ravens would spy on Odin's enemies and bring their secrets back to him which I think is pretty cool.

Now, living in Nevada I see ravens all over the place and I was certain that this would be an easy part of the process but as fate would have it, I didn't see a raven for the next several weeks even though I carried my camera everywhere.

I went on a hike one day with a group and the woman leading said, "Don't be surprised if we see a lot of ravens on this hike".  We didn't see one, not even one so again, I had to resort to a stock photo of a raven.

Odin had an eyepatch since he traded his eye to drink from a well that gave him knowledge of the universe but I opted to leave it out. Odin also had two wolves Geri and Freki that I decided to omit since the thought of finding wolves to photograph did not sound appealing at all.

So there I was with all my components and I set them out on my Photoshop canvas and again realized that I hated the background so after thumbing through all my photos and not finding one that I loved, I decided to use another stock photo for the background.

In a nutshell, the only part of this photograph that I took was Barrett and that is it.  As I get the components together I will replace them with my own original work but until then, this is the result of my work.
I'm really happy with the way this turned out and when you ask, "What's in a Name?" Just ask this tough little guy here.  Aunt Liz loves you Barrett Odin and by any other name I would love you the same.

If you want to see my SmugMug website where the photo is in full resolution please click here

For more photos and stories, check out my website at 
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Peace and Love,

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