Sunday, October 23, 2016

Freedom

Photo Credit: Glen Huizenga

"What is this photograph about?"

I was reading the July-August 2016 issue of Lenswork magazine when I came across that question in the Editor's Comments section. The editor, Brooks Jensen, was talking about reviewing photographers' work that is sent to him to assess for the possibility of being published in Lenswork. Brooks said one of the first questions he asks himself when reviewing other photographers' work is - "What is this photograph about?"


I thought about the photographs that I had taken earlier that day and asked myself the same question. What are those photographs about? The answer that instantly came to mind was - Freedom. That answer could have been influenced by the fact that I was sitting on a chaise lounge chair next to my husband in the pool room of the Holiday Inn Express of Crawfordsville, Indiana, relaxing after a soothing soak in the hot tub. We were in Indiana for a mini getaway to photograph covered bridges, wander country roads and do a little hiking.


We had the freedom to get away because I no longer work outside of the house, my husband has oodles of vacation time left, we have a reliable vehicle, and enough Holiday Inn points to enjoy staying free for three nights. We had no set agenda, other than needing to be at the first covered bridge at sunrise, a very reasonable 8 a.m. We could wander anywhere we wanted for three full days.


With the loss of our dear golden retriever, Scout, there comes a new freedom. For the first time in thirty years, I no longer have a dog that I am responsible for. A huge weight of guilt about the desire to travel and explore has been lifted from my shoulders.


While my photographs have always been about adventure and discovery, I think there has always been a deeper theme running through them. Whether is was a few hours of stolen photographic wandering, a solo trip to the Pennsylvania countryside, or week long getaways to my favorite northern place, my photographs have always been about that deep need for freedom.


18 comments:

  1. You have just expressed my feelings about photograph activity just perfectly. Adventure, exploring and freedom. Throw in excitement when one gets that perfect shot.

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  2. Lovely shots of all these bridges and I like the lone leaf in the last image.
    Asking oneself "What's this photograph about" is a really good idea. In our mind's eye, we know why we are taking a picture and the feeling it gives us. I can see how the word 'freedom' would come to mind when talking about these.
    How lovely to have a three-day getaway and enjoy it at your leisure!

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  3. Freedom is such a wonderful word to describe your photography adventures. I'll be thinking on this in connection with my photography. You picked the perfect time of year for your adventure, the colors are beautiful up there! Love the covered bridges, hope to see more!

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  4. Cathy, I love the direction your photography and your writing are taking. Finding our unique voice and answering the question posed by Brooks Jensen, these are lifelong tasks that propel us on our journey. I do see freedom, but I also see curiosity and reverence - all good combination for us all.

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  5. That's an awesome theme! When I'm editing, I often think - what am I trying to say, here? I really should be thinking that as I'm shooting! Your photos are stunning, and I'm glad you're enjoying some new found freedom!

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  6. I really related to this post Sarah -- both the asking of the question (which I am trying to do more) and your answer! Also, now without our sweet dogs we are more free now than ever before to explore and discover. Not all my images are about freedom -- but quite a lot of them are, at the deepest level.

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  7. As I've been reviewing thousands of old photographs (and deleting 90 percent of them) I've been asking myself that question a lot. It's usually accompanied by, "WHY did I take this? There's nothing here!" followed by pressing X for reject. I'm so glad you've recovered that freedom that's so essential to your soul. These beautiful photos look like you had a successful trip!

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  8. A good question, and a great post, Sarah.
    I just love covered bridges, and these photographs are just wonderful.
    Glad you had a relaxing time.

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  9. Hello my friend, I am so glad you have your freedom now. It sure is a wonderful feeling.

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  10. Yes, freedom is so freeing isn't it. We are like you, except we still have our lovely Gracie. Gracie though, has lots of offers to go stay with friends, even when we are home so there is never a problem when we want to travel..I do like the space of knowing that nothing is required of me on a trip, other than what I choose to do. My husband is very like minded so we always enjoy whatever and wherever we land...
    Your photo's are lovely, my favorite the isolated leaf...even three days is rejuvenating..thanks for sharing.

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  11. Freedom sounds wonderful . . .
    Glorious photos . . .
    Loved the yellow reflections . . .
    Freedom with some "bitter sweet!"

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  12. I really like the open bridge because we get to see the water that is running beneath it. And the fall colors too.

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  13. Beautiful pictures! I am just finding your blog, after receiving the Rural magazine, and I feel a connection to your writing, and photography. I think, for me, the most important thing I want to share in my photography and blogging is an awe and respect for the Master Creator of it all. I like how you want to share a feeling of freedom, how wonderful that you were able to get away for such a relaxing and enjoyable time! And I'm so sorry to hear about your beloved Scout, our animals become part of our family.

    Happy to have met you today :)

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  14. The images are beautiful! Love that you got time away to photograph covered bridges...for sure a dream of mine! Keep inspiring all of us!

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  15. Beautiful photos and wonderful sentiments. Now you have me pondering that question...

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  16. Your images are gorgeous! My favorite is the bridge with the reflection of the sky and trees, it is a wonderful fall image. We have a few covered bridges here in Ohio, but I have always wanted to see Indiana's bridges, they look beautiful. I can see freedom in your pictures, and also adventure and curiosity. I bet you will be going on road trips more frequently now, and I can't wait to hear about them. :)

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  17. I can't wait for another two years...when retirement is mine and I get to experience your kinda freedom!! These are sublime.

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  18. Lovely photos, and what a grand mini-vacation you had! Sometimes those short breaks are more rewarding than the long elaborately planned ones, aren't they?

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)