|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.