So I entered a competition with Canon Australia for January. The theme was ‘freedom’, which is awesome but also very broad.
It conjures all those images of vast landscapes, flying like a bird, surfing, dancing/leaping, etc, which of course were well represented.
I did not win this competition, but wanted to share with you my entry – this ‘Southern Old Lady’.
FREEDOM, January Canon Light Awards. Alison Shirley Photography.
I found this unfortunate visitor at my studio. He’d already passed and had a buddy with him too. (I can’t tell male from female by the way!). I couldn’t quite believe the perfect formation of it. I looked it up on the internet and most of the images I found of this species were shot with their wings totally open, which doesn’t have the same incredible impact that this guy had on me. Front on, it looked like I was staring at the face of a cat. What an awesome and convincing disguise – so striking. It got me thinking about freedom too.
There are so many versions of the idea of freedom. This guy had me thinking about the way that we can concern ourselves so seriously with the way we think people see us. Of course we can never really know the way people see us, but it certainly impacts on many decisions in ours lives, too many if we allow it.
For me freedom is an inner peace. Part of this is definitely about learning to be free of the opinions of others, in order to truly listen to myself. It might sound basic, but sometimes the opinions of the world and community, through multitudes of media, images and sound can be so deafening it’s hard to hear yourself think. (Then again, sometimes it’s my own voice that I need to shut down in order to think with clarity and truth.)
This little guy knows how to deflect what you think you can see of him and go under the radar, in order to survive his predators.
His ability to remain himself while you think he looks like something entirely different is his strength and ticket to freedom.
We can learn from him.
Although I did not get a place in the comp, by the look of this shot of the judge, my photo does seem to be flagged in the background (4 down from the top in the right corner), so perhaps I got a look-in?
How about you? What would your image of freedom be?
Check out the beautiful winning entries here