The Freedom Of Seeing

Street Photography: The Freedom Of Seeing

"That thing you long to do, you're already doing it.
You just haven't given yourself the freedom to see it. Yet."

We were sitting on a wooden deck of an old, abandoned beach house with a green door and a red roof. The paint was peeling but the deck was still solid. We were eating lasagna that we had picked up from a nearby Italian trattoria.

The beach was solitary and quiet in the evening, as it usually happens in South-Australian Rosebud. Just a bunch of seagulls waiting for scraps, and a labrador puppy joyfully running around with his owner in tow.

We weren't talking. We had seen and photographed amazing sights on that day, and no words were necessary. Dave, my longtime friend and seasoned photographer. Me, an adventurer with a camera, a lover, a wayfarer.

"Dave," I finally broke the silence and threw the last few bites of lasagna to eager seagulls. "I think I don't want to go back."

"So don't," said Dave, without blinking. Dave is a man of great wisdom but few words. He doesn't need them. His images tell their own stories.

"No, you don't understand. I don't mean back to London. I mean back to my old life. It's killing me."

"I know." Keeping a meaningful conversation with Dave is almost impossible. He never says more than two words.

Fifteen minutes of silence. The sun was slowly saying goodbye to another day filled with awe.

"I think I want to do what you're doing. I mean, photography. You know?" I almost felt embarrassed. Maybe I shouldn't have said that. Maybe I just got sunstroke.

Dave was quiet for a while. Then he finally turned to me and looked me in the eye. No one looks in the eye like Dave. You feel that he can see right through you. Maybe it's his photographer's visual sense. Maybe it's his Aboriginal roots. His eyes read your soul.

"Honey, you're already doing it." The longest sentence Dave had said in the last three weeks.

No more words were necessary. I just picked up my camera and took this photograph. Freedom is more than just a word. It's a way of seeing.

That thing you long to do, you're already doing it. You just haven't given yourself the freedom to see it. Yet.