FREEDOM. A beautiful concept and a word that is heard often in July here in the USA. What we love about this word is its broad and evocative nature. In some it might stir the energy of strong political opinions while for others it could bring something as simple as a day off of work to mind. We couldn’t wait to see what this word/concept evoked for our Lowepro Storytellers. Below are their interpretations. Enjoy!
“Shooting athletes in motion is one of my specialties. Capturing that surreal moment that best conveys weightlessness is always an entertaining and challenging process. This image was part of a still and video shoot, but there is nothing like stills to convey the feeling of freedom and transformation that comes from being mid-air without helmets or crash pads.
“There is no other place on earth quite like enigmatic Bhutan. Cradled deep in the creases of the soaring Himalayas, the country is a spectacular mixture of stunning, rugged countryside, centuries-old architecture, vibrant and colorful culture and friendly, welcoming people.
Bhutan’s natural light is soft and golden, and the prayer-flag-strewn, snowcapped-mountain vistas are beyond breathtaking. Friendly locals in traditional Bhutanese garb fill bustling city markets, while smiling monks and nuns in flowing maroon robes occupy the ancient monasteries and nunneries that dot the rugged landscape.
I made this photograph of an elderly, semi-nomadic yak herder – one of our trekking guides, whom our crew affectionately called ‘Yak Man’ – on an assignment I was shooting for Nikon.
Here, he is demonstrating for us some of his yak herding techniques at the breathtaking, snow-covered Jimi Langsto Lake (3,880m / 12,800ft) high in the Bhutanese Himalaya. ‘Yak Man’ was the ultimate outdoorsman; he had amazing handmade yak hair clothing, even a pair of yak hair sunglasses he’d fashioned himself.
The feeling of freedom fills me when I reflect on my experience shooting in the craggy peaks, the fresh mountain air and the ceaseless blue skies of Bhutan – and witnessing ‘Yak Man’, leaping and yelping and living truly free in the hills of the mighty Himalaya.”
Camera = Nikon D4S
Lens = Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Shutter = 1/800 sec
Aperture = f/14
ISO = 400
“As I get older, I look back on my childhood and the memories of playing with friends in my neighborhood, riding bikes, camping out in our backyards on weekend nights, and that pure sense of freedom and fewer responsibilities puts a smile on my face.
I knew this Storyteller Mission of Freedom was coming up, so, while I was on a recent photography trip to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, as I was watching the young lambs run and play, jumping, kicking mid-air, knocking each other over – completely free -I wanted to capture it. Freedom was a perfect theme for what I was witnessing and was able to participate in by camping around the country completely “free” and able to hike and go wherever I wanted. It was a feeling I haven’t felt for a very long time.”
“The word ‘freedom’ is quite loaded these days. It’s been politicized and fought over, despite the fact that we all appreciate the importance, value and cost of our freedom. When I think of ‘freedom’ I think of what is quintessentially ‘American’, fully aware that ‘freedom’ is not an American idea or concept. I think of summer and I think of rodeos. I shot 2 portraits recently at the Glenwood Rodeo in rural Washington. Nothing feels more ‘free’ than a summer night watching cowboys ride wild animals in front of a cheering crowd.”
“Tso Moriri, Ladakh – known as ‘Mountain Lake’ at 14,836 ft. I was shooting this beautiful high altitude late and this woman in a red sari ran into the water. It was a beautiful and contrasting sight which gave this image a nice focal point!”
“I spent this last Fourth of July celebrating freedom with my brother and husband out on Lake Tahoe. My brother, a Captain and RC-135 Navigator in the United States Air Force, was learning how to paddle board in his American flag swim trunks! I’m beyond grateful for weekends like these and for reminders that it’s our loved ones out there fighting for us daily…and that Freedom was not, and never will be, free.”
“Freedom…. when people get busy, what do they do to in their free time to unwind from life? I enjoy exploring Mother Nature. Whether it’s scrambling up a summit or being tucked away on an alpine lake fly-fishing. What do you do?”
“There is no greater feeling of freedom than this for me! The beauty of the Canadian back country with no cell service or wifi, the possibility to explore a pristine area with my camera…I can’t think of anything else I would rather do!”
“This is Rey riding her speeder over her home planet of Jakku (from Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Having one’s own “wheels,” whether it’s a first bicycle, first car – or yes, a homemade speeder – has always felt like freedom. Being able to take off to explore parts unknown, or simply get away for a bit.
I live in Southern California – home of sun, sea and brush fires. We can do without the latter, but when life hands you lemons… Whenever there is a brush fire in the area I know we’re in for a spectacular sunset. So it was simply a matter of taking this tiny 1″ die cast toy out to an elevated area facing west at sunset. These types of silhouetted shots are pretty simple – just expose for the sunset. Very little was done to the color in post because the sunset was that intense.”
“I thoroughly enjoy quiet places, so this project put me far out of my comfort zone. This image was pulled from video that I shot at Bass Coast Music Festival 2017, a three day EDM music party. We camped between three stages and would wake up from our night of sleep as the last show ended almost every day. Trying to use earplugs to block the sound was useless and the bass would shake the ground all night long. The reason I love what I do is because of projects like this, being able to experience things that I never would have otherwise. This is a place people have the freedom to truly be who they are.”
“To me Freedom is like an open road, it’s an adventure waiting to be unfolded. It’s a road where you carve your own route and decide your own destination. Only those who risk it all to travel this road truly know what it is to be free.”
Lens: 14mm F/2.8
Shutter speed: 46sec
This image is not one that hasn’t been seen before on social media. Almost every single person that visits Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona has at least attempted a shot similar, if not identical, to this photo. In all actuality, everything about this image is wrong in my mind. I was there at the wrong time of day, the light wasn’t right, I was in the wrong spot to pretend I am dangling my feet. The list goes on and on, things I wished I could have done better. What I had at that moment was very little time to make something I deemed more perfect, but I shot the image anyway.
That being said, when we were tasked to submit a photo that represented Freedom I had to choose an image from this particular road trip I took alone for 15 days last summer in the Southwest. There was a brief moment that I considered living a more conventional life outside of photography. One that I felt might help me set a more firm foundation for the future. That lasted all of about the blink of an eye, and when it was over and I regained my Freedom to create and travel and embrace this strange life that I’ve worked so hard to achieve, I found myself in this place with my feet dangling over the edge (or at least close enough not to feel like I was going to fall), feeling completely and truly free. So, in a sense, although this picture is seemingly one of thousands and not unique at all, it represents that moment in my life when I learned that the Freedom to live this life of mine the way I do was a great gift, because you don’t choose a life, you live one.
“I shot this whilst traveling in Nepal. It was a beautiful morning trekking and the birds were flying over our heads and through the massive Himalayan mountains. This photo symbolizes the freedom of being a bird out there in the most spectacular mountain range in the world. It also symbolizes freedom because it was the first time I decided to go traveling just for myself, as well as my sense of freedom without carrying my heavy, expensive camera gear around. This photo was shot with a compact camera that I carried on my trip.”
“The beaches in Rockaway, New York are free for all to enjoy. What a beautiful experience for all New Yorkers to be able to enjoy the cooling water of the ocean during 4th of July weekend.”