Freedom in flight.

If I could fly without the aid of an airplane or helicopter or any other man-made contraption, I’d like to think that my hair would act as a pair of wings and take me wherever I wished.

To me, flying is the ultimate form of freedom. Sometimes I like to imagine all the places I could go if I was able to fly freely – I could save so much money on plane tickets and travel around the world! That’s not to say that I dislike airplane trips. I don’t love them – but who does?

Flying has always represented something extraordinary to me. Something limitless. As a short human girl who is unable to fly (like all other humans), I have a big fear of heights. Or rather, should I say, a fear of falling. I enter shopping malls and am cautious not to look down when I am on the top floor. I stay far away from the edge when I am on a balcony. Something about falling just terrifies me. The idea of losing control and feeling helpless, waiting to hit the surface. It frightens me.

So when I say that flying represents freedom to me, I’m not just talking about physical limitations that can be broken. The ability to fly would remove this fear of falling that I have. It represents breaking those barriers of fear that hold me back from doing things I’m passionate about. It’s a metaphor for following my dreams without being afraid of failing.

Back in 2017 I created a character that could fly with her hair. I guess I was subconsciously inspired by her, because late in 2018 I started taking photos of my hair in motion (you might have peeped these on my Instagram). When I see my hair like this, it reminds me of a pair of wings taking flight. It seems as though my hair has a life of it’s own.

I have many more photos which are still a work in progress, however the above pictures were taken at Nepean Dam last year. I recently wrote about this trip but excluded these images because they weren’t ready at the time. Now that I’m somewhat content with this batch, I’m writing to announce that this is a sort of “series” I’ll be working on whenever I go somewhere special!

Before and afters of these photos after Adobe Lightroom post-processing. The green and yellow hues were changed to look orange, and the blue was given a hint of teal. I didn’t mind the original colours at all, but I felt as though the subject matter wasn’t highlighted enough and so a complementary colour scheme was created to really make it pop.

I don’t usually edit my photos so heavily (to the point where I change most of the colours), but it’s a trend I’ve been seeing a lot on Instagram that I wanted to try for myself. I’m not totally comfortable with it yet but I think stepping out of my comfort zone a little is what this series encompasses. I think the “over editing” gives the images more of an unrealistic feel – which is totally fine because that’s the vibe I was aiming for anyway!

This image was so insanely difficult for me to edit for some reason. I just hated the colour of the sky and the way the light hit the lake. I spent hours getting it to a point I thought was okay. For this photo, I had to do some painting with selective brushes (green hills and water) and graduated filters (sky) as well as my regular edits.

More photos with this concept will be coming up this year (eventually). If you’re interested, you can keep track of them by watching this space. I’m hoping to evolve these photos into something more interesting in the future! Perhaps I’ll step out of my comfort zone a little more..

But until then, see you next week!

— Deborah

P.s. Thank you to my wonderful boyfriend Dylan who captured these photos for me.

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