Another case this week of the image coming before the theme. But I don’t mind this backward way of coming up with a theme word to share with everyone, I feel it sometimes is a more organic way of coming up with a word that fits into my own current state of mind.

The last few weeks I’ve been on a holiday, venturing around Nevada and California on a sunny road trip before winter starts and I’m stuck in the snow. After spending a few days in bustling busy Las Vegas my partner and I headed south toward Palm Springs. I tried to come up with ideas for the project in Las Vegas but the chaos and the lights and crowded streets proved to be entertaining but not necessarily inspiring.

On our drive down toward Palm Springs we drove through the Mojave Desert and while the tacky roadside attractions were fun to see there was one spot I really wanted to visit. The Mojave Desert Lava Tube.

We left the main highway onto a beautiful classic desert road for about 19 miles and then switched to a terribly rutted and windy sandy track. Our poor rental car was really working for those 4.5 miles of dust and bumps and sand. When we arrived, a few others were slowly walking their way toward the underground lava tube and we scurried up the rocks toward the small ladder poking out of the ground.

We climbed down and into the crater of the lava tube and after some ducking and climbing we came into the chamber of the tube with light pouring in. It was quiet and peaceful and felt a bit like an Indiana Jones film. We shot some photos and I threw some of the fine sand up in the air and in the images, it already took the shape of a bird.

Once I started editing I knew I wanted the image to have that bird element in it. I like the idea of the light leading the way and the peacefulness of the bird flying to it. And then after some thinking my partner and I decided “Freedom” would be a good choice for the image and the theme.


Freedom in the desert, on that road trip. It was freedom to be in the middle of nowhere and just enjoying the experience. Freedom from stressful situations and freedom from responsibility. But also tying in with the freedom that I have in the world, largely because of the sacrifices of others made many years ago. Freedom.