Images have different meaning to the photographer and to those that view it. Saying that, it is ultimately what was seen by the photographer that gives us a glimpse into the person (and unique vision) behind the camera. I first saw these shed doors while I was photographing church doors across the street. I was not overly impressed by the church doors but I kept thinking I should find, within those doors, a meaning, a spirit that would beckon me. Seeing I was a bit frustrated, my wife asked me if I saw the interesting shed doors behind me. I had not originally noticed them, as I was so intent on capturing the image of the church doors. When I turned, and gave them my attention, I was amazed at how they affected me... drawing me to take their picture.
Later in Lightroom and Photoshop, the image was processed. I struggled for several days with a title for the image. As is my habit, I searched for an appropriate quote to go with the image. Searching quotes for the words abandoned and forgotten, I finally choose a quote and a title, that just didn't thrill me.
I didn't give the image much thought after that until I decided to enter it in a juried art exhibit several years later. My daughter happened to be visiting at the time, so I presented her with my dilemma, and asked for her thoughts. It was around Easter and when she looked at the image, she thought of its resemblance to the crucified Jesus Christ and said it should be named forsaken. I immediately agreed with her, as did my wife... that was what I was meant to see all along. As we are to seek the encouragement and support of other believers, it took the combined "sight" of the three of us to finally put it altogether.
The shed, with its blood red spattered paint, the vines encompassing the top of the doors, its obviously battered, broken, and forsaken appearance has the semblance of Jesus on the cross. It was then that I remembered it was Jesus who said, " I am the door..." Although attending a "Bible believing" church is important... ultimately it is only through Christ that we are saved. The door of the church building... entering into a structure of formal religion (and becoming a member thereof) is not what is required for your salvation and spiritual growth... it is a personal relationship with Him, the Son of God, who suffered and died for our sins.
If you look closely and deeply into the image, you may find even more symbolism and meaning.
The framed photograph is now on display at The Whitaker Center in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania until August 22nd, 2014.