• Dee Lister

Project: We walk and we're free

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

22 March 2021



This documentary photography style project was conceptualised and created as a submission to produce a documentary photography set for an assignment set at the Creativity Beyond the Camera Club. When considering a topic for a documentary project walking in nature with the dogs I take out regularly as a paid dog walker was a natural choice of topic.

Far more than just a ‘paid job’, walking dogs and being in nature is integral to my wellbeing and mental health. This isn’t just during lockdown when the project took place, though I’ve no doubt continuing these activities contributed to the sense of freedom inferred with the project title, which was chosen at the end.

The project includes a mix of stills and intentional camera movement (ICM) images, as well as free verse stanza text that was written (spoken into an audio recording device) during the walks. This material was gathered between Feb-Mar 2021 during walks with dogs named Monty (cocker spaniel), Lottie (schnauzer), Oscar (mixed breed), Betty (golden lab), and my dog (the little and long one!) named Norri.

A stream-of-consciousness style approach to the photography and the accompanying free verse was taken to convey a sense of flow, movement and continuity. This was intended to be like a diary, but without the constraints of chronological and linear time. It was about the mindful sensory experience, which I imagine is something like how dogs experience the world. They aren’t constained by human rules of time, and when in nature I find it possible to connect with this sense of fluency.

I wasn’t fixed in terms of the form of photos and didn’t plan them as this was part of the story, though I did take the same lens out with me and shoot all images landscape and in colour. There was a wealth of material to use though the final selection were chosen to avoid repetition of compositions and in conjunction with the free verse. The process itself involved printing and using lots of floor space!

I'd love to see feedback about this ongoing project if you have any thoughts and thank you for reading.

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