2019 NWHPC Portfolio Review Portfolio: Locks

Jesus says, “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:20

Artist’s Statement

David Bahn
Cypress, Texas

At a friend’s farm in the piney woods of east Texas I saw these locks on the gate to his property. As I looked more closely, I discovered something about them that was not initially apparent. See if you can tell…One of the locks was not locked! Secure? No.

Since then I have been interested in locks. Whenever I see locks, I naturally want to take photos of them. I hit a treasure trove of locks when we visited Fort Casey on Whidbey Island in Washington state. One after another, large steel doors with massive latches boasted locks. Abus, Master, and generic locks secured something – the life of me I cannot imagine. Actually, I suspect they are simply there to keep people out, not to keep treasure in.

These images, except for two of them, are from Fort Casey. One of the others was found in St. Maarten and the other in Guatemala. I wanted to bring out the grunge, texture, and harshness of the locks. Therefore, I over-saturated, over-emphasized the vibrance, added black, and adjusted the texture slider to bring out the hidden colors, textures, and already-grungy character of the locks.

My Goals

I hope the viewer will enjoy viewing these images, and perhaps think a bit about what it means to be secure. “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth…” says the Jewish rabbi from Nazareth. Perhaps we might consider what we are seeking to lock up and hold secure. Perhaps we will consider whether we are trying to protect our possessions. Maybe we’re isolating ourselves from others’ access in the process. Whether it’s fear, appropriate care, or other motives that leads us to use locks, we must remember that even the strongest lock is not perfectly secure.


David was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A high school friend introduced him to photography, a “real” camera (Minolta A-5) and the darkroom. Once he saw the images developing in the darkroom he was hooked. Graduating to a Canon SLR film camera, then to various Canon SLR cameras, he now shoots Sony a6000 and a6500…with a couple of Canon L-series lenses. He serves as senior pastor at St. John Lutheran Church and considers light to be one of God’s greatest created gifts.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: