Photography and Philosophy Provides the Perfect Pandemic Outlet

Lad Sessions Photography:

Despite quarantines and social distancing, Mother Nature still puts on a breathtaking display and Kendal at Lexington resident Lad Sessions has been making the most of it over the past year.

Photography wasn’t always Lad’s focus. His career included teaching Philosophy at Washington & Lee University for 40 years. He retired from teaching in 2011 and in the years since, his interest in photography resurfaced.

“Back when I first became interested in photography in high school, film and equipment was expensive. Now, the equipment is still expensive, but with digital photography I can take as many photos as I want.”

In the fall of 2019 Lad and his wife, Vicki, moved to Kendal. As quarantine and social distancing practices emerged, he found it all the more compelling to be outside among nature, capturing it all with his camera.

“COVID Ramblings”

Determined not to let isolation and lack of social activities get the best of him, a self-prescribed project came to mind. Out in nature, there’s no need for masks, just fresh air, trees, rocks, rivers, and the freedom to roam about.

Over the past year, he and Vicki have made weekly day trips within a two-hour drive, visiting places they hadn’t visited in years. “It seemed like a great comfort to do that,” he added. “It’s such a beautiful area to get out and see, there’s such visual delight around.”

Once one takes as many photographs as Lad has, the question of what to do with them soon pops up. At the urging of his daughter Laura, who lives in New Zealand, he is working on a book project tentatively titled “COVID Ramblings.” He plans to wrap up a year’s worth of photography to include all four seasons, then self-publish the collection later this year.

Some of Lad’s images of vivid sunsets and rolling landscapes are used on the Kendal website and other materials. But it doesn’t stop there.

A Virtual Display

He also contributes to an international travel blog, The blog gives Lad an outlet for his two great interests, photography and philosophy as evidenced by his reflective essays that accompany the images. Just search for “Covid Photographic Ramblings” to find his contributions. A colleague of Lad’s dubbed him the “philoso-photog.”

Whether it’s a study of bark and textures done in black and white, or colorful wildflowers and butterflies, sharing photographs and his thoughts has been a perfect antidote for staying active during a time when many focus on what they can’t do.

While exhibitions and contests are not part of his future plans, Lad does keep those on his two mailing lists well supplied with his latest images. He shares them with Kendal residents as well as a big list of family and friends, sending them a weekly collection for them to enjoy.

Lad isn’t giving up photography any time soon. He says the time out in nature is a great comfort, an almost soul-soothing activity to take the time to look at the world through his lens.

As he states in one of his blog entries, “I am rarely so happy as when prowling the woods with camera in hand.”

Photos of the KaLex Campus- by resident Lad Sessions

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