“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”
Doors and doorways have been symbolic across cultures for as long as history has been recorded. A door is both an entrance and an exit, so it has been associated with portals and passageways on many levels throughout history. Doors are closely related to gates and thresholds because the three share some very similar symbolic features and sometimes work together to create passage.
Doors were first seen in recorded history on paintings inside Egyptian tombs. The ancient Romans had advanced architectural elements and were known to have used single, double, sliding, and folding doors. The Roman god Janus was the god of doors and doorways, and also the god of beginnings, endings, transitions, gates, gateways, and time. Doors still continue to symbolize all of these elements today.
A door is first and foremost an entrance. On a literal level a door usually leads to the inside of something, be it a house, building, or other structure. Within a structure itself a door serves as both an entrance and exit to other rooms, a passageway between rooms, and an exit from the structure. On a metaphorical level, a door can become an entrance to nearly anything, but it is most commonly used to symbolize the entrance to another world.
An open door has been a long-time symbol of a new beginning. An open door shows that there’s a way out and can also provide a view of what lies ahead. A closed or locked door, on the other hand, can represent a dead end or create the feeling that there’s no way out. A door can be a symbol of opportunity or one of imprisonment.
A door or doorway symbolizes the transition and passageway from one place to another. A door is often used to symbolize the passage from one world to another in religion, mythology, and literature. A doorway may be used in lore and literature to symbolize a short transition, while a hallway might be used as a contrasting longer transition. Even when people literally use the door of a building to enter or exit the outside world, they are going through a type of transition each time.