Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Bucket Lift

Where's Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman?

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I took this shot in December, during my five-day visit to India. It was taken, like so many others during that journey, with my Pentax pointing out of the open window of a four-wheel drive. In case you’re wondering, no, I wasn’t driving; I was just a passenger! We were on our way from New Delhi to Dehra Dun, a journey of several hours, and I kept the camera around my neck all the time, so I would be ready to shoot any scene that caught my fancy.

Steel buckets are pretty much a standard part of Indian life, in the city as well as the rural areas. Even now, I can still conjure up the distinctive clanking sound of the bucket rim being placed on a floor and then, a split second later, of the sound of the steel handle being dropped and striking the top.

We were passing through one of the many little towns on the highway when I saw this sight. In hindsight, it’s interesting to look carefully at the framing of this shot. Even if I’d been on foot, I don’t think I could have composed the shot any better.

17 comments:

Hilary said...

Great shot, David and you described its sounds so well.. I could hear it.

nitebyrd said...

David, you always make the mundane look fabulous! I love this shot.

Shrinky said...

My mum had a tin pail like that, she used it to mop the floor, I can still see it in my minds eye as I type. Lovely shot.

Charles Gramlich said...

I remember that sound very well myself, the handle of the bucket striking the metal, from my days of slopping hogs and feeding cows.

Seamus said...

Excellent capture from a vehicle David! :)

CamiKaos said...

for some reason they just look so cute to me.

I don't know why cute is the word I want to use but it is.

Daryl E said...

Its bad enough you passed the buck(et) on the blog of the day stuff now you've made me pail at the thought of you keeping the camera 'round your neck .. just dont get the strap caught on the handle or you could kick the bucket ..

jennifer h said...

It would be a treat just to see your photos OR read your well-written observations, but together? Wonderful.

This is a great photo.

Old Wom Tigley said...

I'm so glad this post did not 'PAIL into insignificance'

Jamie Dawn said...

Nice shot.

This image made a song run through my head:

"There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza.
There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole...."

Now, I won't be able to get that song out of my head!

joan said...

Great photo David! I like you description of the sound also. Why are steel buckets such a part of life there? I don't know much about the culture there but find different cultures and what they do fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

Cowgirl said...

Hmmm you've stirred a memory here too, can hear that sound quite clearly of the handle hitting the side of the pail - can't quite recall my connection with the pail so will have to ponder a while... Great shot!

Akelamalu said...

You have to really search to get a tin bucket here now! Love the shot David.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

What a wonderful photo! Hubby and I recently watched an episode of Gordon Ramsay (he was helping out the owners of an Indian restaurant) -- there were some sort of steel containers which were used for take-away lunches (apparently these containers are common in India). What a WONDERFUL idea they were... they reminded me of an army mess kit.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Tiffin carriers! Yes, now I remember! Ironically (hubby and I are huge Indian food fans) - my first taste ever of curry was a dish made for me by my college roommate (she was from Bombay... now that really dates me when I use the word "Bombay"). =) She now lives in Perth.

quilly said...

Dang that ol' Wom Tigley! I'd planned to say, "Your other photos pail in comparison ...." but he stole my word. I wish the injustice of that would have galvanized my thinking so I could come up with something comparable. Alas, I couldn't get a handle on any other thoughts, so will have to carry on without.

Katney said...

Well, as I have said before, having spent a month in India, I will never be surprised by anything you show me from there. I may, however, continue to be amazed at the skill with which you show and describe it.