Monday, March 24, 2008

Cash-22 Situation

Money Makes The World Go Round

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


This was the money shot, in more ways than one. It’s one of the photographs I took during my highway journey from New Delhi to Dehra Dun in December. However, hindsight is a wonderful factor. Let me explain. When I took the shot, the four-wheel-drive was travelling fairly quickly through a little town and I thought these were garlands hanging outside a little shanty shop.

It was only the next day, when I backed up the shots onto my laptop, that I realised the significance of the image. Yes, they are garlands, with sparkly golden tinsel by which to hang them, but take a closer look. Examine the image below - which is simply a cropped version of the original photograph - and you might be able to discern that the garlands are made from crisp, new currency notes.

When I posted the first images during my India trip, some readers asked how I managed to keep the camera steady and shoot from the open window of a moving vehicle. I simply improvised. I held the camera in my right hand and supported it in my left hand, trying to use the left hand as a sort of fluid tripod, rather than a metal, rigid tripod. Worked fine, most of the time!

(The Odd Shots concept came from Katney. Say "G'day" to her.)

22 comments:

aims said...

I think the story behind why they hang money like this is necessary!

I thought it was those ribbons they put on the horses when they have won!

the amoeba said...

Looks to me like those are 20 rupee notes, so each garland contains up to ca. Rs500. About US$12.

Which doesn't sound like much - until one reads that minimum wages for unskilled workers in India run around Rs100 (a day?). So the bigger garlands are about 5 days wages.

Begging your pardon, but I find the symbolism to be appalling.

Gawdess said...

Interesting that they would be hanging in a shop.
eyecatching.

John said...

Hi David!
It was cool too read how you captured the odd shot. I can`t enlarge them but the picture looks sharp. Well done.

CrazyCath said...

What an unusual shot! I wonder what the significance is of using money to decorate in such a way, if there is one? Did you ever find out? I also find it curious that they can hang like that outside a shop and not get stolen (maybe some do?) It's not something that could happen here.

Excellent shot. Excellent M.

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

So is it like a decoration that can be taken down and spent on a rainy day?

Lee said...

Fascinating shots, David. When I sailed with my parents in the Bahamas I was intrigued by the differences in currency. Imagine, a water mark that was a conch shell. So the pinkish color of those garlands makes me wonder what the currency would look like close up. Guess I'll have to go looking. Wonder if they'll have water marks.

Happy Easter!

Janice Thomson said...

Definitely an unusual shot. What is the reason for money being displayed this way? Are they a decoration of some sort?

Sharon said...

It is interesting the way you realized, after the fact, what you hade there. Fun story, ant the garlands are pretty.

I put up my first Odd Shot.

Cowgirl said...

Woah, show me the colour of your money! Nicely captured, David. I can see that a moving vehicle shot would simply represent a challenge, more than equalled!

Lilli & Nevada said...

Very interesting post i would of never known that.Thank you

Daryl E said...

Adds a whole new value to origami!

dot said...

Very unique for sure!

Hilary said...

Cached cash.. very cool. Great and impressive shot. :)

Amrita said...

These look like wedding garlands.

diane said...

thanks for sharing the process of taking this odd shot. very nice~

quilly said...

Money as a decoration. Hmmmm, maybe someday I'll have enough to know what that's like. Oh, wait, I'm a teacher ...never mind.

KaiBlueCreations said...

Aloha David,
I love the artistic nature of the origami money here.
It's considered great luck to shop keepers to hang elaborate Money charms..least in Malaysia.. Same for India?
Peace, Kai

Charles Gramlich said...

Your method of holding the camera sounds similar to a pistol grip.

Katney said...

I would never be surprised at anything I would see in India. And always so logical--just different.

diXymiss said...

A fascinating odd shot.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Ha! Interesting...they are really pretty, like wind-spinners. I wonder what the lore is on them