Saturday, April 19, 2008

Notions Thirteen

Hang On, Where Are Clooney, Pitt And Damon?


Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I've really enjoyed this week's theme for Photo Hunt and I thought "13" was a great choice of a semi-abstract subject. If you look carefully at the top picture and if you remember your Roman numerals, you'll see that it is a really lucky depiction of the theme.

I reckon I'm a fairly observant sort of bloke, but I've walked and driven past this sight several times in the past year - five times a week, on average. I had my son in the car with me and we were talking about the need to find a really unusual shot for the theme, rather than a straightforward photograph of the figure 13.

That's exactly the point when my jaw dropped open and I said to him "Have a look at that - there's the shot I need to take." And he just burst out laughing, because it was perfect for what I wanted.

So, have you managed to figure out what this image shows? Let me explain. It's a wooden bench and the back support, instead of comprising several parallel slats, has an unusual arrangement. There are a couple of perpendicular slats, then one in the shape of an X, then several more perpendicular slats and another X.

Having identified what I wanted to shoot, I then had to face up to the logistics of taking the shot. The bench is on a verandah which gets the sun for about twelve hours a day, so of course the harsh Australian sun has taken its toll and the paint or varnish on the wood has faded completely to the colour of mountain ash.

Immediately behind the bench is a window and of course there are curtains as well - several factors that complicated the equation to take an effective shot. But here it is, just as I saw the figure XIII, with no tricks and no enhancement. And now for the rest of my photographs ....


This (above) is a big Beaurepairs tyre shop on Kingsway, in south Melbourne. The early afternoon light was very strong and I had to make sure I didn't get any reflection, while giving you an idea of the traffic flying past as well.


This was a nearby traffic signal fault alert, with a sign providing the telephone number to call if the lights are not working properly.


The credit for this shot (above) goes entirely to my son. He saw a gardening franchisee at work and told me that the man had the phone number for the franchise emblazoned on his back. So of course, I rocked up and asked the bloke's permission.

I tld him what I wanted to do and he looked genuinely surprised. "The phone number's on my back?" When I assured him that i was indeed on his back, he grinned and told me to go ahead.
"Do you want me to turn around and face the light?" he asked.

No, mate, I said, that's not my style. I photograph people and objects exactly where they are. However, it's interesting to note the detail of the fabric and how clear it is, even in fading light.


This was a photo of the gardening franchisee's truck, and I've framed the shot carefully to get in just the first two digits of the number to call if your garden is getting out of control.


This shot, of a taxi driving away from the Langham Hotel (formerly the Sheraton) in Melbourne is another one I planned to take as soon as I knew what the theme was. You see, "13CABS" is the phone number of the cab company. I could have photographed several stationery taxis at the cab rank, but it's far more fun to shoot a moving object.


And this final shot is a publicity poster for the musical "Guys And Dolls". Can you spot the 13? If you can, I'd suggest it's because you have a can-do attitude. Or maybe, in the light of this shot, that should be a can-can-do attitude.

55 comments:

willow said...

Great 13's! Your best and most ingenious is the bench, I must admit.

lime said...

the bench is fabulous! great way to get 13

Daryl E said...

You have proven that 13 is not unlucky!

the teach said...

Wow, David, so many 13s! That one at the top though, that is the best - XIII. :D

Seamus said...

My favorite number!!!!

Sandi McBride said...

I'd say you're just one lucky man to notice the shot of the wooden gate with the x111 out there right out loud...found the 13 in Guys and Dolls noooo problem...must be one of my favorite musicals...great shots of 13!
And thanks for my kudos...you're a guy whose a doll
Sandi

Jamie Dawn said...

You did a great job finding 13s.
Your son was a help too.
That first one and its story is just the best!
You took that bench, which had nothing to do with the number 13, and made it a prime example of the chosen number. Very good work!

Tammy said...

Okay the first photo threw me off for a sec. I guess I'm a little slow. LOL

Maggie May said...

Unlucky for some but obviously not for you! Good shots!

Nicole P said...

Wonderful 13's!!
And now to hijack your post, LOL!!
I was reading this today and since you are the only person I "know" in Australia, I want to know if it is true. Because if I ever find myself husband-less, I know where I am moving.

BRUNO said...

Yeah, I did have just a bit of trouble finding the "13" in the last pic. But only for the first five minutes. Seems like there's SOMETHING drawing my attention away...???

Katney said...

I think your best and most ingenious is your title. I found thirteen to be challenging. There are twelve tulips at my doorstpe, twelve of this and twelve of that--sometimes more, sometimes fewer, but never thirteen. I managed, though, and it will appear just as Saturday does here in Pacific time.

julie said...

David! Your photos are so lovely. But the most simple one, the first photo is what I love the best!

Have a great weekend!

ancient one said...

All good photos... but I like the first one best!! I'm still thinking...

Dan Mega said...

David this is really cool!

Also check my blog when you have a chance as I have a gift for you sir.

Stacey Huston said...

Very creative. I love the roman numeral one. Doubt many of would have thought of it..

D... said...

That first shot is beyond clever!

Kathryn said...

I need a lucky 13 right about now. Love the bench!

Bachelor said...

Great shots on the number 13. I liked your last one best... and your attitude comment.. good job.
you have an interesting career! go for it! Hope to be back soon.

Vic, the Cariboo Ponderer said...

A really great post I like the bench.

Napaboaniya said...

The 13 on roman numerals is really unique :)

Barbara H. said...

That first one is especially clever! Great choices for today!

Mushy said...

Very clever!

jmb said...

The first shot is just the best for this week I'm positive. I just laughed when I saw it. Have a good weekend.

Suzi-k said...

hehe. looks like you had a lot of fun with this one, and yes, the back of the bench is the pick of the litter and deserves its place at the top, great idea! I hopped across from Dot's Picture This, love the RR wheel, and particularly the reflection of your jeans, looks like you were doing the charleston while simultaneously photographing the wheel!

Carolyn said...

The roman numerals on the bench was genius. Way to go.

Corey~living and loving said...

well done David. you rocked it. that bench shot.....fabulously creative. :)
have a great weekend.

Colin Campbell said...

Fantastically creative take on the theme. You have such an eye for the right shot.

mirage2g said...

The first photo is the best! Its nice that you find something readily available! Happy photohunting!

Lynn said...

A serendipitous drive I must say with all those 13. I specifically like the roman numeral shot.

Hootin' Anni said...

Dam"m" that is one excellent choice this week, David!!! [the roman numeral].....so so darned clever!! You get an A+ for that one.

My week's entry also has a gift for all Photo Hunters...come on over and pick up your 'prize'!!

Dragonstar said...

That bench is perfect! I'm glad I'm not the only one who fails to see things at times. You found a lot of 13s.

June said...

What good eyes you have to see that 13 in the design of the bench!

Old Wom Tigley said...

:O) great captures.

Juliana RW said...

wow...lots of 13 you got. I like your 1st pic.

Hope you visit my 13 Thanks

Pato & Pearl said...

great collection you got here. And impressive how you had that first shot of the roman numeric. I love the cab picture. ;)

Pearl - have a good weekend

Joyismygoal said...

That was fun finding those thirteens wasn't it and your above Rhyme was a literary crime :) LOL you made me smile crime

Hilary said...

Wow, I can only imagine how you felt when you realized what you had in that bench. Very, very cool! Great stuff. :)

Melli said...

LOVE it! The wooden one on top is my favorite! Very nice!

Lisa Milton said...

I love the first one - great stuff.

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Mima said...

Really love the bench shot!

Betsy said...

Hi! Thanks for the greeting from Australia....would love to sample your barbeque steaks...sounds delicous!

Sandy Kessler said...

roman numeralling quite clever. loved this post

sallyacious said...

That bench shot is fantastic. Subtle and clear. I really like the varying grey tones.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Wow! You've been busy. Excellent ideas for photos. I was born on the 13th, as was my mum!

Crystal xx

Jan said...

A very creative 13 post. I love the bench shot, but they're all wonderful.

CrazyCath said...

I love that shot of the bench. Isn't it weird what we pass every day and don't notice? (even you David! lol)

Looks like your son is a chip off the old block too.

Great shots. Love how you set yourself challenges. You are very good at framing the shot. I would definitely get another digit or two in I think.

Misty Dawn said...

I love that first shot, the creativity of it, and how it shows how very observant you are! Awesome!

But, what I love even more David, is that it sounds like you and your son had a great time together looking for these shots. That, my friend, is priceless ;-)

Anna said...

Great choice for the 13 theme this week. Great shot thanks for sharing..
Mine is up
Every Beat Of My Heart
A Little Bit Of Everything

girasoli said...

Love the roman numeral bench!! Wonderful photo! I also ended up using roman numerals for my post this week.

SabineM said...

wow soo many 13's! Great photos!

monaco said...

Wonderful collection of shots you have there. But my favorite is the first one.

andrée said...

the bench photo is a fantastic representation! Love the weathering. sometimes harsh weather is put to good use!

Tokenhippygirl said...

Excellent selection of things 13. Liked them all, but loved the bench.

edison said...
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