Thursday, May 29, 2008

Shelf Esteem

We'll Drink To That

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I often get asked "What makes an interesting photograph?" My reply is always the same. Always unwavering. Always consistent. Anything makes an interesting photograph. Yup, anything. To me, the most interesting shots are those that most people would simply walk past.

But it's true. There is art everywhere. Ah, but to photograph it, you have to recognise it first. I guess there is no such thing as a mundane sight. Why? Because you can interpret anything the way you want to. That, more than any other factor, is the true power of photography.

I was walking down a street in Singapore when I noticed these shelves of cold drinks, stacked three deep. I simply waited for the crowd to thin out and as soon as I had the perfect opportunity, with no one walking through my field of vision, I shot this frame.

It attracted my attention not just because of the colours, not just because of the military-like order in which the drinks were stacked. But if you look carefully at the orientation of the colour on the labels, it looks as if there is a wave motion through the entire frame.

It's almost as graceful as a hula demonstration, isn't it?

37 comments:

ExpatKat said...

Love this shot David. Unusual, observant...would like to think that I would have spotted it too!

Luke said...

David,

I love how you make fascinating compositions out of everyday, "mundane" items.

You have a great eye!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I think and have always thought the most interesting photographs are those taken of ordinary things seen through the eyes of an artist and everything that includes--from composition to color and texture but more important is light and shadow.

Jamie Dawn said...

Yep, you've got "the eye."

Your powers of observation are excellent.

polona said...

that's a very cool shot indeed.
and i quite agree, one must simply be completely aware of the environment, and opportunities for great shots lie everywhere

Musings said...

You've certainly got The EYE, David. I do see the waving motion. I had to smile with your reference to the hula since we're moving to Hawaii.

Momma said...

If you stood there long enough, you might start swaying along with the wave!

Peace - D

Corey~living and loving said...

You surely do see the lovely in all things david. I really admire that about you.
hope all is well! have a great evening.

Jennifer H said...

You may be the only person I know who could connect the look of these bottles with a hula demonstration. But lucky for us all, you can and do.

You make me want to learn how to handle a camera. You teach me all the time about photography.

And. AND you come up with great titles! Shelf esteem made me laugh.

CrazyCath said...

Oooh I do like this one.It is so subtle. If you blur your eyes deliberately you can see the pattern and almost hear the wave....

I need to learn to wait until the way is clear for photos like these. I am so nearly arrested or certified sometimes. I just don't think. Would anyone stand me bail? lol

Charles Gramlich said...

I see the wave, although I probaly wouldn't have noticed it without your comment. Weird effect.

Princess Mia said...

*To me, the most interesting shots are those that most people would simply walk past.

So true David n frankly i wouldnt have seen the wave if u had not mentioned.

BTW thanks for stopping by at my blog, am really thrilled about the fact that you have studied in India infact I was in Sydney was a couple of years too. I would be catch up on your other posts soon.

cheers Mate

Seamus said...

If it can be seen there is always an opportunity for an interesting shot!

Sandy Kessler said...

doing the wave ...

stepping over the junk said...

beautiful. like they are about to dance off the shelves.

EmmaK said...

What an amazing photograph. You're right, it undulates. I don't think I would have seen this image if I'd looked at the shelf though.

Celebration of Life said...

Drink bottles doing a Hula demonstration....hmmmmm

womaninawindow said...

David, I felt the wave before I even realized it was there visually.

alicesg said...

Beautiful photo. I learn something new each day from your photography. Thanks a lot David.

Shekhar said...

Hi David. Thanks for visiting my space. I like you sense of observation and being able to capture real good photographs.

I am still learning the skills of taking good photographs. Would visit here more often.

Blogrolled ya!!!

Betsy said...

I totally agree! The best photographs are things we generally don't pay any attention to...but when a cameral zooms in and the light hits it just right, it becomes art! Love the straight lines of the bottles...that grocery worker did a fine job, huh! LOL

Sandpiper said...

I agree! I think ordinary things can make interesting subjects for photography. It's a matter of opening your eyes and mind to everything and understanding composition, light, etc.

Craver Vii said...

Hula demonstrations make me dizzy, but I was thinking about one of your previous blogs as I passed a field of cross markers which had been set up to remember soldiers who lost their lives... after taking photos from several angles, I tried laying down. I think that was the best shot!

San said...

ALOHA!

leslie said...

You're so right that art is everywhere. Now that I'm getting into photography more, I'm noticing more and more things are worthy of being "shot." I've even noticed people looking at me in a strange way when I'm photographing little things like the Safeway shopping carts or a telephone pole. Love these bottles! :D

Cuckoo said...

David,

Slowly I have started learning this art from you.
You have an EYE for this and not only the picture, you always have something intriguing to say about it.

Cuckoo

shooting star said...

nice shot!!!.....
beauty lies in eyes of beholder!!!

Aaarti said...

nice shot.. i liked i a lot, the way the colors move..almost like a wave

And i agree with you.. anything that catches the eye makes for good photography... :)

CHEWY said...

I want to believe the package designer took into vision how the bottles as a group would look on display in a store. I know that is something I would consider in my design.

Liquids and waves forming a big shelf presence.

Bruno LoGreco said...

Excellent shot David and how appropriate, "shelf esteem" LOL

Check out the bottles in the background, they too flow with the wave. Clever, stunning, picture.

Mima said...

As ever your eye has caught the perfect pic, and the balance with the wave is brilliant, one wave in one direction, and the other reversed.

A.Bananna said...

who would have thought? great eye! you have taught me to always be looking and to always have the camera RIGHT there just in case! people think I am crazy always having my camera on me. LOL

Slender Octopus said...

Hmmmm nice indeed.

Ida said...

"There is art everywhere"! :)

katherine. said...

I so admire the way you see the world...waves indeed

holly said...

makaukau! (oh i probably spelled that wrong but am too tired to correct it. it's the 'get ready' shout, i think, in hula (but that was a few years ago now)).

i *did* notice the wave-y type thing!

i was looking at a similar site today at a rest stop on the way back from jo's!

Tammy said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift David. It's always a joy to see what you've taken photos of.