Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Stare Case

Photographers Are Life’s Translators

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Sometimes I get asked why I enjoy taking photographs of "ordinary’" sights. I always smile when that happens - because there is really no such thing as an ordinary sight. It’s all in the mind really.

Beauty does not only exist in mountains or lakes. It literally is everywhere - but it depends on what catches our fancy. There is the ability in all of us to see wonder in everyday objects, not just in dewdrop-bedecked cobwebs that look like jewelled tiaras.

Think of the photographer’s role as being akin to that of a translator. I would not be able to understand Swahili, for instance, unless I had someone translating for me. And, along the same line of thought, a photographer can sometimes show you a sight that you might not stop and admire on your own.

So can you guess what I’ve photographed here? It’s simply a staircase. Just a handrail supported by vertical bars. And just a wall. But when you put them together, the sum total of what you see can sometimes be out of the ordinary.

Visit the creative team behind That's My World Tuesday.

38 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You know, David, you actually inspired me to take photos of ordinary sights, ones I wouldn't have looked twice at. Now, I occasionally look closer at a potential subject. And I always think of you!

CJ xx

Daryl said...

I just left a comment at Dragonstar's Monochrome shot saying pretty much the same thing .. ordinary is extraordinary when seen with a fresh eye ..

Hilary said...

You've always made the ordinary extraordinary. And very inspiring.

TechnoBabe said...

That is one of the many things I appreciate about your blog. You are encouraging others to "see".

marcia@joyismygoal said...

YUP!

♥ Braja said...

Craig Glenn just told me to contact you when I got to Australia and steal your camera. The nerve....

:)

Mojo said...

That's "Camera Brain" for you! And even when the camera isn't at hand, I find that I notice more than the average simply because I never stop looking for the next shot. Even if I have to come back later to take it.

Lee said...

David, the minute I saw this photograph I noticed the ceiling which indicated a room beyond. The idea that something is just around the corner creates real interest for me here. It may interest you to know that San Meredith of A Life With a View has the work of an artist in her gallary who paints this kind of image all the time. You can see the paintings here.

Cheers!

Tessa said...

David, your photographs of the 'ordinary' are works of art. In the true sense of the word. You are an inspiration.

Nessa said...

Looks like a piece of modern art and the colors are so warm.

* * *
Please visit me at The Chrysalis Stage and Esoteric Uncovered.

Follow me on twitter and facebook

imac said...

My friends ask me why do you take a shot of THAT, I say, its Art,its colour, its lines, its shadow, patterns so on and so on.

Nice piece of work David.

But Mountains with words have still attraction - come and see.

~Just me again~ said...

I love your shots! Makes me look at everything in a totally diff way.

Brian Miller said...

great post. there is so much extraordinary to be found in the ordinary...thanks for capturing that.

Maggie May said...

You have got me doing it now, David. I take photos that I wouldn't have dreamed of taking at one time.
However, there is an art to making the ordinary look really great. Not that I have got that far yet.

James said...

So very true.

Marguerite said...

Very nice colors and contrast. Your photos are always extraordinary, regardless of the subject. Thanks for the link.

lakeviewer said...

What an insightful comment. I will look, I will record, I will translate more and more with my camera. Thank you for this insight.

Photo Cache said...

I agree with your sentiments completely.

www.ewok1993.wordpress.com

The Good Life in Virginia said...

the shot takes me to a retro 70s vibe.

Dirk said...

It's just this kind of pictures I like, well done!

somepinkflowers said...

little slices
of ordinary life.

focusing on the beauty
around us
if
we just look...

:-)

love
the shadows
the color play
the leading lines


love best the everyday*ness
of
the caught glimpse

Moannie said...

How many of us are inspired to LOOK because of you?

Sylvia K said...

I have to agree not only with you, David, but Daryl as well, the ordinary is indeed extraordinary when seen through a fresh, different perspective. You are very good at doing that for so many of us! Thanks!

Have a great week!

Sylvia

NitWit1 said...

Yes, "common" things can have uncommon beauty.

today I posted photos of what is weeds here, with exception of a rose.

i've done mailboxes but love cemeteries.

secret agent woman said...

ove the light in that. SOme of my favorite photos I've taken have been of little "ordinary" details.

Artist Unplugged said...

Such warmth in the photo set against the strong bars....love it!

King of New York Hacks said...

Very well put David...I often feel the very same way on many of the pics I have taken...and thank you for the comment that you left on my blog, it was well received.

Pagan Sphinx said...

The thumbnail of this image caught my eye on the reader. It reminds me of a glass piece from the Arts and Crafts movement.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I love, love, love what you said about photographers! So poetic and true.

Great photo! You, as always, have the eye!

marites1034 said...

i do agree wtih what you said. beauty is just everywhere. my world entry is up too.

jinksy said...

What a beautiful rendition of a modernist painting.

LadyFi said...

There is no such thing as an ordinary object if we look at it and really discover its extraordinariness.


Great shot and very thought-provoking post.

Greyscale Territory said...

Ordinary can metamorphose when given new light, new angle and maybe a new setting! Somehow there begins to evolve no such thing as ordinary!

A beautifully explained post with a great photo example!

diane said...

I like your style and thoughts. great pic. Our world is full of these shots if we are lucky enough to be able to see them. Well done.

Shadow said...

that's a very warm picture. i like it!

Corey~living and loving said...

great post. You know...it was photography that really opened my eyes. I will never see the world the same. it is all so amazing now.

Mariana Soffer said...

Innovating is the oposite as doing ordinary things.
Innovation is doing new things or old things in a different way, but what is important is understanding the interdependence between all the different innovations, so the whole results beneficial rather than a dangerous bunch of ideas randomly interacting with each other. Therefore it makes sense to do the ordinary and usuall stuff.

jay said...

Life is in the details. I love picking out small areas for a photograph. You can sometimes find something extraordinary - even the most amateurish of us can!