Nourishing Containment

Author’s Note:
As some of you may have learned, this photograph is featured in the full-page advertisement for the Digital Photo Academy in the June 2010 edition of Digital Photo (page 11). I had been working on this article for a couple of weeks and although it was not scheduled to run today, I thought it was only fitting to tell the story of how I made this photo in light of this honor.

The world can get dull sometimes, can’t it? Day in. Day out. We do the same thing over and over to the point that most of the actions become cliché. As a side effect of this transcendence into the mundane, part of the world around us gets overlooked. Walking to work, you see the same flowerpot each and every day. Soon you may recognize that it is there physically, but the beauty is overlooked. There are times in life where we must close our eyes, recompose, and then open them to truly see what’s around us.

In January of 2010, I participated in a photo workshop where we visited the Littleton Historic Museum in Littleton, Colorado. We arrived at the museum and I did my standard lap around the area we were going to shoot to see if anything caught my eye. Most of the subject material available for us to shoot as part of this workshop was farm equipment. I did my lap and concluded that I did not see anything that was eye catching.

Slightly discouraged and a little frustrated, I decided to do a second lap. I pressed the shutter on my camera several times in hopes that it would get my creative juices flowing and help me see what I had overlooked the first time around.

As I began my second lap around the Museum, I noticed a small building that had some milk canisters on the side of the building. I examined this setup from different angles and what caught my eye about each angle was the texture on the canisters themselves.

By this point, I was convinced that not only was there a photograph to be made here but also that, with the subtle texture, it was a candidate for black and white. I positioned myself and pressed the shutter release to capture this image that had engaged me.

Alterations in perceptions change our view on the world around us. Naturally, this extends way beyond photography. Our perceptions shape our experiences. Experience shapes who we are.

Life is always interesting. The degrees to which we find our surroundings engaging are subject to our own ability to see things differently from others. So, the next time you pass by a scene you have viewed a hundred times before; try changing your perspective of it. Doing so will unlock a world of things you never knew were there.

This photograph is available for purchase here.