Sometimes you come across photographs that seem ordinary on first glance, banal even, but somehow catch a hold you. For American photographer Michael Ten Pas this is the very point of his series ‘Normal Town/Normal View’ in which he carefully composed a series of photos of mundane objects in equally mundane towns. Through his sensitive use of light, acute observations of everyday objects and situations he manages to make us see the world in a brand new way, make us look harder, appreciate more the very things we take for granted. The banal becomes godly.
He puts it this way:
Nothing is boring. I find myself perplexed, curious, and amazed when I look at my everyday surroundings – the things that are allegedly normal or status quo. This is what ought to happen because the everyday is not predictable, though it is made out to be. The world reveals irony and absurdity; it contains mystery and humor and is full of ambiguity and illusion.
Witnessing these phenomena is a continuous part of our everyday lives. It is so constant that our eyes are habituated to it and we are indifferent toward it. It is as if seeing is too big and provides too much information. The forest is lost among the trees, so to speak. However, a photograph is like a scale model of seeing or an experiment with looking. It can either be quite detailed and complex, or vague and cryptic. Regardless of which side it lands, it is still external to us. We can approach it and observe the act of looking. A closer look asks, “Is the situation actually normal?”
I always think it’s a beautiful thing when we’re reminded of the wonder that surrounds everyday. We should all make more effort everyday. Life would be so much easier if we did.
Via Beautiful Decay
118 total views, 1 today