Thoughts and Musings From Your Editor
By Ann H LeFevre
Thoughts and Musings from Your Editor
Mun-dane: Relating to, characteristic of, concerned with commonplace, ordinary. You might say, "Boring". If you are a photographer it is something that you are going to avoid photographing. Mundane subjects are, well, something we'd rather pass by because we do not see them as something "extraordinary". Mundane things are something we've seen a million times and it has never grabbed us. As photographers we aspire to create ART, or record a significant MOMENT either in our personal history or that of the entire human race. Why photograph such common things as a paper clip, drinking glass or hammer? These things will never rise above their common place because they are decidedly common. Yet, if we truly aspire to be a great photographer as an artist or a photojournalist, we should be compelled to at least attempt to make the mundane rise above its lowly state, shouldn’t we?
The way we see life is like that as well. There is nothing spectacular about paying the bills, doing the laundry or washing the dishes. Some things like electric can openers, microwaves and remote controls do make life easier, but we wouldn't consider them art gallery worthy subjects. We've been conditioned to think that "the ordinary" has nothing to offer us both as a photographer or in our general attitude in life. But I contend that we are wrong.
When I first started taking photos as a record of my day to day activities, I was always on the look-out for something different or eye-catching. But I quickly realized that those things are rare. It forced me to look more closely at what was at hand. And the more I looked, the more I saw the magic of the mundane. I saw the way the light changed in each room of my house throughout the day. I saw shape and form in fruits and vegetables in my kitchen. I saw the lines and curves of forks, window shades and hammers and the colors of fabric, cut glass and ceramics. Suddenly, what once was "boring" became another thing which my camera could transform into art. My attitude in life changed too because I became thankful for those ordinary things when they opened my eyes to see the beauty that was lying beneath them.
There is art in every corner of our day, if we are willing to look for it. Now when my first thought about something stirs up the phrase "ho-hum" in my brain, I automatically take another look. For I've learned there's magic in the mundane hidden just beneath the surface. And I never know what will reveal it next.