Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strange Looks

People are giving me funny looks.

I have always garnered a few looks here and there, but this time it's different.

A few months ago I posted about a photography challenge I took on-- the 365 Day Ashlland Challenge. The idea behind the challenge is to help participants learn more about photography, boost their creativity, and to help them notice beauty in the world around them-- the things that they wouldn't normally take notice of while going about their every day lives.

It's this last part that I have really taken to heart. And this is the part that is causing me to get the funny looks.

No one looks at me funnily when I take pictures of things like this:

Or shots of my kids like these:

Those types of pictures are expected and are, well.... normal.

It's when I start taking pictures like this one that the eyebrows start going up (Why is she taking a picture of her son through that pipe?! It would be a much cuter shot without the pipe in the way!):

And, I mean, who takes pictures of the grill of a dump truck, anyway?

Or of the glowing signage from inside a restaurant window?

A weirdo like me, I guess.

What kind of crazy takes a picture of the brush on a sweeper truck?

The illuminated arms of the aisle seats in an auditorium?

Or, seriously, the drinking fountains mounted in the hallway-- and thinks the photo is cool?!

Well, that would be me. Now you know. It's official.

The Laundry Queen is a complete nutjob. She has gushed her mush, lost her marbles, has knots in her noodle... you get it.

My family, who already knows all of this about me, didn't bat an eye when I took this shot:

I quite like it. I think I'm going to get it matted and framed one of these days. I think it will look smashing in my kitchen! I'm crazy about it, in fact. But, that's just the way I roll. Crazy.

It has been quite fun walking around, with my camera an almost constant fixture around my neck, taking all of these shots. Most people just peek at what I'm doing from behind curtains or blinds or continue to walk on by as I go about my craziness, craning their necks just a bit in curiosity-- I can see it in their eyes, "Why in the heck is that lady taking pictures of the drinking fountains?!"

Some, the more brave, approach me and ask what I'm doing. They generally seem satisfied with my answer, though maybe a bit disappointed that I'm not taking pictures for something more grand, like a coffee table book or something. Most still seem confused at my choice of subject matter, however.

I just look at it this way-- flowers are pretty, my kids (in my opinion) are gorgeous, trees are nice to look at... This beauty is not hard for me to see. I want to find beauty in what are the other parts of my life. The unexpected parts. Or, at least take pictures of the expected in unexpected ways.

It is amazing what this challenge has done for me. Did I ever think I would take pictures of the things I am shooting photos of? Not in a million years. Am I happy that I now see a photo opportunity in just about everything I pass by? Absolutely. The world has been opened up to me in ways I never imagined.

Yeah, I'm probably a bit off my rocker. But, you know, I look at the results and I think I'm okay with that.


Pat said...

I agree with your sentiments Jana. I look everywhere for photo opportunities also. A new world has opened up!

jwise said...

I'm glad you posted more shots from your Challenge. They're SO amazing. I love it!!

Lindseybabe said...

You are extremely talented! I see a few that I would like matted and framed on my wall!

carmar76 said...

Those are really neat! I especially like the aisle lights and the water fountains. They're arty and honestly the kinds of things you see hanging up in offices or upscale homes. You know, when ppl say they "Just discovered this up & coming artiste! Love her stuff! Paid a mint for the one in the guest room." : )

I need to take more shots like that. Unfortunately, other than my nieces & nephews, the neat shots I see always seem to happen when I'm driving! Not always the safest time to snap a photo. heh.

Keep up the good photo finds! Love em! : )

laura said...

AWESOME photos!!

The Laundry Queen said...

I'm flattered by all of your comments. Thank you.

Pat-- it's been great, hasn't it? An experience of a lifetime!

Mister said...

Well I sure like the shots - people and oddities - both are great. I would love a lesson on how to capture those, too.

You up for becoming a photo tutor?

The Laundry Queen said...

Thanks, Mister. I really have no clue what I'm doing, so I don't know what kind of a photo tutor I would be. I just point, depress the button halfway to focus, then press it the rest of the way to take the shot. Did that help any?

Seriously. I don't do much manually, I don't know anything about aperture or f-stops.... but, feel free to ask me questions, you just may not get much of an answer. ; )