POTD: Garbage Abstract

Garbage Abstract
Lisbon, Portugal
2017

Every time we went to catch the metro in Lisbon I was fascinated by the abstract shape of the trash receptacles when viewed straight on. I resisted photographing them for a number of days but finally couldn’t help myself. I always feel kind of silly and conspicuous when photographing such questionably worthy objects, but in truth people rarely pay any attention to odd behavior in the subways.

4 thoughts on “POTD: Garbage Abstract”

  1. Yesterday I was looking at an old glove in a field when someone came up to me and asked what I was looking at. Answer: A glove and a discarded cigarette pack. Question: Why? Answer: I think it looks interesting.

    The guy squinted a bit and looked really puzzled, or he was thinking he was dealing with someone ready to depart reality.

    Larry I think your behavior is perfectly normal and healthy, I think those other people are the ones with the problems.

    I like the garbage can lid and applaud you for seeing it as something beautiful.

    1. Thanks Alan. Usually my concern with appearing strange while photographing “odd” objects is fleeting. It just takes a second for my ego to remember that generally no really cares about what I’m doing with my camera–as long as I’m not bugging them anyway. If they do give me that puzzled look and ask why I’m photography that junk, I’ve found that a simple reply of “I’m an artist” always seems to satisfy them; artist’s like old folks and small children are given more license to do peculiar things. And adding my own bias here, such photographic behavior is way more understandable than the folks walking around taking infinite selfies of themselves against seemingly random backgrounds. Now that’s strange behavior!

      I think you may have been channeling Irving Penn when you were in that field yesterday. He had a fascination for muddy gloves, cigarette butts and the occasional discarded cigarette pack as well.

  2. I love this photo! I don’t care what it is “of”. You photographed “what else it is” ala Minor White.

    I love the high key exposure, the nearly perfect symmetry and the abstract shapes combined. For some reason this reminds me of a Rothko painting, albeit a monochrome one! 😉 Maybe because it’s so graphic.

    1. Thanks Kathy. I have a bit of an uncertain opinion about the value (to me) of Rothko’s paintings but realizing that numerous art critics and much of the general public feel much more positively about their worth, I will gladly accept that comparison! When photographing the trash receptacle, the asymmetry of the dark horizontal line of the trash liner bugged me; I wished it were a uniform thickness across the bin and thought it would be a stronger composition that way. But in processing the image on the computer I realized that the asymmetry adds some sense of movement to the composition, which is a good thing I think. Another example of how, for me, post-visualization is equally important to pre-visualization.

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