Friday, March 1, 2013

Image of the Month: March 2013 (or Take in the Larger View)

I recently attended an event where one of the features was a "performance artist" painting a large canvas, something like 8' to 10' tall.  As I was seated only a few feet away, the artist appeared to be painting totally freestyle, with music accompanying his every brush stroke.  As the performance continued, so did the oohs and ahhs of the crowd.  When finished the painting appeared to be that of a highly recognized sports figure. All in all an amazing presentation that brought painting front and center as a performance art.  Well done.

Cazzie Russell
© 2013, Joanne Scherf

As is the case in these times of ubiquitous cell phones, after the event ended everyone wanted a picture of the finished canvas to share on their social media.  I too followed the accepted behavior, that is until something made me stop and capture an entirely different scene that frankly I thought was even more compelling.  Since the painting was done at center court of a Big Ten school, the area for the live painting was covered with the usual painter's drop cloth to protect the floor.  As I watched people taking pictures of the canvas with their friends proudly standing next to it, I couldn't help but notice the other art that was created simultaneously and yet being totally ignored.

© 2013, Joanne Scherf

© 2013,Joanne Scherf

Looking down on what everyone was standing on, the painter's drop cloth, I noticed incredible artwork at my feet.  The mix of vibrant colors, and droppings a la Jackson Pollock, created an abstract art form that came about so natural and yet everyone else totally overlooked it.  So there while everyone took pictures of the painted canvas, I was the only one taking images of the drop cloth.  Every inch of the drop cloth seemed to present yet another interpretation of mixing colors in a variety of shapes and patterns.  In a moment when I allowed myself to take a step back and look at the larger view, and not focus on the obvious (painted canvas) I was presented with an aha moment.  These experiences are rare opportunities and yet when answered, it usually results in a memorable image that is a gift.  It's all about just taking a breath, stepping back, and taking in the entire scene instead of focusing on the obvious.  It's a sure sign that if everyone is taking the same shot, there's a better one to be had if one just opens up the visual territory and alters the mindset.  Next time you're out and about randomly taking pictures with your camera or cell phone, just think what you're missing by just looking at the obvious.

1 comment:

  1. And that is what makes the difference between good photographers and AMAZING photographers, you see things that others don't and take the time to capture them. I love the pictures of the drop cloth and would probably prefer to hang them rather than the one of the sport star.