Street photography - Finding the mop.
Several years ago, I was on a trip to China. My friends and I were walking in a scenic part of town and I stopped to snap a photo. I caught back up with the group and my friend, Scott, turned around to see what I was taking a picture of.
"Did you take a picture of a mop?" Scott asked.
"Oh yeah," I replied. "I liked the lighting and the way it was draped over the fence. I'll edit it black and white. It'll be great."
"Right. A mop. You're an idiot." He didn't say that, but I'm sure is what he was thinking.
Once we got back from the trip and I edited the photo, I showed the finished product to Scott. He conceded that I was right and that the image was actually pretty cool. He said that he never would have stopped to take a photo of a mop.
But, a funny thing happened. On his other trips, he started seeing mops. Everywhere. He would even snap a photo on his phone and text it to me. I do the same and always tag him in my mop photos.
The mop is a great example of the kind of photography I like. I enjoy seeing things in the world that most other people would walk by. I try to appreciate the unappreciated. I strive to find beauty in things that might not be considered beautiful. I want others to look at the environment around them differently. The mop is not what I set out looking for that day many years ago. I just wanted to observe things with my lens. The mop is just a silly metaphor, but it has to start with the mop. If we're able to look at a mop in a new way and even take the time to stop and engage with it, even if it's for 1/60th of a second to take a photo, how much more willing would we be to engage with a person? How much more might we appreciate important things in the world that need our attention?