Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Even Nothing is Something: Mindful Photographs of Suburbia

Within the Past year, I've photographed scenes ranging from the mountains and waterfalls of Yosemite National Park to the monuments in Washington, D.C., to the Manhattan Skyline to the rustic landscapes near my home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. When I photograph these places, most of my images have a significant subject in center stage:  The Empire State Building, Half Dome, The Lincoln Memorial, etc.  

My photographs in this post are a bit different. There are no famous skyscrapers or mountains or monuments.  But as John Lennon sang, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Perhaps you remember the "Seinfeld" exchange between George and Jerry as the two are pitching a show idea to NBC executives:

GEORGE: The show is about nothing.

JERRY: Well, it's not about nothing.

GEORGE: No, it's about nothing.

JERRY: Well, maybe in philosophy. But, even nothing is something.

In a similar way, the following photographs are of "nothing." People don't travel for thousands of miles to see the stairs in back of a Giant supermarket or the water droplets on a plastic bag.  Often we pass by these situations without noticing them, but these mundane subjects can create beautiful or interesting patterns and abstract designs.  In the spirit of "mindfulness," the trick seems to be to slow down and focus our attention in a non-judgmental way on the present situation.  Here are my recent photographs of "nothing."

Back of Giant Supermarket,
Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania
Ice and Water Droplets
On My Car
Railing on the Side of the Road
Core Creek County Park,
Middletown Township, Pennsylvania
Kitchen Chair with Shadow (in Our House) 
Manhole Cover (with Snow),
Sidewalk Outside Starbucks,
Yardley, Pennsylvania
Office Building
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Side of Building with Railing,
Lambertville, New Jersey
Winter Tire Tracks,
Starbucks Parking Lot,
Yardley, Pennsylvania
Water Droplets on Newspaper Bag
(Our Driveway)
Back of Giant Supermarket,
Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania