Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Beauty of Reality

Yesterday we took a day trip to Bologna, a two and a half hour drive south of where we live. It's been a while since we've taken just a day trip, somewhere near by. We all enjoyed it - seeing someplace new, and then coming home to our own beds and another day of the weekend left to play around.

It was wonderful for me, to get out and shoot someplace completely new again. It's been a while since I've done that since I travelled to the US and then have been focusing on fall in the park lately. Loving every minute of that too, but this was refreshing. It was also amazing to me to notice how differently I see now, as compared to, say, a year ago. Back then, I would have never have "seen" this image. It would have been part of the alley I walked by, with lots of elements I avoid... graffiti, dumpsters, street signs, windows with bars. I mean, where are the flowers, the doorstep beauty? But I love this. This is back-alley Bologna. This is real life, with it's imperfections but worthy of capture anyway.

I think this is just another step along my journey. As I accept the imperfections in myself, I find I am able to accept them in the world around me. Apparently, that also means I am not always seeing just the lovely textures in the places we visit - but the reality of dumpsters and street signs. Finding interest in those too. And while I would not call this image "beautiful," it does appeal to me, and does say "Italy" in a very real way.

It's kind of fun to observe these changes in myself, to surprise myself. I also surprised my husband, who has gotten pretty good at being able to predict when to get out of the way for a photo, what little scenes might catch my eye. Yesterday, however, I messed him up because I was stopping to study things that would have never been photo-worthy to me before. Interesting to notice how it affected not just me, but him to.

And how does it affect you? Does it surprise you too? How do you look at this image? I think you may have to get used to it. There will probably be more graffiti and back-alley reality popping up around here, if my day in Bologna is any indication.


  1. Concepts of beauty a very interesting subject!!!

    Happy capturing!

    Love Sue x

  2. I feel like I've been given a gift since I stumbled upon this photography thing -- as you say, the ability to see the beauty in real life (not just hallmark card beauty) is life-transforming. Everything looks interesting! I love the symmetry and repetition in your photo, along with the strong graphic elements of the signs and graffiti. And the red! Beautiful.

  3. I really adore the take you are giving to the scene. The eye is set artistically so you are drawn in by the color and the texture but upon inspection, there's a story to tell....

  4. I love the way the red phone box counteracts the symmetry of the windows and the dumpsters. It's a great photograph and just goes to show things don't have to be beautiful to make good images. I think we're all probably a bit "autumned out" by now!

  5. Ah, this could also be back street Spain - I guess after a while you stop seeing the offence and just love what you see - for a long time I could only see graffiti, now it's architecture, coloured stucco, all sorts of other things. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Your comments about seeing and appreciating the "real" world, its flaws and imperfections, resonated with me. When I was in San Francisco the other day, it looked a bit gritty and unkept. I felt a little embarrassed after I told my visiting cousins that it was the most beautiful city in the country. But then I thought "hey, I love it flaws and all!"

    I really like the composition of the photo, and the contrast between the windows and dumpsters. Thanks for sharing and explaining.

  7. I love the contrasts! The peaceful old world look to the building--but the bars and dumpsters and graffiti. The calm tans, greys, and touch of blues with the wall and street--but the flash of red with the phone booth, sign, and dumpster corners. This photo has a story to tell. :)


What's your view of the world? I love to hear yours too!

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