Tuesday, January 12, 2010

365/11 Weekend at Bernie's

365/11 Weekend at Bernie's

[after Bernie's body flies over the balcony, looking like a high diver]

"I give it an 8.3!"

Weekend at Bernie's

Classes have not yet started on campus again, but students are slowly filtering back into the daily grind. I crossed paths with a few who were doing an evening job through the east mall. Walking about this evening, I came upon one of the building signs; this one was for BRB, otherwise known as the Bernard and Audre Rapaport Building. I'm not exactly sure what gets taught in here. History, I think. Maybe political science. I don't think I've ever been inside that building.

The sign was lit by the lamp post a few feet away. I don't really know what it was about the light that caught my eye. I got about 10 feet beyond it, stopped in mid-stride, and had to come back for a second look.

The shadow, I think. It was just right, the way the typography was embossed a bit by it. Or drop-shadowed. Whichever you want to call it. Whatever it was, the light and shadow mixed in this good-humored way that made you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Eleven days into this project and I'm already seeing very slight changes in my perception of the world. Some say I have a good eye for photographic composition and such. I don't know. Maybe it's true, but I just don't see it yet. Sometimes I look at something and just know that it needs to be shot. Only, it comes out like a steaming pile of horseshit when I get home and stare at it for a bit. Other times, it's just serendipity I guess. The muses are floating somewhere overhead with flutterbies and unicorns showering me with colorful ... well ... shit. Only this stuff is a bit more saturated, a bit less smelly, and comes out smelling like luck.

Ok, I don't really know what luck smells like, but I bet it's like marshmallows. You know, like Lucky Charms? Sweet and sugartastic.

Anyway, this change is subtle. I find myself paying more attention to what's around me and framing it mentally in a 4x6 to figure out if I want to capture it ... because, you know ... if you take a picture of it, it'll last longer. And in this photo's case, the more I look at it just because of the light, the more I notice some of the other detail ... the hard lines forming the squares, and rectangles, and diamonds. Now, to you they may all look off-kilter. Neither perfectly square nor perfectly upright.

But, I was there. I look at this and I see the sign in all it's glory. I see it rimmed by perfectly mounted windows. I see each pane of glass converging to build a panel of sand. And each one mounted on it's hinge so it may be swung open at a moment's notice.

And all the while, this sign, standing alone in the cold and under the stark light of a lamp. This lonely sign ... is covered in bird crap. But that's what makes it charming to me, the imperfections of something that has stood out amongst the mundane until, one day, you take a few steps back and look at it from a fading angle. Something different. Something new. All it takes is the right light to change the mood.

What sort of mundane things have you wandered across that have caught your eye because the light was right, the angle was right, the mood was right ... what was it?

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