Did you know that we are walking all over art all day long? Let’s not forget that Art is Everywhere and that includes right on the ground. Sometimes we just forget to look down. I hate to admit this, but I missed this painted sidewalk the first couple of times I walked by it in Mexico. There was so much to see in every square inch lining the busy street that I simply forgot to look down.
Looking down usually comes easy to me. I’m constantly walking with my head down, obsessing over what I’m stepping on – not because I’m looking for photos, but because I’m known to easily trip so I’m careful where I put my feet. I spend so much time on trails in the woods that I’m conditioned to always look where I’m stepping. It takes a lot of conscious effort for me to look up and notice the other things around me. In the woods there is a magical world of objects laying on the ground and you could really get lost and spend all day noticing and shooting what you may find.
To most people, objects found on the ground aren’t much to look at and I suppose if you just look at them for what they are, that’s true. But when you look at the colors or the textures you start to see differently. A man hole cover starts to take on it’s own version of beauty.
And you start to really notice textures, how the light plays off of them, and how beautiful they can be even with no bright colors.
Sometimes those covers are painted in vibrant colors and the objects that have fallen next to them perfectly complement them. Somebody walking through the fresh paint and leaving footprints was just an added bonus!
And other times you may find covers right next to each other in complementary colors. I wonder if the utility guys realized how friendly they were being to photographers when they painted these.
Walking on a beach presents endless possibilities and here’s where the warning to “look before you step” really comes in. One step in the sand and you can easily ruin your piece of art.
And other times you may be walking on the beach and curse some stranger for leaving trash in the sand . . . but then you stop and think, “Wait a minute, this might make a nice photo.”
Beaches and trails are great for endless pretty subject matter and true, it may be more difficult to find interesting things on the sidewalks, but always have your eyes open. You never know what you may find under foot. Sometimes it can be a huge lobster.
And other times a simple gentle feather that will only stay in place for moments before the wind takes it away. Be ready for anything.
If you can remember to do it, looking down while out shooting really pays off. You will likely get the shots that most people miss. It’s rewarding when you can find art right under your feet so before you take your next step look down and see what’s there.
If this blog post inspires you to strengthen your creative eye, please consider joining us for the “Art is Everywhere” photography workshop June 9-10, 2016 in Rockland, ME. More info at the button below.