Photo: “Clothes Hanger”

Clothes Hanger - 2014

Clothes Hanger – 2014

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If you have been a frequent (or not-so-frequent) reader of this blog over the last two years you might have noticed I have a penchant for photographing the mundane, the commonplace, the various objects and scenarios which make up the landscape of daily life. For me this functions as a meditative practice. In order to participate in this act creatively I must keep in mind that there is something akin to wonder to be found in nearly everything. Which is not to say that I go through my day as a starry-eyed dreamer, more’s the pity, but that I do have a need to cultivate a contemplative frame of mind. As I go about daily errands, perform household chores, and take the time for entertainments and distractions I remain ready to have those things which are worth noticing impressed upon me. Often, this lies in the details of a thing. More often still, it can be found in the utilitarian.

Further, as photography is not and never has been truth it lends itself to what has always been it’s strength: emphasis of a moment. An instance, divorced from its context because of a point of interest that the photographer in the choice of releasing the shutter calls the viewer to “come and see”. Process, in particular the various process of photography suit my purposes for this whether the process is digital or analog. It’s all very deep and meaningful, except for when it’s not. In truth I keep these thoughts mostly in the background and simply do what I do. This practice I recommend to everyone; simply do what you do.

Last year I made a modest e-book which briefly covered this subject. It is offered freely here.

7 thoughts on “Photo: “Clothes Hanger”

    • D. Manny says:

      Thanks for visiting, Jake. Glad you could take away a little inspiration and to meet another photographer making it a daily part of life. Here’s to success in your efforts.

  1. Stephen G. Hipperson says:

    Keep it up!
    On this particular picture – I wonder if another, but with the twist unravelled, would make a interesting idea – a sort of deconstruction. The two next to each other would make a diptych? Of course, a third image the mirror of this one the other side would suggest start, untwist and then twisted back the other way.

    For me, I think the other thing your ‘mundane’ pictures do is make think how I might make the object. We take for granted the commonplace – this for instance, requires sourcing the raw material, creation of the wire and then the machinery to make the hanger (I certainly couldn’t twist the wire that tightly). In each of these processes, I’m sure the individual task would seem mundane to the people performing them – many mundane tasks to make something which is pretty mundane – yet so very very functional, fit for purpose and yet to be bettered. (and you can’t use a plastic one for an impromptu TV aerial either!)

    • D. Manny says:

      Thanks Stephen.
      You have an excellent idea for a project there in the “deconstruction” notion. It would be something that would work well for a long-term endeavor.

      I have a great interest in things and how they are made, especially by hand. Everything you note, from the sourcing of materials, and the whole process has always seemed to me almost magical. The actual creation of a thing from idea to artifact. I have noticed (very unscientifically) a resurgence in the artisan crafts and the idea of things made by hand. I for one am all for it.

      One source I have found that exemplifies this are the “Made by Hand” videos on vimeo – http://vimeo.com/madebyhand

      As always thanks for the insightful comments, Stephen.

      • Stephen G. Hipperson says:

        I’m not sure whether there is a resurgence as such, more than as we get older we become more perceptive/appreciative of what things are, how they are made and the ingenuity/craftsmanship of the individuals who make them.
        When I was a youngster, at school, they taught us all sorts of things, which at the time I thought were a waste of time – particularly metal and wood working. But I know realise that it was a valuable insight and would love to get into the forge/lathe side of things again. I know my children just didn’t have that chance – their abilities to do practical stuff have not developed in the way mine did. (They know which end of the screwdriver to hold but do they know which way to turn it!).

      • D. Manny says:

        You may be on to something. The people younger than us who are discovering these practical skills are having to discover them without the benefit of previous exposure or instruction. It would be easy to lament this, but it also provides an opportunity for those willing to put in the discipline to learn a craft.

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