Monday, January 16, 2006

Capture the flag

One of the things I love about visiting the U.S. is how proud most citizens are of the flag. It's difficult to go for a walk anywhere without seeing at least a couple crisp examples of the stars and stripes fluttering in the wind.

This occurred to me almost on a subconscious level as the kids were drying off after a late-afternoon swim. I looked over the fence and saw a particularly brilliant example fluttering on a car antenna. I knew I needed to capture it now, before the sun got too low in the sky.

I wandered over to the car, looked surreptitiously around to ensure that its owner wasn't sitting on a nearby porch with a shotgun, and walked circles around it to find just the right angle to highlight the beautiful colors that just a few seconds earlier had reached out to me.

In the end, I think it's the light that makes this shot. The ghostlike images of the stars behind the red and white stripes betray the humdrumness (yes, I'm still inventing words) of a small flag mounted on a car. Beauty can indeed be found in the strangest of places.

I chose this perspective because it's one that isn't often chosen by photographers. That pretty much describes why I shoot what I shoot: because I always want to see something different from the norm. I've sat through way too many yawn-inducing slide shows in my lifetime, and I don't ever want to subject anyone else to the same old views of the same old topics.

So if some of my work comes across as visually bizarro on occasion, that's all part of the design.

Your turn: I've got scads of vacation pictures to post. Most of 'em will end up on the accompanying Flickr page (see sidebar to the right) in the days to come. But what kinds of images do you want posted - and written about - here?

Click the image to open up a higher-resolution version.

14 comments:

Cylithria™ said...

This brought tears to my eyes. The ghostlike stars behind the red and white stripes automatically brought to mind all of the men and women who had died for this country and her freedoms. The stark, crisp stars and red and white strips brought to mind those currently serving and protecting this country and her freedoms, and the sunlight shimmering dead center - it brought tears to my eyes as I saw all the brave men and women to come who will protect this countries freedoms. SIMPLY Beautiful Carmi.... Thank you, so very much

Killired said...

BEAUTIFUL PIX! yes, us American's are very proud of our Flag! Sadly though, I remember back in Summer of 2001, before 9/11.... our family reunion was over the 4th of July Holiday... my Mom and I could not find hardly anything with our flag on it... after 9/11... there are flags everywhere and flag clothing, jewelry and accessories EVERYWHERE! Don't get me wrong, I love seeing it but I wish it wouldn't have taken 9/11 for people to start displaying the flag!

As far as pix... I'm with you on going with the different views and perspectives....

and thanks for visiting my Blog! Come back and play... I update it everyday!

Karen said...

Thank you for posting this. Primarily because it seems like subjects like this are usually negative - how Americans are so arrogant and self-centered. We are, but we're also patriotic. I remember how EVERYONE changed after 9/11...at least for a while. People were actually patient and polite. Then it all changed back again.

I'd love to see the odd things that you found on your vacation. Strange signs or weird tourist sites, if you did indeed shoot any of those. Other than that, kids laughing are my very favorite photo subjects.

Thanks for a great post.

Plumkrazzee said...

How awesome. Thank you for finding the beauty in 'everyday'. Keep em' coming...I don't care what you choose to photograph! Cement, food,nature, it's all so poignant in it's "carmi-esque" presentation!

deana said...

What a wonderful photo...you nailed that shot. And being the proud American I sat right up in my chair when the photo downloaded......your artistic view is great, keep it up.

Shelli said...

It's beautiful, Carmi. The photo and the writing. That you can appreciate the feeling we have for our flag is amazing.

daisy said...

I was raised in a very small town and flags were everywhere all the time. While my daughter has been in school she has been a cheerleader and so we've gone to just about every game of every sport there is for the past 10 or so years and I still stand up, place my hand over my heart and sing Star Spangled Banner.

Prego said...

Aesthetically pleasing, but forgive me for not waxing patriotically. Yes, they do love the flag here, but as Samuel Johnson once said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." Where one happens to come out of the chute is too arbitrary for me to join the happy-go-lucky flag waving folks. I doubt I'll make many friends with these sentiments, but that flag has made a lot of people miserable as well as overjoyed.

I'm sure someone will suggest "I leave the country." Hey, I like it here, but I think it's far more beneficial for humanity to first consider myself a resident of the planet and act as such, before I reach for the Kleenex over the red-white and 'bleu.'

I get a little weepier seeing Gilbert Perreault's retired number 11 on the rafters - right next to Rene Robert's and Richard Martin's. All they did was give a few defencemen and goaltenders fits.

Janet said...

I never thought about it before, and I am American, but the flag is very important to many. It's important though in a "take it for granted" kinda way. I hardly ever think about it, not even when I'm singing the national anthem or saying the pledge which as a teacher, I do EVERY weekday morning.:)

Dave said...

I have to say that I am with Prego on this one. The rest of the world (and they do matter) find it very difficult to stomach when Americans are so overtly patriotic, and it seems sometimes to be unquestioningly so.

Don't get me wrong I love the states and have a family holiday scheduled there for March, it's just that it's not the perfect place that it is sometimes portrayed to be.

colleen said...

I think the flag just like religion (fundamenatlists) can be overdone to the point intrusive.

I do like the picture though. As far as your question goes...pictures of the ocean comes to mind.

atpanda said...

Since 9-11 there have been flags everywhere in the US. Unfortunately, a lot of those flags have been up SINCE 9-11. I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to run into a business and give them a piece of my mind about the state of their flag.
You took a great, creative picture.
Michele sent me.

imchelein[dot]LA said...

wow thanks for linking this post to me..
great post as usual.................

Lisa said...

the light in this one really is amazing. We are awfully proud of our Stars and Stripes. Is it the same in Canada?