Monday, May 15, 2006

Juiced


I've been venturing back into the supermarket with my surreptitious lens. And one of the things I've noticed is how outlandish some packaging has become, as if the grocery store aisles are mandated to host an escalating war between the packaged food superpowers.

The basics of simple design, layout and color are being ignored. In their place are relentlessly, some say explosively bright packages that, frankly, fail miserably in their capitalist quest. It's like camouflage: when you look like everything around you, you blend in. And if you all happen to be wearing fluorescent green polka dots on a flashing yellow and orange background, you're all going to disappear.

So when I came across this delightfully simple stack of cans, I thought it would make for a neat macro picture. A friend of mine once said I was married to my perspective shots. I suspect my wife would disagree with that photographic-artistic assessment, but I do find the whole fading-into-oblivion angle thing fascinating when projected on a 2D screen. Don't you?

Your turn: I will be spending more time in the grocery store aisles in the near future. What should I tell store employees in the increasingly likely event that I am caught red-handed? Any humorous tips to get me out of a pickle (ha!)

Quick update on that pesky health thing: I'm slowly starting to feel better. The problem, as best I can determine - remember, I'm a writer-geek and not a medical professional - is that my lungs are pretty congested. I have an impressive-sounding cough, and I won't be winning any balloon-blowing contests anytime soon. My wife has implored me to call Doc tomorrow. I shall. Thank you all so much for your concern and caring. I very much appreciate your kind sentiments.

12 comments:

Star said...

To avoid being uncerimoniously shown the door, I suggest the following: First of all. do your picture taking in a market other than the one you shop in. If you get caught just smile a lot and pretend you don't speak the language. They will think you are some crazy tourist.

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

don't you have press credentials or something that let's you take photos?
you can always introduce yourself as a rep for whether company you're shooting and ask if you can take a pic.

Chuck said...

Go for the crazy tourist, I use to work in a store and had a few of them, they seem to do alright.

kenju said...

Tell them you are chronicling the rise and fall of the current culture and you have to start somewhere.

jadedprimadonna said...

Pretend like you don't speak English (or French either, I suppose).

Rene said...

I can't imagine the employees of my local grocery store saying anything, just not in their job description. Plus, I live in a town of artists, I'm sure they are used to people doing weird things in the grocery store.

As to your lungs, it sounds like it could be pneumonia. Most people think pneumonia is one of those old people illnesses that puts you flat in bed. It doesn't just tires you out and makes breathing a pain. Definitely go to the doctor. I used to get pneumonia every year when I was in high school and I've had a few times since. It beats a sinus infection.

~A~ said...

Sorry no wit about being caught taking pictures. I wanted to comment on the congestion....

I haven't read past comments so if I'm repeating something, my apologies. Seeing as it's now the height of allergy season, I suspect an allergy induced infection. My husband used to get these all the time until he met me and I saw the pattern. His season allergies would cause him to create a ton of mucus, which would build up and eventually turn in to a bronchial infection or worse, pneumonia.

How did we fix it? Found a doctor that would actually listen to me and he agreed; now My Honey takes a cocktail of allergy medication and herbal protocols at the onset of the allergy season and he hasn't been sick since. He only has to do this from March to June and because it's mostly tree and grasses that get him.

So listen to your wife and I hope you feel better soon.

Canadian Mark said...

Say it's part of a homeschooling project (even if you're not homeschooling). I've used this tactic myself, while capturing photos of ladybug on imported broccoli and such. The curious staff quickly become willing participants and in some instances suggest other areas of photo worthy recognition.

"Come back next Tuesday, when we put up the Monk Fish Display"

Leanne said...

Hey Carmi... sorry to hear that you are under the weather... feel better soon. As for the groc store... I love the juice cans btw... very fancy...he he he, explain that you are an art student studying consumerism.

cora l said...

Hmm... how about this? Tell them you're from head office and you're doing a random audit of the merchandising in all of the stores in the area. You thought "this" (whatever it is you're taking a picture of) was a particularly good or innovative example, best you've seen so far in fact. If the bigwigs like it, they could even give the store an award!

Killired said...

perhaps you should write to pickalish and ask her how to get out of a pickly situation!!!

nice pix... but your pix are always nice! i enjoy seeing your perspective on life thru your lens... and jealous that i can't take pix like that too!!!

Prego said...

Sh**, dude. You have the eye of an artist. Have you ever seen the film Pecker? I highly recomend it. It's one of those John Waters/Baltimore films. If you're not familiar with his oeuvre, it does have some risquè elements, so make sure the kids are in bed. Nevertheless, it's an engaging film about a young shutterbug and the hypocrisies of the art world.

Let me know what you think of it, if you see it.


On the subject of packaging, I just spent the morning staring at a kaleidoscope of kiddie juice boxes. It's my turn to provide the snacks for my son's hockey team. You're right. It's dizzying. I went for 'cheap' and the eye-catching fluorescent green packaging.

(go sabres)
P