Sunday, October 08, 2006

Rusting pipes


There's an old strip mall a few blocks away from our house that is home to, among other things, our neighborhood supermarket, video store, Tim Hortons (for coffee addicts), and library. It's your typical suburban strip mall architecture that was forgettable when it was first built, and is even less memorable now that its been worn down by a few decades of routine existence.

As Zach and I were out on our capture-the-fall-colors walk yesterday, we thought we'd reward ourselves with a stopover at Tim's. There's something nice about sitting down in the local coffee/donut shop on a quiet afternoon and chatting with your son about the pictures you just took and the ones you've yet to take. It's the kind of moment that doesn't happen as often as it should, and I was reminded yesterday that I need to increase the frequency.

As we approached Tim's, we walked along the side of the strip mall, and passed an otherwise forgettable assembly of pipes. They're slowly rusting into oblivion, yet they continue to - somewhat frighteningly - supply natural gas to the entire facility. We've never stopped to look at them before. But in the late afternoon sun, Zach liked the forlorn look of them.

He's learning an important lesson early: Even when the architecture is old and forgettable, there's always something of interest to capture. Sometimes, it just takes a little digging.

Your turn: What's the first thing that comes to mind when you see images like these? What is it about them that attracts your attention?

14 comments:

colleen said...

They connect things together and allow something to travel and flow. I like the cool grey color. They would have interested my sons when they were Zach's age (but still do I'm sure) because they are like legos or something like it. I came by way of our friend Michele.

David said...

see - the secret to natural gas is that it flows at about 1/2 psi so it is not prone to leaks unless you break the pipe wide open.

Shoe Guy said...

Very interesting. Our older daughter also shares an photographic eye for things commonly overlooked. As I view these images, and read your comments, I am struck with thoughts of frailty eroding the strength of things through age and use.

Michele sent me.

sage said...

right now, because I've got some pipes that have to be fixed in a 60 year old house, I think about that--fixing 'em!

panthergirl said...

They're beautiful. What I realize is how much I love b/w photography.

Great job, Carmi. Here via michele!

Maria said...

It is the curve and the texture of the pipe that intrigues me. It makes me want to see it as lines and shades of black and white rather than a mundane piece of piping.

Karen said...

Cool photos and it sounds like you had a wonderful day with your son! I love how you find interest in everything, Carmi. Truly a gift.

Someday, I have to find a Tim Horton's. We don't have any here in Wisconsin.

Michele sent me your way tonight. Hope you're having a great day!

Brony said...

because of the hole we just had in our ceiling, that's the first thing that comes to my mind. It is a great photo though.

By the way I tagged you. Hope you don't mind :)

Pearl said...

What comes to my mind? Building bowels in superhero comics.

Michele sent me Carmi,

Blond Girl said...

Michele sent me.

I see connections. I don't see rust or fading into oblivion, I think because of the black and white. So it leads me to the course, the path - the connections. If that were a road instead of a pipe, where would it go? Also, I can't tell from the photo that it's gas; it looks like water pipes to me - and, without the rust and with no drips coming from it, they look strong and ready to go. Interesting, huh? Sometimes you really do need color to capture the whole meaning.

Tracie said...

The first thing that comes to mind is the details....they aren't always "pretty" but still very detailed.

Michele sent me, but I also want to say thanks for the info about taking pics uncentered. I am going to have to do that more often.

susie said...

I love taking B/W pics. So classic and etheral.

Now don't shit, but the thing that really spoke to me in the photo was the USA stamp in the rusted pipe.

To me, it symbolized the rusting and crumbling of America in today's world.

**runs off to hide from the maddening masses**

Hey, it's art! And art is open to interpretation, right?

utenzi said...

Michele sent me yet again, Carmi. Maybe it's me that is stalking YOU!

It's weird but pipes freak me out. I've done some pipe fitting when I put in a gas fireplace once and a fair amount of amateur plumbing but even so I'm always afraid pipes are going to leak. No matter how you sweat them, use plumbers compound or silicon tape--I'm never sure they'll be leakproof. Some people worry about leaving the stove on, I worry about pipes leaking. Just seeing a picture of pipes makes me a little anxious. Eeeek!

srp said...

The words that comes to mind are "strength" and "endurance". This picture is strangely comforting; could this be the reason?