Friday, February 09, 2007

Transient droplet

I've been hanging around water for a good part of my life. So when I happen across a fountain in the mall, I’m naturally intrigued.

By now, you’ve likely read my perspectives on suburban shopping malls (Godless temples to conspicuous consumption) and the suburbs in general (soulless examples of humanity’s ability to efficiently ruin the landscape.) So I hope you’ll appreciate my general disdain for these places. I go to the mall only when I need to get something. I get what I need, then get out before I break out in hives.

There are some exceptions to this in-and-out rule of mine. When the dreaded Santa’s Village is finally removed from its temporary quarters over the boarded-up fountain, I finally have an excuse to return. See, as awful as the mall is, its fountain offers a controlled environment to take pictures of flying water. I’ve posted about this before (here, here and most recently here) and I’m doing it again this time, alas with a twist.

The picture in this entry is a heavily cropped image. Notice the pixellation and general graininess (click to enlarge.) It won’t win any awards, but I love it all the same because it represents a fleeting moment in time when I was lucky enough to capture something not otherwise visible with the naked eye.

I’ll go back to that fountain in the middle of the Godless, soulless, consumerist palace. I’ll take out my camera and attract the stares of bystanders. I’ll avoid the grasp of the security guard. And hopefully I’ll come home with more memorable images from an otherwise forgettable place.

Your thoughts: Beauty in a decidedly mundane place. Please discuss.

22 comments:

utenzi said...

That looks more like a bullet after impact that it does like a drop of water, Carmi. Since the surface tension of water quickly forces a droplet into a shape with a regular outline, this drop must have been subject to some recent forces to change that shape. Was it just ejected from the fountain head?

For the topic of beauty in mundane places I think about plants, especially flowers, growing out of breaks in concrete, Carmi.

Bob-kat said...

I know exactly what you mean about malls. They are souless places but there is always beauty in even the most mundane of places. You just have to look for it as you have done in your mall. You photo captures a split second in time :-)

We have a fountain in the mall where I live. I love watching it adn also the looks of wonderment on the children's faces when they see it.

Michele sent me.

Mr. Althouse said...

I'm with you, Carmi. I hate shopping. I (usually) know what I'm looking for and want to go get it and leave. Malls, especially very large ones, are like an alien world to me.

I was in the Apple store recently and asked if I could snap a couple of pictures. This request was made after spending a substantial amount of money there (as I type this on my new 17" MacBook Pro). I was told "no" because there was no way to avoid getting some customers in the shot. He was probably right about that, but if I was really determined, I could have gained the customers' permission, I'm sure. It was a good reason, however, to take my purchase and skee-daddle.

It's been raining here (finally) for the past 24 hours. I wonder if the Nimbus Dam is releasing water today??

Mr. Althouse said...

And now Michele sent me. It was just a matter of time!

BTW: I couldn't agree more on your Anna Nicole Smith post. It's sad and tragic. The vultures are just picking it apart now.

Mike

Paige said...

Ya know when ya click on it for the bigger photo it made me think of a black hole at your super mall. I don't care much for malls myself.
Beauty is everywhere, in everything. You just have to recognize it as such. Put a spin on the everyday object.
Such as your droplet of water, life sustaining water, the make up of our human bodies, the water in which babies float in, till they breathe.
The strong forces of water that wash away homes and lives
Water a very moving thing to photograph

Bluegrass Mama said...

Hello, Michele sent me. Because she didn't know I live in the suburbs, apparently. A fairly rural one, if such a thing exists. The good news is that I avoid malls like the plague. Maybe I'd go more often if I could take pictures like yours.

Pat said...

Airports can be souless places. Until, that is, you see people greeting their loved ones which usually moves me to tears.
Michele sent me.

~Cathy~ said...

You have a way of making the most mundane things extra ordinary. What a great gift!

Michele sent me... but I visit often anyways! :)

Bob-kat said...

I checked out your Reflective River photo and it's fantastic. I am fascinated by water adn love taking pics of it too :-)

Michael Manning said...

What an amazing image, Carmi! A droplet in free-fall as it were. Actress Sela Wards's Bio mentions shopping malls wherein she says she has yet to find one that inspires her. I totally agree. In the smaller towns throughout America, the "Mom and Pop" stores similar to where I found my first job at 14 are the most personable and just plain fascinating!

Ali said...

it's a great image :)

the mall thing...well...women are born to shop and men are born to, well, to hate malls...

kenju said...

I agree with you about malls, Carmi. I avoid them like the plague! I think that Dave hit the nail with the concept of beauty in unexpected places. I love seeing a plant thriving while growing out betwwen the sidewalk and the foundation of a building. It speaks to the determination of the species!

David said...

it looks like a hovering space saucer

Shephard said...

My local mall is a quiet sun-lit airy place to have a peaceful and safe morning walk, with the sounds of water and not much else. Lots of friendly older faces and lots of things to look at while listening to my iPod. A nice alternative. :)

Great photo. Love the metalic looking quality.
~S :)

Becky68 said...

Very nice photo Carmi, I loved it!
As for beauty in mundane things while my observation is a little in the reverse it is that one of my main reasons for living in VA is the beautiful views which greet me everywhere I go. Driving to work is always an adventure & when gas wasn't so expensive one of my kids' & my favorite things to do was to drive back roads & admire views.
What is so amazing to me is how most people who were born here don't seem to even notice the gorgeous scenery around every turn.
Here from Micheles.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand malls...I like very few in the world (like the one in Sydney is really beautiful)...about water...to much looking at water makes me want to go to the bathroom!

Mrs Mogul

Malinda777 said...

Ahhh, seems we all share the hatred of the mall. Lovely picture, I can just see you taking it with bustling folks passing by...

Beauty does show itself in mundane places. I'm always left feeling blessed when I'm in a mundane place and beauty pops out at me...

Anna said...

Nice capture Carmi.

I know that there are women that don't like malls or shopping but my husband literally starts yawning as soon as we start. What is that about? He actually gets tired and sleepy when shopping. I have never seen anything like it.

Linda said...

IMPRESSIVE...caught in the act...shadow and all.

Thanks for the compliment on my hat. I do sell them...just have to find the time to make more. I like making the baby ones, they are easy, take only a night or so. The big ones take longer, but are fun!

Need any hats for your family??? ;-)

Sarch said...

One word for this picture Carmi....Cool!

Yaeli said...

Carmi, you manage to find the unusual in the most mundane things! Don't ever stop!

Michele sent me again.

maleza said...

are there where you live no fountines outside the malls?
i have visited my sister in florida and i hated it. i hoped usa is not everywhere the same. it is big enough...
i followed the comments you left by chad. i like your fotos and the way you write. I don´t speak very good english but i can read it.
i invite you to visit my foto-blog, i just opened it: http://serdemi.blogspot.com