Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wheat, chaff and light

When you stay at a hotel, you can choose to look at it through one of two perspectives:
  1. An endlessly mundane and eminently forgettable example of modernist "architecture" that does nothing to reflect the uniqueness of the place where it was built.
  2. A place that challenges you to find the unique touches that set it apart from similar facilities along the road well travelled.
I think it's obvious where I stand on this issue. Choose #1 and you never give yourself the chance to learn something new about the place. Choose #2 and you just never know what will turn up.

So as I walked through the halls of the hotel and its attached conference center, I noticed the small flourishes of decoration that made this place just that much different from the other places I've been in recent months. Were they monumentally different? Not exactly. Were they still worth remembering? Absolutely.

So with that in mind, I noticed some displays of wheat in glass cases in a hallway beside the conference center. The overhead halogen directional light reflected the yellow dried grasses quite nicely. It's usually a losing battle to achieve decent results when shooting through glass, but I figured it was worth a try.

While I didn't have the time to capture these as I zipped between conference events during the day, I had a few minutes one evening while waiting for the rest of my group, so I quickly snagged some hand-held shots. I spent as much time explaining what I was doing to passers-by as I did actually taking the pictures.

In the end, I couldn't decide which one of these three stood out. So I've posted all three of them for your viewing enjoyment. Click on them to bring up the hi-res images:

Wild grasses, Westminster, Colorado

Wheat from chaff 1, Westminster, Colorado

Wheat from chaff 2, Westminster, Colorado

Your turn: Which one(s) - if any - do you prefer. Do you believe that the ordinary can give rise to the extraordinary?


Jill said...

I like Number 3 the best. It's funny, since moving to Colordo I have been criticial of people who value their Native Grasses. Where I come from, they're called Weeds. But you've given me a new appreciation for their beauty.

Carli N. Wendell said...

I like two and three equally. . . they make me want to lay in a field and stare at the sky.

I'm sure whoever was responsible for the display would be ecstatic to know how much you appreciated it.

Anonymous said...

#2 is my favorite. I love the character of old hotels and it fascinates me to explore and see what they found worthy of preservation.

clicked from Michele's tonight...

scrappintwinmom said...

The second one is my fave. And yes, I do believe that the ordinary gives rise to the extraordinary - thanks to you! Here via Michele.

Catherine said...

I like number 3 the best - something about the gridlike texture - but then, I'd like to see more of the fluffy grass heads in it to contrast with that, so number 2 is quite appealing too - average them out and it would be perfect

kenju said...

I like all of them, but the close-ups capture my attention. Wheat, the seed of the staff of life. The diagonal lines in the photo show movement, even though the wheat in the cases was surely static; we can imagine it blowing in the wind. I love the crossed "hairs" between the heads and the pattern it makes.

Michele sent me back tonight, and I am glad.

Anonymous said...

I like #2.
Michele sent me.

Mike said...

It always amazes me how you can get such nice pictures of "ordinary" things.

Here from Michele's

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of looking for the unusual hidden in the ordinary. You do that so well.

I was expecting your Santa shot though!

Anonymous said...

I've been catching up on all your latest posts... I love reading your blog. You distract me from my daily demands, take me away from more serious matters, and remind me of why I like you so much. You see things through kind eyes. I do too, but don't write about it often enough, and my camera's always not in the right place or I don't take time to snap a shot.

Nice work as always. You are truly someone that is a gentle peaceful being that we all need to be in touch with more often in ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I like the second one. I sense drama when i look at it. As if the wind is blowing through it.

Hi from Michele.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

The middle one, and yes.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the first one but they're all great!

srp said...

I love the lighting on #1. It has somewhat of an "other world" look. But you can't see much detail in the individual grass blades. Detail is not that important with this light though.

My second favorite would be #2. I think the detail of the grasses is very good and the lighting is more pleasing than #3.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if that last comment came through - this beta thing gives me fits sometimes.

So as I tried to say in case it did not show up:
I believe the extraoridinary almost always rises out of the ordinary.

And I think you much be a lot of fun to travel with!

Anonymous said...

I like #2...the middle one the best.
And not finding the extraordinary in the ordinary is missing out on a major portion of life, I feel. Kind of like passing through our journey in a tunnel.

Kansas said...

I like #3 the best, but then I'm really into macro, so the closer upper, the better-er.

Do you always wear shoes when you're in a hotel room?

Anonymous said...

I love them all but #3 fills the frame beautifully!

Star said...

I like number 1 the best but I can't tell you why.And of coursse ordianry produces the etraordinary. Where else would it come from?

Hen Jen said...

I like the middle picture, beautiful!
Of course the ordinary is always extraordinary-if you only really look.

Jenny in Ca