Searching for the Extraordinary

We all take notice when we see something unexpected. Our curiosity is provoked. We triangulate this new, surprising observation against other observations that we do understand.

Photography is ostensibly reality-based, so our attention is usually caught in one of two ways. Either we are intrigued by the subject, or we are intrigued by how the subject is presented.

Photographs of objects possessing extraordinary beauty generally fall into the first category; we are intrigued by the subject.  Conversely, extraordinary photographs of an ordinary object fall into the second category. The beauty catches us unaware. We can’t resist a second look.

Many photographers are naturally frustrated when they search for beauty in rare, extraordinary subjects. Rarity makes those subjects hard to find. Ironically, the fulfillment we seek is more plentiful and easier to find when we are attentive to familiar things.