In his essay “Tremendous Trifles” G.K. Chesterton contrasts travelling the globe in search of exotic places, people and sights with his preference of discovering the meaning and the extraordinary in everyday things and people if we only make the effort to truly see and learn.
That certainly sounds like great advice for photography, after all, Chesterton was not only a brilliant writer but also a gifted visual artist and illustrator. He says “we may, by fixing our attention almost fiercely on the facts actually before us, force them to turn into adventures; force them to give up their meaning and fulfill their mysterious purpose. . . the object of my school is to show how many extraordinary things even a lazy and ordinary man may see if he can spur himself to the single activity of seeing.”
As a photographer I too often hurry from scene to scene instead of stopping and truly paying attention. Chesterton ends his essay with these words, “I will sit still and let the marvels and the adventures settle on me like flies. There are plenty of them, I assure you. The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.”
Here are some of my feeble attempts to “fix my attention on the facts before me”. In order of appearance
Staircase, Running Shoes From Below, Reflections in the Water, My New Computer, Drainage Cover and Cotton Swabs.