“Most people don’t take snapshots of the little things. The used Band-Aid, the guy at the gas station, the wasp on the Jell-O. But these are the things that make up the true picture of our lives. People don’t take pictures of these things.”
— Sy Parrish (Robin Williams), One Hour Photo, 2002
Two of our sons, gifted photographers, have an eye for shooting compelling pictures of the quirky and bizarre, and the commonplace objects of everyday life.
I’m sometimes too burdened by the habits of conventional photography: Sticking mostly to landscapes and portraits, straightening the image in the viewfinder, trying to include everything that tells the story. But that sometimes makes for boring photos, the sort you see on postcards.
America’s highways and byways are littered with the quirky and bizarre, such as a statue of a giant rooster welcoming tourists to Hatch, N.M., old boots used as fence post toppers in the Texas Hill Country, or the poignant photos of lost loved ones at a roadside shrine near Miami, Ariz.
I’ve been trying to learn from my sons how to spot such curiosities and make them into engaging photographs. Here’s a selection of odds-and-ends photos — images that caught my eye — during a transcontinental bicycle ride: