Do you ever take the time to notice signs in your city? I spend many hours walking around the streets of Portland, as you have seen here on my blog. Being a photographer I think makes me more aware of my surroundings. I notice pretty things to capture in my camera, but I also notice the mundane signs around me. I take the time to look up and look down. I wander down side streets that many people avoid. I am always searching.
I love the old faded signs on the sides of buildings. I wonder when they were painted and how much longer they’ll last.
I like the neon signs that still light up at night
and the ones that don’t
I like the signs at my feet
the ones that mark the way
and even the ones inside stores.
Next time you are out have a look around you. Don’t be in such a hurry to get to your destination, but take in the sites that make your city or town uniquely yours. Remember to take along your camera even if it is just your phone. What you capture today might not be there for long.
If you get stuck on ideas there is a cute little journal called “I was here: a travel journal for the curious minded”. I found my copy at a local paper store. It gives you suggestions of things to look for when you are traveling but you could easily use it in your home town too. One page says “choose a subject and search for traces of it” and another “for one day shoot photos from the hip without looking through the viewfinder”. That’s how I shoot most of my street photography. O this one, “look for one color and take pictures of everything you see in that color”. Remember I did this one day with yellow houses. After awhile you’ll come up with your own themes. Have fun with it.
I think we are all responsible for preserving our history on film or on computer. If we don’t historians won’t have anything to look back on to see where we’ve been, where we are now and predict where we are going.