Photographing Grit

During this past summer I had a great work opportunity, especially for a photographer looking to develop his skills. Part of my job included doing product photography multiple times a week. I had a light box, a couple of lens, some lighting options and a plethora of gorgeous handmade craft.

Essentially, my job was to make beautiful things look beautiful. Not the most challenging task but still a learning experience.

One day, as I walked to work I saw a shopping cart in the pond near my apartment. It was riveting to look at – so much to be said about it. Why did it end up in there? It looked like its hopes of faithfully serving consumers had been dashed and it was helpless. It couldn’t do anything but lay there. In a way, it looked beautiful with its rusting bars and its history fading under the green hue of the water.

That little drowned cart sparked the concept of a photo series called Grit. Why Grit? The word has two major meanings: 1) small particles of sand or stone 2) courage. Grit evokes both dirtiness and strength. With this series I hope to catch the full story of things that would not be considered conventionally beautiful but that are not just dirty but have a secondary character to it.

Many photographers, authors and other creative types would tell you that one of the most important parts of art is the human element. You’ll notice that there are no humans in any of the images. Well, let me encourage you to think about that absence. Why are there no humans attending to these items?

This series will undoubtable expand as I continue to see the hidden beauty of neglected and worn objects in the world. I hope that you enjoy what I have so far. In fact, if you have any neglected yet beautiful items that should be captured, let me know in the comments.

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