A lot of what photography is abut is simply noticing stuff. It's driving by the railroad tracks and noticing a very quirky little steel structure that looks precisely like an outhouse of the apocalypse. I could only imagine some guy who was quite handy with steel plate fabrication thinking about possible scenarios for 2012. Danged if he was going to have to take a dump out in the woods, he was going to have an outhouse that would still be standing when the rest of civilization was smoking ruins.
I'd been grounded from driving for months (for medical reasons, nothing handed down by a judge) and my teenage son was my driver all summer and I'd noticed this on our forays around town. We were always too busy to stop, but one day as we were going by I noticed that the light was hitting it in a very cool manner and asked him to turn around and go back to it. He parked and I walked over to shoot a series of photos with my little iPhone, since I wasn't carrying any real cameras that particular day.
Since I'm a photographer, I have a heightened sense of light and sometimes stop to photograph something just because the light was looking cool. I never take things at face value when it comes to photographic composition either, so I walked completely around the outhouse, paying keen attention to how it looked so differently, depending on the angles of the light hitting it. I liked the shadow side that also had a warm glowing reflection, as well as the highlight side where you could clearly see people's handprints on the new metal.
This just seemed like a bizarre manifestation of the 2012 apocalypse stuff flying around, so of course it meant I had to stop and do a visual investigation. Anyway if anything bad hits this December, at least I know there will be a safe place to go to the bathroom.
Story & Photography Copyright Larry McNeil, 2012. All Rights Reserved.