MAS110, Photo Essay
Carlos English Walters (42448379), Philippa Rasmussen (42848520)
The concept of the everyday aesthetic, as Murray states, ‘has become less about special and rarefied moments and more about the small and mundane’ (Murray, 2008: 151). It reflects a shift in contemporary living with the immediacy of digital photography, which has empowered the everyday, or the amateur photographer. This is why we, as amateur photographers, have exemplified Murray’s concepts with our photo essay focusing on "handles". The theme of handles represents the everyday aesthetic because they are an object that we encounter on a daily basis that is usually considered insignificant and mundane. It is quite easy to overlook the simple beauty or practicality of handles in our everyday aesthetic. Once these objects are noticed, they appear everywhere, blending flawlessly into our lives and forgotten in an instant. By capturing a variety of handles, from front doors, to kettles, to car boots, to cupboards, to winches – we are placing emphasis on the re-examination of this form. The variety of subjects is surprising in that it reminds the viewer of just how common handles are – and perhaps the viewer has not always identified that object with the entity of a handle – which also has connotations to the everyday action of openings and portals.
Through the use of close up shots, often at eye-level or a lower angle, and selective focus, we have accentuated the beauty of the colour, texture and shape of the handles. This photo shoot is ephemeral in that while the handles had our attention momentarily, we will likely take many more photos in quick succession and the handles will return to their mundane, underappreciated state.
• Murray, S. (2008) “Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics”, Journal of Visual Culture, 7: 147.