The Stray Shopping Cart Project

strayshoppingcartsJulian Montague – The Stray Shopping Cart Project

Next time you see a shopping cart in the wild, will you document it? I have taken a couple of photos but I don’t think I ever posted them. Shopping carts are a very urban/ suburban thing. Something overlooked and yet they turn up in so many places. I’ve never taken one home myself. Once, I did bring a cart all the way to the end of the parking lot where I caught the bus. Just once… maybe twice. But, I had a lot of groceries that day – they were heavy and I didn’t want to miss the bus.

Take Another Look at Your Local Bus Stop

Most bus stops in North America are fairly standard issue from the bus company. There isn’t a lot of variety and bus stop shelters don’t tend to stay up once the bus route changes. Sadly, they tend to be vandalized too often as well. But, Christopher Herwig found unique bus stop shelters, enough to make a book about them: Soviet Bus Stops.

I like this one because it looks like a spaceship.

Graffiti Art Hearts

Paul Angel, in the UK, has made a project of photographing hearts carved or drawn in public places. A nice project for an urban explorer. Where could you find the oldest graffiti hearts in your local area? Have you ever created one yourself and if so, how did you make it and what did you make it on?
carvedheartA series Paul Angel, UK, has been working on since 2004, photographing graffiti love hearts and pairing them with the spaces in which they are found.

A book based on the Graffiti Hearts project.

Start Looking for Hand Made Lettering

Here’s something you probably haven’t thought to look for, calligraphy or hand made lettering. Not just for the written page but chiseled into stone or carved into wood or painted onto walls. Where else? Visit the blog and see what you may have been missing. (It’s typography when it’s machine made lettering, calligraphy when it’s created by hand).

calligraphySource: Calligraphy as Seen From my Bicycle –  Calligraphy in old churches and other places as seen during cycling tours around Europe. By Wlodek Fenrych. 

Urban Combing

Being a little land-locked, it’s not possible to go beach combing in Long Eaton and urban combing is probably the next best thing. Here are lots of bits and pieces I recovered from my garden whilst digging the mud and also a few odds and ends from my walks with the dog.

Source: Urban Combing #1 – I Am A Magpie – a photo on Flickriver

The lost art of found objects. (It sounds great as a phrase but I don’t think beachcombing (or urban combing) has ever been lost).

Fake Buildings

littlehouseI’ve seen at least a couple of small houses which have never been lived in. They were built to disguise equipment/ machinery for the telephone/ power company. It’s not so hard to recognize them because they all look about the same.

The image in this post comes from Google street view. This house is one I see every time I go to the local grocery store, it’s just a couple of streets away, in my neighbourhood.

Faux facades, fake buildings or whatever official name they have been given are interesting to find.

Have you seen any? You may not have noticed them. You may think your town is too small to have one, or any. It’s not the size of the town, however, it’s the location that counts.

  • power relay stations
  • cell phone infrastructure
  • train tunnels
  • ventilation
  • emergency access

Sources for other fake buildings:

Make Your Own Hinterland Who’s Who Spot

If you are Canadian (not too young) you will remember Hinterland Who’s Who on TV. I think this is a great idea for anyone wanting to make their own programs/ videos.

  • Pick a topic (animals if you want to submit it to Hinterland).
  • Do some research.
  • Make your film/ video.

Now you’ve got your own documentary on video.

The same idea can work for urban, rural or any exploring you do. No need to start with something exotic, look into the history of your own home, an interesting place on your own street, or the local park. Start documenting!

Make Your Own HWW Spot

Materials

  • camcorder or digital camera with video and sound recording (optional)
  • video editing software, such as:
    • MAC: iMovie, Final Cut Pro
    • PC: Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere Pro
  • voice recorder

Background

Most Canadians who had television in the 1960s or 1970s will remember it — the haunting strains of a lone flute, the trademark theme of Hinterland Who’s Who. The series of 60-second vignettes was created to educate the public about this country’s native wildlife through excellent film footage, natural sounds, and relaxed narration.

Now, more than 40 years after the series’ introduction, Environment Canada (EC) and the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) have relaunched Hinterland Who’s Who in an effort to connect another generation of Canadians with their natural heritage. The new public-service announcements carry on the classic theme of the original vignettes but also address the need to conserve and protect native species and their habitat.

Procedure

Here are some simple steps to make your Hinterland Who’s Who production a success:

  1. Decide on a Canadian wildlife species on which to make a video.
  2. Research basic elements about that species, including information such as:
    • appearance
    • where it lives in Canada
    • how to conserve the species

    Information on many Canadian species can be found at hww.ca

  3. If possible, take your own footage of your chosen species using a camcorder or digital recording device, or find available footage online.
  4. If possible take pictures of your chosen species, or find available photos online. Make sure you get permission from the photographer first!
  5. Combining all the above information, write a short (60 second) video script that ties the species information and imagery together.
  6. Record all audio and combine all elements together, including HWW music and logo, in video editing software.
  7. Submit your video to hww.ca, and where appropriate, videos will be posted online.

Source: Hinterland Who’s Who – Make Your Own HWW Spot

Photographing the Obsolete as it Happens

What could you find to photograph for history? Typewriters, wrist watches, maps on paper… so many things which have been made old fashioned, and obsolete. I miss the mechanical things like the old phones, watches and a compass. Inventions which were treasured while their time lasted.

The Obsolescence Project. 2013 – Ongoing.

Initially begun as a 30 day photographic blog project, it became a 365 day blog documenting things that are obsolete or about to be, about the nature of obsolescence and occasionally a modest and brief history of stuff.

Source: The Obsolescence Project – Photography by Deanne Achong

Discarded Objects

Junk collectors and urban explorers have a lot in common.

We both like old, neglected, forgotten stuff. There are treasures tossed out on sidewalks, ditches and parking lots. Explore your local area from the perspective of a freecycler or junk picker (there are other names for it, too many to list). What can you find to make an interesting photograph from the discarded stuff people glance at and walk right on by every day.

Found objects are interesting and you can decide whether to leave them or take them (there are less ethics when something has been thrown out rather than being on the property of an abandoned building).

  • If you collect found objects (in a theme?) you could create a study of them in your photographs. What are there differences? How were they found? Could they still be useful in some way?
  • If you leave discarded objects where they are you could see how they change as time passes. Some may get taken, kicked around or moved in one way or another. Some will not fare well in the outdoors with rain, wind or sun.

Either way, discarded things are worth noticing and available right in your own local area – without bending any laws.

Todd Fisher’s photos of New York in winter show us slushy, dirty snow. Household objects, TVs, and chairs, have been chucked unlovingly onto the street. The home comforts look strange in their new, hostile setting.

snowdaystoddfishervia – Dazed – The photographer mourning the loss of dirty NYC

What’s Lost in Your Backyard?

I read this post (link follows) about items found by people at their own homes. Some of them dug something up. Some of them found something lost and forgotten and some just got lucky. In every case people took an interest and explored.

An explorer should not neglect their own backyard.

If you found something would you hope it was valuable, mysterious or historical? Would you feel a bit let down without a mix of all of those? I would!

While digging up their backyard, looking for worms to take on an upcoming fishing trip, two sisters from Kitchener, Canada stumbled upon a curious object. Deep in the ground, they found something transparent and shiny, with a bluish hue. At first they thought that it was part of a meteorite, however, earth sciences professor Phil McCausland disagreed, saying that the visible layer of the object should have been much darker if it really was part of a meteorite. Then, a gem expert, Gary Winkler, was contacted and asked to analyze the object. He found that it was definitely not a gem of any known kind. He also speculated that the object was not of natural origins but that a person deliberately buried it. No matter what it was, the sisters were going to keep it.

  • gold coins
  • a machine gun
  • church bell
  • ancient stone
  • forgotten graves
  • fossils
  • lost loot
  • cursed objects
  • rocks from outer space
  • unexploded bombs
  • jewellery
  • mysterious objects
  • forgotten shelters
  • drugs
  • cars

Source: 25 Unusual Things You Won’t Believe Were Found In A Backyard