Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's All In The Details

A strong personal fascination is developing for a nondescript little 'weed'  frequently encountered on my rambles. Eventually tracked down and identified as Ribwort Plantain, my mind goes into 'May Gibbsian mode' whenever they appear, summoning a myriad of anthropomorphic images.

Always intrigued by the general definitions of weeds as being undesirable, unattractive, troublesome, inferior, unwanted or valueless, contrarily I admire the persistence of these little sprigs which only serve to illustrate the power of Mother Nature and her refusal to be tamed by mere mortals. Plantains are known by many names and appear to be spread far and wide form Europe to the Americas and of course Australia.The Irish espouse their virtues and seem to look beyond the 'weed' reputation.

Lacking visual impressiveness for most people, these tiny subjects are frequently dismissed. Looking beyond the obvious, I discovered that plantains are not only a  food source for many tiny animals but a salve for some medical conditions. 

Fixations with relatively innocuous subjects is quite liberating because the beauty of the subject remains immune to overexposure. Once a subject is photographically popular, the senses are assaulted on a daily basis with multiple variations, which for me, compromises the appreciation factor . This is particularly evident in groups.  The moment a shot is posted of a new location there are requests for details and co ordinates. Shortly thereafter, there are multiple postings of said location.  Sunrises, waterfalls, fireworks and sunflowers have recently been focal points and the photographic community seems to be in general, supportive and generous, unselfishly sharing locations and settings.  However, any appearance of a competitive element always removes the intrigue for me, so I'm always enthusiastic about pursuing less popular alternatives, therefore the minutae rather than the grandiose, frequently captures my attention. The beauty and impressiveness of an enormous wave set or pristine sunrise is undisputable but there is also great beauty inherent in the smallest natural details.

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