Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Richmond (1/21/2015)

Sometimes the simplest pictures give you the most joy.  Moreover, some pictures just beg to be taken because of its composition and simplicity.

Let's talk about the joy first.  I think a lot of people can rejoice with me about the gas prices.  I need a full tank every 4 days or so.  This is because of the large commuting distance I have to work.  Today I paid $1.86 per gallon of gas, and last week I bought it for $1.66 at Costco.  That is half the price that I paid a half year ago.  Considering I have a 16 gallon tank, I am currently not spending (some call it saving) approximately $30 per week.  That really helps the family budget.  I think a lot of Americans are experiencing this joy, in particular those that have a small income.  Most have not seen a wage hike in years, and it looks like there is absolutely no willingness to give us one in the near future.  Our law makers only seem to look out for the big guys; the people that fund their re-election campaign.

Oh well, enough politicking.  People often ask me why I don't move closer to my work.  For one, if you have been reading my blog, you know what a great "back yard" I have.  Granted it is actually Newport News Park, but my back yard runs right into it (guess you can still see the old fence), but in reality I have a 8000+ acre back yard.  And I don't have to mow it!  On top of that, the section behind our home is a nature preserve for the Mabee salamander.  Nothing better in curing my nature deficit disorder.  Regular readers also know how much I love Yorktown, the river, the Chesapeake Bay and sailing. Finally, I am a nomad, as my blog's name mentions.  I travel a lot and I am in Richmond maybe two or three days per week on average.  So yes, I burn a lot of gas and I am happy with the low prices.

Secondly, the picture it self.  I find far too often we take pictures of family or beautiful vistas.  That is all good, but what about recording mundane life.  I know sociologists, historians and archaeologist love discovering shopping lists that are more than 100 years old.  Even better are receipts that are that old or older.  Those types of documents are invaluable in developing a mental picture how people lived in those days.  I understand dairies in which people recorded the price of something they bought are invaluable.  I wonder when these types of people look back to our times what they'll see: screen captures of pages?  So yes, I do think it is important that we have some photographic record of what life was all about, even a picture of pumping gas.  I do think it is important to document some of the mundane elements in addition to all the pictures of vistas and of people playing and having fun.

To me this picture has some classic composition elements in it.  I love the repetition in it: the vertical posts, the curved metal styles and even the pumps.  Moreover, the base of the columns, the pumps, styles and the trash can are in a diagonal.  Somewhat classic elements.  By no means is this a high quality photograph, but is has some of the elements of composition in it.

On an end note, yes gas is cheap, and I realize not all people are happy.  If you are an oil worker, a land owner who relies on any royalty payments, or you depend on business from these people, I'm sorry that your income is now even lower.  But I assure you this shall pass and prices will go up again.

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