UP! / by andrew hyde

...don't forget to look up once in a while...

As we go about our lives, rushing from place to place, we sometimes miss the beauty in the familiarity of the every day things around us. Things we're used to seeing become every day objects that we pay no heed or attention to. It needs to be this way, otherwise we would continually wander through our life journey in complete awe at everything we see, as if we were seeing it for the first time.  Our brains are wired to disregard the familiar and notice the new.

One of the things I love about photography is that, when I'm carrying a camera around with me, I become super mindful of my surroundings. Everything familiar becomes a photo opportunity. There's a line in Peter Gabriel's song Mercy Street that's

all of the buildings, all of those cars were once just a dream in somebody’s head
— Mercy Street, Peter Gabriel

I love that lyric and it's something I try to remember myself as I walk around from place to place. There's very little around us that wasn't once a dream in somebody's head. It's this that led to this small little project.

On one photowalk through my local area around Bridgend, South Wales I happened to look up as a bird of prey swooped between traffic thundering along the A48. The bird landed on a telegraph pole. I had my camera with me but missed the bird as it didn't stay on its perch long. However, I noticed the telegraph pole. The way the wires criss-crossed and cut up the sky in geometric patterns. I noticed the transformer attached to the pole and Peter Gabriel's lyric played over in my head. There's a lot going on above us that we pay little attention to but, the things above us, like telegraph poles, transformers and even street lights, were also once just dreams in somebody's head. They were drawn out as designs by someone's hand, the designs were discussed, prototyped, tested and finally manufactured. Someone else went through a catalogue and chose product based on many things but, a lot of that choice would be down to the aesthetics of those everyday objects.

This led me to this small project that I've called 'Up!'. The idea was to capture the simplicity of beauty in the every day objects that we treat as utilities. They tower over our heads, pretty much out of sight, out of mind.

I hope you'll agree, there's a strange beauty in these everyday objects and, just once in a while, you should take a chanced look Up!