In Hiding

In Hiding

The story behind this photo is a bit strange, and it all begins with a shopping cart and a bicycle. On most days I like to ride my bike to work, especially now that the weather is so much warmer and it’s not raining as much. It’s only three miles from my house to my office which means it takes about 15 minutes on two wheels which is not much longer than it takes to get there on four. I also get a bit of exercise in the process, which I use to justify the rather copious amounts of Mt. Dew that I usually drink when I arrive at work. There’s a bridge that crosses a small creek at the halfway point in my bike ride and a few days before this picture was taken I saw something a bit strange as I crossed the stream. (And yes I know this is something you should never do.) Below me in the bushes I spied, with my little eye, a shopping cart:


No, this should not be here. But I’m kind of impressed that it is.

I believe this was a Tuesday or Wednesday, and at the time I thought it would for kind of an interesting picture but didn’t want to be late for work so I just kept on biking. On Friday I saw that the cart was still there, so I hopped off my bike and went down to see if I could use this in any way to create an interesting picture. I tried a couple different angles and it just wasn’t working out, mostly because the greenery around the cart was so thick that you couldn’t really see the cart itself in most of the pictures. I also realized that when I was on the grassy ridge it was difficult to get a sense of place and context, which made the picture of a yellow shopping cart a little too mundane and boring. I really wanted to take advantage of the setting and the early morning light, so I searched around a bit to see if anything stood out to me and that’s when I saw the dark red piece of grass that ended up being the subject for this week’s picture.

If you look close the grass is barely attached to the main stalk. I think it has turned red as part of the dying process, and my guess is that it will soon become brown and fall off. The richness of the color kind of took me off guard, and when I got down low to photograph it I noticed something in the background I could use as a little extra compositional bonus: the yellow shopping cart :) If you look near the top left corner you will see a faint yellow stripe which is the top of the cart, and though it was not entirely intentional I thought it added a fun extra bit to the image overall.

It’s weird how many times I have biked over that stream on the way to work but never taken 30 seconds to stop for a photo. Now I wonder what else there is on my 15-minute early morning bike ride that might make for an interesting picture as well. Hmm…


  1. Dennis W. says

    Nature is full of surprises and most of the time we are oblivious to them. I think your post illustrates how unobservant we usually are in life, passing by many opportunities to see the beauty about us as we busily rush on to our next appointment. Thanks for sharing your discovery.

    • You are welcome Dennis, and thank you for your comment! It’s now been at least a month since I took that picture and the shopping cart is still sitting by the bridge. Maybe no one has noticed it…or maybe it’s actually some kind of new modern art. Hmmm :)

  2. Simon —
    Thank you again for taking the time and effort to put up and maintain this site. I especially like how you take what otherwise be a completely nondescript item and turn it into a subject for the week. I am also excited to see what can be accomplished with a D7100 and a 50mm lens. Your instruction reinforces basic tenets that should be followed when taking photographs. Yes, ‘Rule of Thirds’! Clearly, it’s a good rule! By the way, I have been using Auto ISO and I have been happy with the results. I take the time to look at what the camera chose for ISO compared to my guess as to what it should be. I, more often than not, don’t come up with the same ISO :(

    • Funny you should mention Auto ISO, David. I have been using it for so long I kind of forgot what it was like without it, and last week when I was on vacation I ended up turning it off for some night time shots. The next day as I snapped a few pictures of my nephew I realized the shutter speed was way too slow and my pictures were all blurry! I quickly turned Auto ISO back on and it was like a breath of fresh air. Cameras today (like the D7100 you have, and that I was using too) are so good it’s almost silly to *not* use auto-ISO!

  3. In Havelock, when we see a shopping cart at anywhere but Russ’s, there is usually a homeless lady or bag lady pushing it along. Since you moved away, there are now three homeless ladies living here.

    • I was in Lincoln very very briefly this week, for a matter of just a couple of hours, and we ended up stopping at Russ’s for something. My goodness that place sure has changed! I hardly recognize it anymore!

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