I have seen quite a few photographs by many photographers who aimed their lenses to objects inside various stores. Andreas Gursky has the famous 99-cent photograph that broke the auction records some years ago, and Brian Ulrich, a faculty member at RISD, took his large format cameras to supermarkets as well as other unexpected places. Whenever I take Jan for grocery shopping I have a cup of coffee and read in the waiting area. While reading, I would see something interesting and take a photograph using my phone. Last week at Dave’s at Hoxie Four Corners, where we shop for groceries, I asked a manager if it would be OK for me to take photographs in the store. He said he did not see any problem with it, so yesterday I brought my camera with me.
There are many subjects for different photographic interests. I saw the water droplets on cabbage heads and other greens (I admit I don’t really know their names) and started there. A little further down, stacks of radishes were showing their tap roots going in every direction. There were at least 4-5 kinds of apples, but I chose a couple of bins containing red and yellow apples. The contrast in color was attractive as well as the shapes of apples snuggled against each other in the bins. The yellow apples were too bright. So, I included less of them to have a better optical weight distribution. Various items, from whole fruits to cut up fruits in containers, and bottles of ciders were stacked behind a door with a sign ordering “Eat Organic.”
The green stems on red tomatoes to indicate their freshness from Backyard Farms were posing for me in their best behavior! Almost next to them were a bunch of artichoke heads with their ancient, mythological looking scale-like leaves. The texture of the melons in the next bin struck me. How they almost created celestial bodies, like distant planets or dead star. I photographed them. The store recently had extensive renovations with new stands, coolers, etc. so I wanted to show off the new layout. Then I saw a good-looking shopper totally unaware of her photograph being taken!
At the end of the aisles, on the far end of the store is the quite wide deli and bakery counter. It is always the busiest part of the store because everyone waits their turn with numbers in hand. It was busy as usual. The canned and packaged goods aisles have always intrigued me because of the extensive repetition of shapes, occasionally with slightly different labeling. We all love our pets, cats, and dogs. There are special aisles for their needs with a great variety of products similarly displayed to the goods their owners may use.
The new line up of cold storage made it easier to display and protect cold cuts, hotdogs, and similar products. Perfectly in line, standing at the attention they waited for the next shopper to pull open their doors to reach in to pick the goods for the next lunch or cookout. The spice racks are generally interesting with small bottles showing off their contents in assorted colors. I think the bagels were at the end of the cereal aisle, breakfast foods unite! A few boxes of Cheerios were ready to say bye, ta-ta, cheerio!
Oh, so much walking! I still had time to sit and rest a little before Jan finished her shopping and we headed home. Do consider bringing your camera with you next time you go grocery shopping. Make sure to ask for permission from a manager. While I was photographing one of the employees asked me “who are you with,” probably referring to a news outlet. I confidently told him that I had permission from the manager. Then, walked around the corner raising the camera to my eye!