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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

In Lieu of Flowers

Sometimes when I’m taking pictures, people will stop and ask me “Why in the world would you photograph THAT?” I can understand why they’re puzzled. My definition of beauty is a bit different than some might expect or appreciate.

On this lovely spring day, I was standing in a park filled with blossoming trees and flowers bursting with color. But instead of pointing my camera at the classic spring splendor, I was drawn to this dingy wall and the pond full of algae.

To me, the decay was every bit as captivating as the fragrant blossoms.

The dark, dripping shapes on the wall were like Roman numerals standing boldly above the water. The algae-covered pond was like a petri dish teeming with bacterial life. I saw beauty, harmony and balance in the abstract arrangement of shapes, patterns, colors and reflections.

In many ways, we've been conditioned to draw clear distinctions between what’s beautiful and what isn’t. But it doesn't have to be that way. It all depends on how we look at things.

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