Accidental art

(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 38mm. Exposure: 1/60th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 200)

Sometimes things are done in an artistic way, even thought the people who created it had no artistic intent. It’s something I like to look for: the incidental beauty made by the patterns of man-made scenes.

(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/60th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 200)

I recently shot a Aztec religious ceremony held in the the St. Mary’s Church hall in downtown Stockton. The hall was in the preparations stages of being painted and a bank of windows on the east side of the building were covered in paper to protect them from the painters’ overspray. The result looked like a combination of the Japanese paper-folding art of origami and the geometric patterns found in Islamic art. The sunlit-illuminated windows gave a repetitive M.C. Escher-esque quality to the folded paper coverings. An added bonus was that the paper filtered the harsh sunlight, filling the room with a pleasing soft glow. The pattern served as a background that help give more visual interest to my photos as opposed to the rather blank and bland wall on the opposite side of the hall.

Jonathan Sanchez, center, dances in a procession to an Aztec ceremony of the St. Mary’s Church hall in downtown Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)

The painters didn’t plan to create an art installation nearly on the fantastical scale of the artist Christo. They probably didn’t notice what they did, but it was as impressive as a piece created by any painter or sculptor who set brush to canvas or chisel to stone.

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