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One of the many positive attributes of our digital, mobile and social lives is how we have opened our eyes to the beauty right in front of us thanks to our constant access to technology. So much for our digital lives are spent capturing, sharing, viewing and engaging in images or photos of everyday things. We researched this and came up with the term, Fascination with the Familiar, to describe it. We may marvel at the occasional piece of art. Yet, if you actually count the minutes of our day spent in the digital world, most of it is not evaluating masterpieces, but, rather the beauty of the everyday.
People may bemoan the advent of the camera phone because of all the seemingly self-indulgent selfie-taking we do. On the flip side, however, our access to our cameras have made us that much more acutely aware of the beauty — the everyday beauty — around us. And this everyday beauty reminds us of how special our very own lives and surroundings are.
And here’s another reason to keep our cameras handy: artful manhole covers. Yep, the Guardian came out with a piece a few days ago of photos of gorgeous, artistic and historic manhole covers from around the world. (See pics below)
I bet these pictures will have us look at manhole covers — hell, our own streets — in a totally new way.
Will we have survived without ever knowing the existence of these pieces of everyday art? Sure. But seeing these quiet sources of beauty and imagining the possibilities on our very own streets just makes our world that much brighter.
We may be living behind a camera much more than ever. And I do value witnessing the beauty around me without the filter of a lens. But if our reliance on these digital accoutrements allows us to see new sources of beauty every single day, then I think it’s a net gain.