Abstractions and Distractions: Searching for Beauty in the Ordinary

in photography •  10 months ago

Patterns, textures, and shapes are all around us. Whether it’s some leaves on the ground or some avocado toast masquerading as sushi, I try to stay alert for beauty and hidden surprises. One of the advantages of having a camera phone all the time is the ability to snap a photo when I see something worthwhile. Some of these are abstract and others are things that caught my attention while I was passing nearby.

What do these pictures have in common? I did not seek out any of them. They came to me as I was waiting or casually walking somewhere. And as I noticed the beauty, I pulled out my camera for the snap. Several of these are relatively recent, while others go back a few years. Some are plain, some flashy, and together they span various environments.

(1) Shelf Mushrooms

The original image is above. Here, I made it monochromatic and then tinted it blue, just for fun. I always love seeing shelf mushrooms. They have a nice look and they are good at recycling nutrients from old wood back into the forest. Some woodland fungi are edible and others are poisonous; I’ll leave that for the forest creatures to determine.

ShelfShrooms (2).jpg

(2) Autumn Leaves on a Street


Concrete sidewalks, manicured lawns: it looks like suburbia. Cover it with leaves and you have an interesting composition, even if it's fairly plain.

(3) Ivy

If you’ve ever tried to take care of a yard that has ivy, you might agree with me that this stuff is a pain in the ass. Whatever you try to do to eliminate ivy, it always seems to come back. But it’s also quite pretty when it grows upward on a fence or tree trunk, which must be why someone planted it there in the first place. Beautiful leaves, colors, and patterns.


(4) Beach Stuff


Some children had strewn their stuff on the beach. Then they ran off to play nearby. I liked the composition with these minion sandals, even though the light was too flat for a great picture.

(5) Mud Stains


These are some mud stains on the fender of a parked car. As I recall, I was waiting for some other family members to get out of the car as we were visiting some place. Bored, I noticed the muddy fender and took a snap. It’s an ordinary image, yet what makes modern paint splash art any more profound than mud stains?

(6) Avocado Toast


Or is it sushi? Beautiful colors and presentation. I’m sure it was delicious to eat also, though it wasn’t mine. Living in California, I’ve been eating avocado all my life, but it’s really nice to see how popular this food has become in other regions. It is a healthy food, though $11 for some avo toast still seems excessive. It’s fairly simple to make at home.

(7) Square Peg in a Round Hole?


I think not. There’s been much ado about this expression, since a square peg does not fit well in a round hole. But that’s such a linear way to approach the situation. Think outside of the box. If the square peg or post doesn’t fit, then why not chisel yourself a square hole? Genius!

(8) Some Grasses


In my region, winters are wet (if we’re lucky) and summers are dry (always a certainty). I love the spring colors of vibrant green grasses, plants, and trees. They also are pretty in their golden brown hues later on once the sun has baked them dry. Here, you can see some foxtails and rye.

(9) Under a Hot Tin Roof


This was at a farm we were visiting. The weather was exceedingly hot. While the horse barn offered some shade, those metal roofs can make it cook underneath. The structure of the ceiling and rafters made for a nice pattern.

(10) Swan’s Nest


A few years ago, I was waiting at a bus stop near a bridge. When I looked over the side, there was a creek below with some reeds on the bank. And you can see what I spied there in the reeds: a swan’s nest! These are such elegant birds and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them nesting before. Nice surprise.

(11) Lots of Garlic


Outside a market, someone had a large crate of garlic. It’s a great way to keep Dracula away. It also helps the immune system and helps prevent inflammation, not to mention that it makes most foods taste a whole lot better. An extra clove of garlic will improve most dishes. Visually, it’s much more stunning when the tops are braided or twisted together, but seeing this much garlic in one place made me want to take a picture.

(12) Stripeys


What a perfect name for these fish. This was at an aquarium. We had just about finished there, but as I was waiting for my family near the restroom, I noticed these patterns and took a quick snap.

(13) A Rose By Any Other Name


Ask this fly whether it would smell just as sweet. When roses are in full bloom, it’s hard to conceive of anything much more beautiful. They all have a pretty scent as well, but often it’s the lesser beauties with the deepest aroma. This rose had enough to attract a fly. Job well done, since anything with wings can be a pollinator.

(14) Stick House


On a hike in the forest, there was this creepy house that someone had built with sticks. It’s pretty neat, actually, but still creepy in that I don’t know who built it or why. Blair Witch stuff. Nevertheless, it’s a testament to the time and dedication someone took to collect and assemble all of these sticks into a structure.

(15) Reflections


The wind and sun were making nice patterns in the water of a river beyond this thicket of bushes. If I’d had time and wanted to climb around, I probably could have found a better vantage point for the perfect composition. But I love the light and patterns here.

All images taken by the author or family members (the latter used with permission).

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Beauty is often near us, you only want to notice it. Often this happens in those moments when we are calm, waiting for someone or walking. Leisurely thoughts set us up to pay attention to simple beauty and look at familiar things from a new angle.

Love the photos! There really is something...well...beautiful, about finding beauty in the ordinary. Kudos to you for seeing it; so many do not.

First of all i really liked your simplicity of your words means, as you said you always capture the nature and always use the opportunity of keeping cell phone to capture. And yes, nature is magic and we can get opportunity to capture the nature's beauty for life long because nature always transform into different faces and we can always get the essence of refreshment.

First of all i got confused to watch the beauty of first picture and amazing to know that these mushrooms are growing on woods. And whenever i see mushrooms then it reflects as tiny Umbrella's of nature to me.

And the magic of Autumn Season is Autumn Leaves and whenever we go out for walk in Autumn Season then firstly we see the beauty of fallen leaves and literally it's always reflects as nature always holds and plans for the decorative stuffs for every season.

Swan’s Nest is most beautiful aspect and i can connect with this for sure because from two years two birds come to our window and create Nest and they give birth to birds and then they flew away and these days always gives great and emotional essence and that also gives the essence of great relationship between human beings and nature's creatures.

Thanks for sharing this post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂


Thanks for your comments on each of those. Birds' nests are very special to watch if you are fortunate enough to have that opportunity. We've had doves nesting in our yard and it's just amazing to watch the whole process take place over a period of weeks.


Welcome and yes, i feel fortunate to see the whole Nesting Phase of birds and also that creates an essence of pleasure on emotional level. 🙂

Aw, such pretty pictures!

We share a hobby! Or a way of life! I've known people who walk miserablyh from one place to another and don't pay much attention to what's on the way. Sometimes people describe the world as a dull place, maybe too much stuff, but that's the beauty of it.

Even though I have depression, I still enjoy life; it's still "duller", but everything around me has its own charm. I had to force myself at first but then I found myself in a mood like this very post. I just sit down, look around and enjoy the feeling. Perhaps it's melancholic; I will have to go, never to be here again, perhaps. But every centimeter of world holds a place for my thoughts to go wild.

<3 Thanks for the beautiful pictures.


If you can find beauty or truth in everyday life, sometimes that spark carries through and makes it a good day.


Your Picture is very nice. like the picture talking, see the picture I can imagine the real situation.
You are the best.....

Beauty surrounds us at all times, life is perfect in its aesthetics and composition, I wish we could all be alert, aware of the beauty and perfection that the universe offers us every day, but unfortunately we are always immersed in the past or the present, and the modern world seems to be made to keep us away from our environment, distracted by electronic devices.

We are trying as an artistic collective to represent or embellish reality through our creations, and in Steem, forming the CELF team, we try to find the artists and creatives who daily express their works on the platform, we want them to grow through it and reach a wider audience.

I hope someday you can take a look at the work we're doing.



Sounds great. I will take a look soon.


Yes @donkeypong! This people is helping artist and non profit initiatives like ours and too many others!


hello @donkeypong, I hope you are all right, we've left you a message on steem.chat, read it when you can, cheers ;)

Ohh look look your first picture looks like your first picture the same capture we have the same view what if i told you that i toke my pictures by smartphone take a look at the rest of my works
There is more and more, but unfortunately some people here on steem blockchain doesn't appreciate and care about my works but im still proud of myself i have much talents im a singer songwriter guitarist painter writer and smartphone photographer i become an expert in the smartphone photography as you can see on my work sorry if i bothering you by my story haha you know im a talker i speak too much


nice click


Uve got good talents there, I would like to know more about you!
I followed you.
Keep posting qulity post.

I remember the Blue movie played by Leonardo DiCaprio. There was one scene where he ate mushrooms that contained toxins and made him hallucinations. For me, the fungus has a history of the past because as a child like to look for mushrooms after the rice harvest season ends.

The arrangement of mushroom trees with various shapes and colors are very beautiful.


That's nice. In our area, there are both edible and poisonous mushrooms, so each year there is a news story about someone mistaking the wrong ones. Foragers need to know their shrooms.

@donkeypong, You caught amazing and tremendous naturalize clicks through various environments. This wanna magical properties of the nature. I'm wondering to see these clicks. We have only see very few things of the nature. Most of things hide from us. I never seen some clicks before but now i updated much better with description. Stripeys clicks so curious and nice sharpness indeed. Autumn Leaves on a Street and Ivy has amazing creativity. All once touching my heart deeply. Thanks Tom.

Great collection of photos... amazing that they were all taken by you or your family! Thanks for sharing.


If you take enough shots, then you can assemble a collection by going through past files (which is mostly what I did here, adding a few recent ones).

At frist, thank you and you share your hobby Pictures of your cotton mushroom are beautiful. Mashroom contains a lot of vitamins. But many people do not like mushrooms. Most of the tree leaves fall in the autumn. These are known as the Planting Trees. In the autumn there is a new form of nature. When the kids were taken to open the shoe in the sea, their minds were delighted and you did not forget to take these shoes to the camera. Avocado toast is a favorite meal of Japan's people. They like to eat sushi very much. These holes are the habitat of many animals during the night. Stay safe safely. These grasses are very beautiful to see. A lot of food choices for cows. These grasses are needed to create a playground. The smile seems to be in the position that he would lay eggs or he would not sit like this. Anyway, she will lay eggs in her house and raise the baby.
Garlic is a spicy food ingredient. The use of garlic as cooking spice is coming from the beginning of creation. Not only to increase the taste of the cooking, the nutrients of garlic have reached garlic in one of the list of spices. The benefits of sunsana are so much as cooking as well as cooking as well as the augmentation of the health of garlic. Many years ago, garlic has been used as a medicine. Almost every nation in the world has been using garlic to cure various diseases. Garlic contains plenty of moisture, protein, fat, mineral fiber and carbohydrate. Vitamin and mineral contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin C Besides, there are small amounts of iodine, sulfur and chlorine in garlic. Playing garlic on empty stomach removes diseases as well as resistance to various diseases.


That's a lot of commentary. You missed my point on the avocado toast, but I appreciate the rest of it!


The name of the avocado toast is the first I heard from you. I do not know how it feels to eat. And I can not say it when it is found in our country. But seeing the pictures of avocado toast, my love for it has grown. Be happy to know how it feels to eat@donkeypong dear sir,

You remind me of 2016. I took a lot of pictures that year because I was serving my country in another state.

Pictures bring back memories, and teach lessons. Reading your story about each image was interesting.

And yes I eat mushrooms but can't tell the difference between the poisonous and not poisonous... Yet.


Thanks for the comment and for serving your country. I agree about the importance of images. Watch our for the wrong shrooms.

Seriously have been missing amazing pictures of nature's beauties and surprises all along. It has never came to my mind before that one of merits of a phone's camera is to use it to capture amazing moments of nature, it beauties and it's wonderful surprises. Have come across beauties and surprises of nature countless times that at times I'll find it hard to stopping staring at it and continue my trip, sometimes I'll even have to wait and have a long lasting look at these beauties of nature because I believed that once I ignore them and go my own way, I might never come across them again. So I'll relax and enjoy the wonderful view of these amazing surprises of nature while they last not remembering that I can actually capture those wonderful moments of nature and carefully watch and observe them closely when I get to my destination and even share others just like you did. This write-up is really enlightening and helpful, thanks for the information. I'll now make my phone an headquarter of amazing moments of nature's beauties and surprises. Thank you


Yes, I don't always stop, either, but I have been trying to do so more faithfully so I can catch that brief, fleeting image.


Yea. That's a wonderful idea and I hope you'll continue to share those wonderful fleeting images with us because they details and expresses more of what life can offer to us, they also impacts the knowledge, lessons and information that nature conveys to us and sharing them in a community like this will eventually promotes people's attention and affection towards nature and it will also shed more lights to how relevant and attractive these beauties are. Please we'll be looking forward to them, thanks in anticipation. We do appreciate it.

amazing photography,,,

Sometimes we worry too much because we do not know what kind of content to go up to Steem, when in fact we have the nature and its wonderful scenarios waiting to be photographed so as to show people the kind of beauty they are missing by being More time connected to a cell phone or a video game! Thank you for sharing these great pictures with us



Very wonderful photography
Nature is one of the things that man must preserve, because it gives us the spirit and life and optimism, which is the most beautiful thing you see our eyes,

Great shots..It's amazing how much beauty one can find in every day objects.
There is a Japanese philosophy called wabi-sabi – that has it’s roots in Zen, revering austerity, nature and the everyday. Wabi-sabi is a state of consciousness. Beauty hidden in the aesthetic or feeling experienced between you and something in the world.

Wow...superior images @donkeypong. I see most impressive scene early morning with bed tea. How marvelous creativity and such a different thing you posted. I know you're a such a nature lover and if you have ability to post don't miss chance. High rated images. Reflections image given me inspiration and can be relax mind very soon. It's so gorgeous. Also Rose flower immediately given stress free feel. What a beauty there. Totally gonna be awesome.

Of course, Avocado toast has gorgeous color combination. My one part of favorite is Avocado. But never choice toast. These contents mentioned you under the photography very important to understand easier to us. Swan's nest is a perfect also hide from others. May be Swan wanna female and shy looks. Some Grasses like as peacock's feathers. Just excellent.
I've learn more knowledge across these blog @donkeypong. Thanks to everything made natural creativity for us.

Yes photography could be fun, and pictures are great, brings back a lot of memories, both beautiful and sad memories but it's all good.

Sometimes I look at some pictures with this nostalgic feeling and even feel like crying at the beautiful memories they bring me vice versa.

And the pictures you shared are very beautiful ones, it depicts the fact that beauty can be found in the simplest things.

Imagine the beauty of the mud stained car, one would say it's a mess, yet you found beauty in it.

Moral of this is that we should always search out the best in every situation we find ourselves, no matter how messy or ugly, it can still be beautiful.

Still your boy @royaltiesboss-eu, thanks for the inspiration, one love.

Mind blowing post dude.
The whole 'Big Bang' theory has always intrigued me as the date itself picked out by modern science is roughly 3 billion years shy of what the Maya believed it's age to be, however their explanation of the beginning is way more interesting.
It's difficult to imagine absolute nothingness so I don't buy the theory however what other theories are there other than a creator God? If that is true where did he come from? Who created him?
It's a chicken or the egg situation, I don't think we'll ever know that particular truth. If the comment makes no sense I apologise. I'm really stoned 😂😂😂
Seriously though mate, great post.

Most welcome to steemit @donkeypong sir.
Really sir beautiful Photography. I like this your photo. I appreciate your every post.... best of luck in your new post.....

Really sir you so great Photographer, I like it
I appreciate your every post.Have come across beauties and surprises of nature countless times that at times I'll find it hard to stopping staring at it and continue my trip, sometimes I'll even have to wait and have a long lasting look at these beauties of nature because I believed that once I ignore them and go my own way, I might never come across them again. Amazing what we can find if we just slow down and look.This write-up is really enlightening and helpful, thanks for the information.

I liked your photos, the truth is that everywhere there is beauty, abstract and not abstract, on my way home every day I look everywhere in search of interesting things. My city is not very beautiful but even in the ugliest places we can find beauty.

Aaaaahhh... At last something refreshing for the eyeballs and brain to look at via another peep's creative eyes. Sooo have had it with the bad vibe rubbish spewed out daily on our one-eyed monster TVs. Thank you @donkeypong, much appreciated! @KrisQ

Occasionally we do not realize the beauty of nature because we do not spend busy working on it. You are very attentive to the small details of life. It is always good to have at hand a smart phone with a camera to take the small detail of beauty. natural.

what an outstanding photography!!
thanks a lot dear @donkeypong for sharing such a great post.
I appreciate it dear..
mushroom is one of my favourite food.
It has high nutritious value.

hello brother i am new in your blog i see here very best articles with beautiful photos

@donkeypong, I enjoy the image and description you describe. indeed pictures are posted with descriptions of interesting drawing descriptions. Each writer certainly has a way of introducing what really describes the knowledge surrounding images of benefits, some who prefer to introduce beauty.
this post is a combination of beauty and a little knowledge about how this is and how we spread the way to react. thanks for sharing this wealth post

Man, the vibrant colors on that avocado picture are nice. Makes me tempted to try some out, as I've yet to eat any kind of avocado in my 26 years of living, lol.

Wow what a amazing photography.I love your rose photography so much.All photo really awesome.

It is amazing how our minds are attracted to patterns, colors, abstraction and can derive meaning from them or at least attempt to. What is more interesting is the phenomenon of us wanting to capture those moments. Maybe they serve as anchors to those memories when we feel a need to remember. Lastly, they also bring back our own memories of similar moments/patterns. You are missing the skies to complete this catalog.

The usual things around us are sometimes missed because we assume it is commonly seen. In fact, a lot of beauty that we can see if we can catch the pattern.

I love to see your photography. The results of your portrait as evidence that we should have a taste of beauty against the ordinary, and sometimes we do not need to look for beauty with difficulty, and look only with around us.

Thank you for sharing. My favorite pictures are 4,6,8,11

Life becomes meaningful and especially more beautiful in the way we see things and recognize the gracious moments out of the ordinary. It’s true that sometimes we must use a “magnifying lens,” of sorts, to heighten awareness so that the splendor of seemingly insignificant things can be revealed to us.
Its lovely that unlike many, you do appreciate the factual meaning of life in these tiny moments.

Your beautiful post reverberates every inch of life and echoes the true meaning of happiness.

I remember some beautiful lines on this..
"Allow life to reveal to you its sublime beauty, and have it be revealed everywhere–not just in great moments of triumph, and not only in splendid scenic sights in nature, but in the crack in the walkway and the short stretches of silence... "

Thank you for the lovely pics and a great note to start the day on !

That's probably because you use a luxury smartphone, the resulting image is very visible like professional photography.

Exceptionally, this is very beautiful and the focus is very clear.

Best photography..
this post is very good and useful for us all.


Best photography..
This post is very good and
Useful for us all.

                 - shareteam

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

My favorite pictures are 1,2, 8, 14 and 15... Congratulations they are beautiful.

Wow.. You just made the regular things look beautiful in the photos, especially the mud stains. The ivy can be a real pain in the ass but it's beautiful here. Excellent photography..

Beautiful shots, agree on textures and patterns in nature.

a pretty good set of pictures.

Ah! I really love the idea here! I have a passion for finding the beauty in those things we pass by each day. Capturing and sharing them, so maybe other individuals will see the beauty hidden around us. Amazing what we can find if we just slow down and look. Thanks for this!

yes, I saw some photos that gave the impression of comfort to every eye that looked at the photo. I liked all the photos with the blend of color and image details.

Definitely beauty out of the ordinary @donkeypong I love the Autumn Leaves on a Street maybe it's because I've never seen autumn before or maybe it's because I think it's so amazing, wow a splendid collection, the can win any photography award you know.

You have a splendid camera might I ask how many Mega pixel the camera is?

@donkeypong I want to share milky mushroom of my country India 🇮🇳 👇Screenshot_2018-06-25-10-10-07-002_com.android.chrome.png

The photos are really beautiful, I love the oak I feel that being so close to nature you connect with the world to experience a feeling of peace and tranquility that you will not get elsewhere

The grass one is really nice! I agree that composition is everything. Something mundane can easily to turned into something artistic through a lens with the right composition.

Beauty surrounds nature and vise-sersa, in my country Nigeria, while I was young, my granny would go to the farm, brings back mushroom and I watched people eat it then, I never liked it so I don't take it, but when I seeked my admission into college I learned there is good and bad poisonous mushrooms, I was astonished but my granny never told me there's poisonous mushrooms 🍄. All what we kids did then was walked to the bush, play with and take mushrooms from trees or uproot from the ground but I noticed there's different between them.

Beach is fun here, I always imaging the water wave and how people swim in it, but it's amazing having fun at the beach.

thanks for this amazing post about nature and its beauty @dunkeypong

Really beautiful pictures.
I have the same passion for photography.
Most of my posts are related to photography.
We should always try to create happiness.
See the good in everything, that should be the way of life.
This here is an autumn picture
Winter photography in Kashmir.

The beauty of life is artistically expressed and showcased in this photography. Thanks @donkeypong

deliciosa textura

Beautiful pictures @donkeypong, I love taking pictures of autumn dried leafs, skies and animals. Your photographs really inspired me to continue.

Stunning collection of photographs.

Very impressive and inspiring photos @donkeypong, I love the green ivy, the camera looks bright I downloaded it :D.... the mushroom looks cool its been long I tested mushrooms. As for the mud stains, hahaha dont really know what to say..I hope your tyres are Michelin :D
Very good content!
Support steemit team f1 .

Your picture is cool, I like most picture number 1. both in original and monochrome.

@donkeypong What camera would you suggest for initial days of photography?

all pictures are natural and so simple and pretty

final-ppt-on-mushroom-15-638.jpgmushroom is not typically produced on a commercial basis as it becomes an undesirable mass of black ink within a few hours of harvesting if it is not cooked immediately. Inclusion in a pick-your-own operation may be profitable if customers are carefully taught how to handle this species.

Nice Picture donkeypong ! :D
We would love to invite you to our Discord server.
In here we have more artists for you to connect to and
the ability to promote yourself and your blogs. Keep on Steemin my friend !

how extraordinary composition of colors, making a segmentation, where each image gives us a different story, beautiful work, thank you for exposing it.

@donkeypong your post is really good.But I don't understant Lots of Garlic.Can you say me about Lots of Garlic?

a good image alura is taken from a good point of view. with attractive color quality. you seem to be a good photography. @donkeypong

These photos are really amazing and wonderful you have completely captured the nature beauty and manmade beauty of the world..
Credict goes to your photography, your photography seems fabulastic..
Beauty of nature is something which makes our life pefect when we get surrounded by its environment..but to honest we are not much aware of that benefit..now a days we are elminated the nature beauty by modern technology construction without knowing how badly environment we are going to face in upcoming years..
So i hope one day we realise what we are doing to the nature and take step to avoid that..
Thanks for sharing

A very nice post. I enjoyed reading your post much. And from this post I learned a lot that was very important for me. And I always come to this kind of post. Thank you very much. I can be very beneficial to get such a good post from you. I just do not. I have done all the benefits. Because this post is a good post. So thank you very much. We will get such helpful post in the next post.

I love textures and patterns :D Personally i take them for reference and I hope to use them in games. I currently sell photopacks, but it's a hobby. The photos aren't top notch ^^
I prefer to use my camera tho, makes a huge quality difference for me. It's not a big camera tho.
I disagree about not looking for textures :D I've had some very successful and fun texture hunts! I used to rolerblade all around the city I lived in before, mostly for photos ^^

Photography is new way to express ur felling and idea ,ur photo is just nailed it contenting such a beautiful knowledge about it. We are glad to upvote and comment at ur post . @donkeypong

This is inspiring. I've been always struggling to make the best out of my photos by editing them but you took yours by simplicity and good descriptions! 👍

Wow, such lovely photos. I bet you are good with taken pictures. You may never notice the beauty of something until you take a photo.
The avocado/sushi one got me.....😍.

Your blog was idle for a while, good to have you back @donkeypong.

I have a question, are those mushrooms edible?
I love the crocs on the beach
Thank you

Nature always is delightful and refreshing. Some of the pictures are wonderful specially the Autumn leaves, tbat's a perfect shot

Really the nature is awesome.

The pattern of those photography is really great. It's show us the nature of beauty.

Wow, all the photos you have taken are cool. This one picture touch my heart; Swan's Nesting

nice, good post