02 June 2012

Old cans

I suppose cans like these will eventually survive only in museums. Now it's all red and yellow plastic — oil holding oil. (These are petrol cans, but it's all oil in one form or another.)

[28 May 2012, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 183 mm, ISO 200, 1/320 at f8]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

How very true.
Rust is a beautiful thing, so capture it while you can.

leonie said...

My gradad's (and now my father's) shed had old cans like that in them. Growing older, rustier and more beaten with each new use they had.

I love old cans, bottles, sheds.... to me they gather more personality somehow the older and more beaten they become. Not at all like plastic, which I struggle to admire..!

Just the kind of thing I would have stopped to photograph too :)

pohanginapete said...

RR, you're right, rust is indeed beautiful. A shame it has such a bad name.

Leonie, that's it — the older and more worn those things become, the more interesting, too. All those possible stories. New things so often have nothing to say, and things that resist wear and tear (like plastic jerry cans) give few clues to their stories.

Avus said...

Inspired choice for a "still life", Pete.
For many years I restored vintage motorcycles, but stopped when they became "silly money". Now I prefer to see working ancient machinery in its unrestored state - that patina of use giving it character and history.

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Avus :^)

I share your preference for working ancient machinery in its unrestored state. Restoration has its place, at least because it can connect us with times past. However, when it turns into an obsession to preserve, it becomes self-defeating; it denies the life it claims to illuminate. A beautifully restored vintage motorcycle can be a delight to encounter on the road; preserved in a museum with hundreds of other old vehicles, polished and cosseted, it loses some of its own life and connects us less effectively with the functional past.