Flourescent Lights

I mentioned a few days ago that, as per her request, I took Nozomi to one of those giant American grocery stores she’s heard so much about. As you can tell from the pictures, I think she was mildly horrified. We went late at night and they actually had the forklifts out stocking everything. They had also turned off about a third of the lights which added an eerie feeling to the emptiness. She took dozens of pictures – of the shopping carts, of the birthday cakes, juice gallons, unnaturally colored popsicles, meter-length ground beef tubes, aisles of canned food, the bulk food section, the “ethnic foods” aisle, and so on.

What do you think of places like this? And if you don’t mind, what do you think of these photos? I’m not sure I followed the “rules” of photography but I think the first photo is intriguing at least.

*click images for full view (they get even bigger if you click a second time)

**taken with kodak ultramax 400 on my canon eos rebel k2

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16 responses to “Flourescent Lights

  1. You’re right about not following the rules of photography. These pictures are just plain awful. Where’s the line, form and texture? Nah, whatever they’re fine i guess..

  2. To be honest, I’m usually still a little overwhelmed when shopping in places like Winco and Costco. I think it’s good to maintain a sense of amazement with grocery stores for a reason I can’t quite explain.

    Both photos are really cool.

      • I tend to side with Nicholson Baker’s final lines in “The Mezzanine” about being mesmerized as a child by the Hellmann’s mayonnaise jars stuck rolling around in the gap between the scanner and the conveyer belt in the grocery store. I can never tell whether he meant it in a good or bad way. But, I think you might be right.

  3. I really like the lighting and colour of these.. The first picture pretty much sums up the shopping experience in a big-box store.

    I generally try to avoid places like Costco. They’re a bit too overwhelming for me.. and I can imagine it would be even creepier to be there with some of the lights out. I especially avoid WalMart at all costs, I think it’s so weird that they have groceries…

  4. that place looks creepy… I don’t like how empty and well stocked it is. I don’t mind going to Costco though. Maybe because I go only about once or twice a year. and also since they usually have samples :P and cause I’ve never been to it when it’s empty like that!

    I like the lighting and colours in the pictures too. They make the picture feel very ….”American” and bring out the atmosphere of the place well.

    • Hahaha Costco. Yeah, I’m not going to lie, I like that place too. At least there everything is gray so its not quite as creepy as this all=white place.

  5. I genuinely love supermarkets, they allow me to breathe and think; tho I can’t think of what to make for dinner on my toes in a supermarket, ironic much?

    When I went to Toronto to visit my brother, we went grocery shopping for dinner and the aisles are HUGEEE compared to the ones here. Everything’s about twice the size and prolly also twice the number of brands to choose from. Which made it fun for me!

    I ever did a supermarket series of photos too when I was in school. The butter section was my favourite. Anyway I love the composition of the first photo! It would have given off a different feeling if Nozomi was in the middle of the photo as opposed to the left. I like it better this way.

  6. A closer look as to why the first picture looks intriguing to me as well:

    -Nozomi is not right in the middle, but off to the left side.
    -The space created by that shows an endless looking aisle of food.
    -The lights extend super far down, adding more scale and showing how huge that place is.
    -The reflection of the lights in the shiny-ass floor.
    -Nozomi’s face.

    Did you guys end up buying anything?

    • Yeah, I think Nozomi’s face is the best part. haha.
      She ended up buying some face wash and candy necklaces – which was funny because she didn’t wear it, she cut the string and poured the candies in a bag and ate them that way. Ha!

  7. Hey! Thanks for visiting my blog! Yea, I found Nozomi through a small publication I purchased when I visited Tokyo last New Year. Thanks for the nice things you said on my blog, I really appreciate that! Its nice to meet you!

  8. Both photos are really fun – the first picture in particular has some wonderful straight lines and perspective; the weak lighting and uniformity of the signing, ventilation systems etc. all adds to the scale. Nozomi (with an almost empty trolley) looks suitably in awe of the US food-industrial complex.

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