A look back at now

I emerged from taking pictures at an electronics store into the bright afternoon glare of a mall parking lot. Momentarily stunned by the brightness, I then took in the cars and light poles, and thought: "This is important."

The scene's absolute ordinariness made it profound. The situation might not have struck me this way had I not recently had lunch at a clam shack. A photo of an oceanside clambake adorned a wall. There was nothing remarkable about the photograph: not the composition, not the quality of light, not the angle.

However, viewing the photograph 55 years after it was taken, the ordinary becomes historical and thus, "important." In the photojournalism business, we always look for a "news peg" (a timely angle) to hang a story on. Perhaps we need to document more of today's mundanities, thinking as well of future "historical pegs."

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