Grasp The Moment Photography


I wonder what a road feels like.

A road is the thing that takes us from point A to point B and back again. It speeds by under the tires of our big fuel guzzling SUVs without even a glimmer of appreciation. Sure, perhaps we’ll glance out the windows at the trees whizzing by, ooh and ahh at the houses and scenic views, but mostly they go unnoticed.

Today I left the house with a new word in my pocket. Its a word that should have been so simple that I could have completed it by the time I reached the corner, but something wasn’t there today, I couldn’t see anything through my lens, no matter how far I walked, especially when it came to seeing that word. I walked farther along until I came to a pretty busy road that runs through a park, one of the biggest roads in Queens. It gets pretty wooded, the two lane black top snaking through a forest which most of the area would look like if not for the work of man.

The word I had come to look for had already slipped so far from my mind that I could barely even remember it. I carried my camera in my hand listening to the whizzing cars rush past me. In between them, the silence of the woods returned only to be shattered within seconds by another passing car. As I walked, I became aware of the road. My eyes drifted along and I began to notice not only the road, and as I said, how ignored and unloved it was, but even worse what was left along side of it. Trash littered the curb, things tossed out a car window, discarded by the owner.

We live in a society being eaten alive by our own garbage. I don’t want to interject my own feelings on global warming or how we’re beating our planet to a horrid death, so I’ll just leave it as saying I was appalled by the litter around me.

I looked at all the trash around me, I looked at it through the lens of my camera, and when I was done, I did something I never do when shooting, I destroyed what I found. Using a plastic bag I found at my feet, I cleaned it up. I picked up the trash laying along the road, stuck it in the bag, and threw it all in the garbage can supplied by the nice people who run the park

My life is in a bad place right now, I have little control of my fate, I’m desperately looking for break, praying for a way to get back on my feat, with very little that I can actually take control of. But this… this I was able to fix… so I did.

Yes, I know it will be back tomorrow, and no I wasn’t able to get all of it, but the bits that I did not only made me feel good, but made that stretch of road that much nicer to look at … if someone else would ever decide to slow down and appreciate it.

Oh … and I left the toilet… it was too big to carry.

Trash 001

Trash 002

Trash 003

Trash 004

Trash 005

Trash 006

Trash 007

Trash 008

Trash 009

11 responses

  1. Dad

    I wish I had half your talent. Great work/great words.,

    June 2, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    • graspthemoment

      You are half my talent. Mom’s my other half.

      June 2, 2009 at 10:46 pm

  2. JRP

    You always know how to make the ordinary extraordinary!
    Your processing is perfect!

    I cannot believe people can be so unkind to our planet…who leaves a toilet like that!! Appalling!

    June 2, 2009 at 11:19 pm

  3. Peg

    Your photos are only bested by your words!!! FABULOUS!!

    June 3, 2009 at 12:06 am

  4. Beau


    June 3, 2009 at 12:36 am

  5. Thanks got to be depressing to witness. The only way out of feeling negative about it all would be to do what you did and clean as much as possible up. I live near a few fast food joints and have seen litter along my path home and as close as on my driveway…obviously left by teens and uncaring peeps. It’s so annoying even just looking at it on the small scale. If you begin to think of the large scale of things…it’s almost too much to take. My sister is very into our environment and in tune with all the little things we could and should do to improve the destruction of our earth. I am grateful for the little tidbits she shares with me in opening up my awareness. When you are “in a bad place” as we all are at times, it’s hard to be aware. It’s sometimes all we can do to pass by the litter and get to our destination. It’s sometimes all we can do to place our foot to the pavement. It’s great that you were able to do something positive in the midst of hard times. Props to you and you already know the photos are not only great but enlightening-especially as a set.

    June 3, 2009 at 12:54 am

  6. suehenryphotography

    Very thought provoking post; heightens one’s awareness of one’s surroundings.

    Love how you are taking your ” coffee can words” and finding such inspiration from them.

    You are blessed with such talent!

    June 3, 2009 at 8:54 am

  7. Jenn

    You know how I feel about the woods.
    The blatant disregard others have for it makes me ill.
    It’s refreshing to know I’m not the only one who feels this way,
    and will make the effort to improve such beautiful surrounding that go otherwise unappreciated.

    I must say, you did take this garbage and turn it into something beautiful.
    As always, you’ve made a sow’s ear into a silk purse-
    I had no idea that this is what you meant when you said, “I shot garbage today”-

    It’s said that what you give, you get back ten fold.
    I’ve been blessed to see this for myself,
    and am confident you will see it in your life.

    Thanx for making a difference
    This is a great piece 🙂
    (too bad about the toilet)

    June 3, 2009 at 5:20 pm

  8. Mike

    Great stuff as always.

    Living on a major road for three years now I am always amazed at what I have to pick up off my lawn. I thought people stopped throwing trash out their windows with that crying Indian from the 70s. But no, it’s all around us. So much so that it becomes invisible. You have done a great job of reminding us all how filthy life can get.

    June 11, 2009 at 7:14 am

  9. “…with very little that I can actually take control of. But this… this I was able to fix… so I did.

    Yes, I know it will be back tomorrow, and no I wasn’t able to get all of it, but the bits that I did not only made me feel good, but made that stretch of road that much nicer to look at … if someone else would ever decide to slow down and appreciate it.”

    Hi Brian,

    The country roads that I live on get violated weekly. Your words describe exactly why I sometimes ‘give a hoot’ and pick it up.

    The shot of the drips coming out of the water bottle and the piercing blue contrast of the pepsi cup in the brown leaves were my favorites. The Happy Birthday balloon was sort of depressing, it’s a harsh reminder that some people only care about you once a year and then simply move on with their busy lives. The toilet photo gives new meaning to the expression, “nature’s calling”…

    Take care,


    June 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

  10. It is a real shame that some people have no respect for the world they live in. Your images are a pointed reminder that we all need to do more to keep our only planet clean and liveable. The images and processing are fantastic!

    June 24, 2009 at 5:16 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s