Car Park

What’s the difference between a bad photo and a boring photo? I was wondering about this as I trawled through pictures from ten years ago and found some that I had kept despite repeated culling over the years. I think ‘boring’ is a quality that a picture can have that makes it something more than merely bad. Bad pictures on the other hand don’t even rise to the height of being boring. Below is one of my favourite ‘boring’ photos. This is an exit from an underground car park at the Allianz arena in the suburbs of Munich.

I like the subdued colour palette with just that splash of red, and the lines and angles, but there’s no getting away from the fact that there’s a lot of tarmac and concrete here. Still, much of the urban world is like this – functional, unremarkable, to the point where we don’t even notice it. Perhaps the ‘boringness’ of a picture can tell us something more, whereas the only thing a bad picture tells us is that its a bad picture.


  1. I like this kind of photography — not because it makes some artistic statement, but because it thoughtfully documents the common world.

  2. Thanks. I always wanted to photograph more of everyday life and ordinary things when we lived in Manila knowing that hardly anyone had done so and in 20 years most of it will probably be gone, bulldozed to create more largely anonymous streets. I took a photogrpah once in Tbilisi of two trees growing either side of a window set in a red brick wall – nothing special but I liked the symmetry. Looking at it one day I thought it would be great if I could get the same shot but with someone in the window so I went back to the same spot with the idea of hanging around for a while of the off chance that someone might stop and look out the window. When I got there I discovered one of the trees had been cut down. You never know when things are going to change. I wish I could say I learned a valuable lesson from the experience but I don’t think I did. Or perhaps I did in my head but not in practice.

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