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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Two: Travel Incongruities > Mowing the lawn, University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix, Arizona, 2007
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09-AUG-2007

Mowing the lawn, University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix, Arizona, 2007

While touring the new 70,000-seat home of the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals, I noticed two visitors taking a break by watching a groundskeeper mow the football field. I framed this mage to abstract, isolate, and emphasize the relaxed tourists, and create a triple incongruity in the process. The distant tractor cutting the stadium's fully retractable natural grass playing surface is incongruously small compared to the vast arena that surrounds it. I have also created an incongruity by featuring just two people seated within a context of seats intended for thousands. Watching grass being cut is almost as entertaining as watching paint dry. I have turned “grass-cutting” into an incongruous event in a stadium built to host Super Bowls. (For more on this stadium, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Phoenix_Stadium )

Leica D-Lux 3
1/60s f/2.8 at 6.3mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
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Phil Douglis13-Aug-2007 00:41
I wanted to stress the juxtaposition of the two people to the tractor, with the empty stands as context. I needed to make the people as big as possible yet still retain the tractor and that context in the frame. The wideangle lens turned vertically allows me to do this. The 16:9 wideangle format of my little Leica D-Lux 3 was the perfect tool. Thanks for noticing this, Kal.
Kal Khogali12-Aug-2007 21:37
Great image, and I like your choice of orientation. It would have been easy to choose to do this as a landscape, but the impact on scale from this format is much greater. K
Phil Douglis12-Aug-2007 18:12
There is a sense of relaxation here, Alina, that is encourged by the utter lack of pressure here. The stadium is silent and empty -- the only thing moving is that lawn mower.
Alina12-Aug-2007 11:16
It is a lot of empty seats on the photo. This is why those two can relax.
Phil Douglis12-Aug-2007 02:05
I inadvertently erased a comment from my friend Tim May, which noted that the red tractor echoes the red seats and unifies the scene. He is right -- it pulls the red right out of seats and moves it forward, as if one of those seats has broken loose from the crowd. Thanks, Tim for noticing this.
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