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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Two: Travel Incongruities > Pink Elephant, near Inverness, Florida, 2013
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10-FEB-2013

Pink Elephant, near Inverness, Florida, 2013

The life sized elephant stands along side of Highway US 41 the Tamiami Trail to draw attention to a local auto repair business. It is a double incongruity in itself an animal that never moves, and is painted a shocking pink. Its sheer scale never fails to draw the eye of passing motorists. We stopped and I walked across the road to place the pink elephant in a layered composition that places it into a context. A layer of weeds leads to the highway itself, and then to a layer featuring the elephant, advertising signage, and an assortment of cars and trucks backed up next to a forest.

Panasonic LUMIX G5
1/1600s f/10.0 at 175.0mm iso160 full exif

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Phil Douglis06-May-2018 18:55
Thanks for seeing even more incongruities in this image, Merri. When I made this image, I was not even thinking about real elephants, only pink ones. If I had stopped to consider how complex and endangered elephants really are, I probably would not have even wanted to trivialize them in this manner.

You teach us a good lesson here, Merri --you remind us that the photographic image itself is only a starting point in the communication process. The context we may carry for a photo within our own minds, and within our own imaginations, can completely change not only what we may see in an image, but also what we may think about an image.
Merri 05-May-2018 21:58
The incongruity of a PINK elephant standing near a bunch of broke-down vehicles seems so very sad to me, especially in light of what science has learned of elephants recently. Actually, that knowledge (the intelligence, the memory, the complicated social relationships) just _adds_ even more incongruence and makes humans seem so... not sure what, but not good. Another smaller incongruence is the motorcycle/motorbike parked directly next to the elephant. Not in a _million_ years would I expect to see the two paired.
Phil Douglis07-Apr-2013 21:21
I never thought of it in that way, Tim. The pink elephant is certainly out of place, just as things usually may seem out of place to those under the influence of alcohol. Incongruity stands at the heart of both this image and the confused mind of an inebriated soul.
Tim May07-Apr-2013 21:00
Isn't seeing "pink elephants" a sign of being drunk. Maybe that's what leads to needing auto repair.
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