Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Peds on Weds: Context is a rookie mistake

On Monday, the Canadian Museum of History (i.e. the former Canadian Museum of Civilization) tweeted a photo of a wood carving, remarking at how large a carving it was, considering it was made from a single block of wood. I pointed out that there were no visual cues to give the viewer an idea of its scale, which is an important detail when you're discussing an object's size!

That night, as I was searching for a quick subject to post for today's Peds on Weds post, I found this photo from this past March, of a metal plate embedded into the sidewalk with bumps on it, a.k.a. tactile paving for the visually impaired.

It's outside the Centrepointe theatre at Ben Franlin Place (former Nepean city hall). I noticed two things about it: first, that the bumps were chopped off, presumably by snowplows, and second, that I didn't recall having seen them in Centretown. I presumed that the two observations were related. I took a photo, to file away in case it becomes relevant.

Fast forward to August, when I'm walking into Jack Purcell Recreation Centre off of Elgin Street at Lewis Street (technically on Jack Purcell Lane) and I saw one of these plates at the entrance. As is my habit, I took a photo of it.

Unfortunately, when I went to put this into a blog post, I realized I had made a rookie mistake: I photographed the plate, but I didn't take a second photo that illustrates where the object actually is. There's no point describing a piece of infrastructure if you can't also describe where it is situated in relation to the building entrance and, in this case, the curb depression.

Here's the best I could do. The yellow plate is just barely visible at the far right in the middle of the photo between the front bumper of the beige vehicle and the white stripe on the Pay & Display machine:

This phenomenon is actually pretty common among people who aren't in the habit of photographing things as a hobby. I've on many occasions had people tell me about a curious road or sidewalk situation (such as a pothole) and they'd send along a photo of the object (and only the object), sometimes from many different angles, but all too close to get an idea of where the heck it is.

And now I've done it to myself, too. Oops!

[Tune in on Wednesdays at noon for a new pedestrian-themed blog post. View the Pedestrians label for previous Peds on Weds posts]

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