Level 5 - Doug Johnson

The word "strange" has been rattling around my head for a while. A Google search defines "strange" as "unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand." The world is full of things that are "unusual or surprising" but it's the "unsettling or hard to understand" twist that makes "strange" especially interesting. It inhabits the twilight zone between straightforward and incomprehensible. Mostly, we LIKE strange things -- while straightforward can be dull and incomprehensible can be tiresome, for me "strange" is often like a little puzzle and solving puzzles is fun!

Some things are unusual but don't make the cut for strange -- say, finding a really good slice of pizza in New York for 99 cents. Others, like a total lunar eclipse, used to be really strange but aren't any more. Still others are strange on purpose -- like snake-handling Pentecostal pastors and Edgar Allan Poe stories.

And once in a while, like this week's photo from a new project called "Strange as It Seems," strange generously appears by accident.

Level 5

Level 5

I found this "Level 5" setting while wandering through a parking garage after noticing the amber sunlight pouring through the windows. The highlights on the wires first caught my eye, but the longer I looked, the odder things seemed -- What's close/far? What's inside/outside? Where is that light coming from and why are some spots lit and everything else in shadow? It often takes me a while to figure out why a scene initially looks strange but, like the famous quote on obscenity, I know it when I see it. ;-)

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