Woodcarving Graffiti

Evan & Samantha

On a trip to Yellowstone last year, I of course took some time to visit the lodge by Old Faithful. While I took plenty of shots of the beautiful wood architecture in this building, I was also entranced by the various carvings into the wood by various visitors in the past.

This graffiti of course defaces a wonderful piece of history, and I oppose anyone doing it. Yet, now that some of it is there, I was interested in taking photos of the more interesting carvings. This lovers etching was one of my favorites.

What compels some of us to such destructive tendencies, especially at a landmark such as this. Now this etching was done some time ago from the appearances of it in person, yet who of us hasn’t at some point used their trusty pocket knife to etch their name or vows of love into a handy piece of wood. Perhaps this is a question more for the guys because I have yet to meet a woman that was so inclined. Admittedly there are a few school desks, picnic tables and trees that have suffered my handiwork.

As an adult I can’t see the logic in the compulsion, but as a kid it was there. Some, though, never grow out of this. There are of course some wonderful graffiti artists out there, and under the right conditions and permissions their work is welcome and amazing to look at. The bulk of graffiti of course is just as the name implies to most of us, a destruction or defacement of something, typically maliciously.

Without weighing in on what is art and what is the earmark of delinquency, I have seen a number of photographers document some wonder graffiti art. In the future would like to keep my eye out and do some of the same documenting. Where I live is not really full of opportunity to find artistic graffiti, but when I do travel I hope to find some I can take and include here.

Canon 20D, 28-135IS, 1/25 at f/4 and 800 ISO