Just finished reading a chapter by David Silverman on observation
Innumerable Inscrutable Habits: Why Unremarkable Things Matter. I really loved the way he wove some of my favourite books and authors into his arguments about seeing the remarkable in the mundane.
Using examples from literature (some you can see above), philosophy (Wittgenstein, Sontag) and art(Arbus, Chelbin) he illustrates how the task of the observer (or ethnographer) requires patience, diligence and caution and a willingness to “tangle with the facts” of everyday ordinary life. A really engaging and illuminating read. BTW – I found the link on a really neat website – see for yourself by following the link!