This may seem like a strange pair. For me, there are two things that tie them together. First, shoes enable the body, while glasses enable the mind. But, second — and mainly — because both of these things, when seen in a picture, overwhelmingly evoke the presence/absence of a person (maybe because of the first reason?), often more powerfully than a picture of that person him or herself. Of all the in-common items (i.e. not including idiosyncratic possessions unique to that individual) associated with a person, these two are what do that for me. Why is that? shoes: "They are the symbols of the traveler." ... "To remove one's shoes is the first sign of intimacy." ... but/or "The shoes at the bedside show that that person is no longer well enough to walk: they are a sign of death." — The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols The sensitivity of the foot to touch, its vaguely phallic shape and the hollow receptacle of the shoe fostered the shoe's erotic connotations. Shoes are common objects of sexual fetishism. — The Book of Symbols: Reflections of Archetypal Images eyeglasses: [aside from all the positive things they do for us] They have long been popular idioms in German that refer to charlatans as "eyeglass salesmen" (and which substitute "eyeglasses" for the English "bill of goods"). In any language, as far as idioms are concerned, spectacles often assure not a keen but a predetermined view of life: e.g. "looking at the world through rose-colored glasses." — Dictionary of Symbolism: Cultural Icons & the Meanings Behind Them *************************************************************** Here is one particular example of shoes, at work in a picture. This is from Geoffrey Batchen's What of Shoes? Van Gogh and Art History. He's looking at Van Gogh's Shoes, (1886): Shoes, Heidegger proposes, are among those types of things that are useful; indeed the form of a shoe, "firm yet flexible," is determined by a human maker in terms of its projected use as a piece of equipment to clothe the feet. In this sense, he suggests, a shoe occupies a "peculiar position intermediate between thing and work;" "it is half art work and yet something else." ... Heidegger then goes on to describe in remarkably sensorial language the life experienced by the owner of these shoes: From the dark opening of the worn insides of the shoes the toilsome tread of the worker stares forth. In the stiffly rugged heaviness of the shoes there is the accumulated tenacity of her slow trudge through the far-spreading and ever-uniform furrows of the field swept by a raw wind. On the leather lie the dampness and richness of the soil. Under the soles slides the loneliness of the field-path as evening falls. In the shoes vibrates the silent call of the earth, its quiet gift of the ripening grain and its unexplained self-refusal in the fallow desolation of the wintry field. This equipment is pervaded by uncomplaining anxiety as to the certainty of bread, the wordless joy of having once more withstood want, the trembling before the impending childbed and shivering at the surrounding menace of death. This equipment belongs to the earth, and it is protected in the world of the peasant woman. ... For Heidegger ... the art of an art work lies in its capacity to transcend its own thingness, to make "public something other than itself." (Batchen wonders if Heidegger noticed that it's not clear that the two shoes are a pair — they look a lot like two left shoes — and wonders why he makes their wearer a woman.) By coincidence, when driving into town yesterday, I saw a single brown shoe standing (not lying) in one of the traffic lanes, looking lost and defiant and doomed. Think how different that shoe is from one of a pair neatly sitting in your deceased mother's closet. What attracts you to photograph shoes and/or eyeglasses?