Before I took the above photo I hadn’t taken any pictures on an analogue camera for about six years. A couple of months ago, we were looking through photograph albums full of pictures of my maternal grandparents, their parents, my grandma’s sisters, and my mum and her sisters as children. This led me to wonder whether people in 50 or 100 or more years time will be able to see pictures of our generation who predominantly choose to use digital cameras and very rarely actually print any of our photos. I suppose things like wedding pictures, and maybe pictures of new babies and graduations and things still get printed out more often than not, but the ‘everyday’ things, and even more unusual things like holidays, are often only recorded and stored using digital equipment. A friend of ours recently returned from Brazil and all his photos were on his iPhone. Even if we continue to have access to digital images, it’s probably fairly unlikely that anyone in 100 years time will be able (even if they had the inclination) to look at the photos that are currently stored on my (or indeed most other people’s) digital storage devices – laptops, hard drives, mobile phones, etc.
Apart from the interest of the images themselves, the photograph as a physical object holds its own appeal. As the physical form of a printed book can tell us about the time it was created, so the photograph as object can tell us a lot about the time and circumstances during which it was taken, developed and printed. For example, the type of paper the photo is printed on can give us information about when and where the picture was produced, and who produced it, and I’m sure there are many other things about the printed photograph that photography experts find useful and interesting, but which I know nothing about.
As well as this, there is something good and even a bit exciting about looking at and handling an old photograph, whether it’s from 1944 or 1984. It’s something that was there – an artifact, a piece of history. In some way, I think that old photographs are the nearest thing to time travel we have so far – moments in time captured and recorded to enable us to see into the past. Of course, this applies to digital photographs too, but the finality (for want of a better word) of the recording doesn’t really exist in the same way as with printed photographs. Nowadays we can change images, editing out the bits (or people) we don’t like – what does this mean for memory if a photo is the only thing you’ve got to go on?
With this in mind, after I’d spent time looking at the old family photos I decided to print off quite a lot of pictures of family taken over the last few years. I don’t know if anyone will want to look at them in the future, but you never know.
On a related note, I found it very interesting to read that the Impossible Project, who began producing new Polaroid-type film after Polaroid stopped making it, have now developed a machine to print Polaroid-type photos from an iPhone! It is quite cool. I suspect it will be also be fairly expensive, and I don’t even have an iPhone, but never mind! I still have four pictures left on my old Sun 600…
Pattern on the sand, caused by the tide/wave motions (I think)
I’ve been practicing using double-pointed needles (dpns) and made another hat. This one also turned out smaller than I expected, but now I’ve realised that I had measured my head wrongly and it is actually much bigger than I thought it was. Haha. So this hat too has gone to a child of my acquaintance. The pattern is Meret, by Woolly Wormhead.
Going to exhibitions
Well, an exhibition. We went to see the Ansel Adams exhibition at the National Maritime Museum last Saturday. It was very good. I didn’t really know anything about Ansel Adams before, other than that he was famous photographer, so it was good to learn more about him as well as seeing lots of his photos of water (unsurprisingly, given the location, the theme of the exhibition is “Photography from the Mountains to the Sea”). Going to the exhibition made me feel a bit better about my own photography. I’ve never been quite sure whether it is OK to edit photos after you’ve taken them, or whether this is really ‘cheating’; but Ansel Adams did this as a matter of course. He would, apparently, spend hours in the darkroom developing lots of different prints of the same picture, changing aspects of it until he was happy with the outcome. Obviously editing pictures in a darkroom takes a lot more skill than doing it on a computer, but Ansel Adams was enthusiastic about the possibilities of using computers in photography – there was a film clip at the exhibition of him talking about it. He didn’t live to see the ‘digital photography revolution’ (he died in 1984), but I think he would have been quite excited by it.
We’ve had snow here again this weekend. While we haven’t had such awful weather as in other parts of the country, it is still annoying. I’m fed up with the cold and the grey and the damp…as I expect most other people in the country are. The daffodils have come up, and are struggling bravely on - they must be quite hardy as they keep bouncing back, when the snow allows!
Having Mr C’s friend to stay for a week
One of Mr C’s childhood friends from Malaysia has been to stay for a week. He just left this morning. It was good to see him again, and I think Mr C enjoyed catching up with him and another friend from Malaysia who actually lives in London but who he hadn’t seen for a long time. Mr C’s friend was quite intrepid, and braved the railways on his own – with varying degrees of success! He brought some Malaysian food over with him, so I’m looking forward to eating lots of noodles soon…
Watching things grow
Despite the continuing cold weather things are starting to grow and blossom (see e.g. daffodils, above). The orchid has also decided to flower this year, after taking a break from flowering last year, which is nice. I was worried it wouldn’t flower ever again, but I was wrong.
I went out this morning to take these photos for the Phoneography Challenge. After a lovely, sunny weekend last week, the weather has turned cold and grey again, so my neighbourhood isn’t really looking at its best. The filters/effects I’ve used probably haven’t really help it look any better, but I think I was inspired by the grey day!
I’m in two minds about photo editing. Sometimes its worth doing, particularly if you need to correct something, but sometimes I feel like I do it for the sake of it, just because I like messing about with pictures and trying out all the effects. It’s fun, but I could probably spend my time more productively.
The park is lovely – I love living near so much green and being able to look out across the river. The town we live in has a bit of a bad reputation; but where we live is pleasant, near to the shops and the station, and we have great neighbours. There’s a nice community feel to our road, because people actually know one-another’s names (not everyone, admittedly), and stop and chat, and we all follow the adventures of the neighbourhood cats, of which there are a few. People help each other out by mowing their neighbours’ front lawns, gritting their paths in winter and lending them things…the neighbourhood is definitely friendlier than it looks in these photos!
The pictures were taken on an HTC Desire C, and edited using Pixlr Express.
- Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood – Nature at her Best (rolbos.wordpress.com)
- Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood (iamontherun.wordpress.com)