Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On the Value of Photographs

Photos can help to tell a story - and are invaluable in writing biographies, or history.  Often it is not just the key subject matter, but the background - the story behind the story.

An interesting article this morning (January 7th, 2014) about a photographer who was taking photos in the cold of a young man trying to get warm on a grate in New York and when the photo was published, the man was recognised as someone missing for several days.

"Martin, the AP photographer, said the episode serves as a reminder to journalists that every person they encounter has a story to tell.

"It's really gratifying to see that a photograph can make a tangible difference in someone's life. That's a really amazing thing to have happened," she said. "I'm happy and touched that the photograph could help reunite this family.""

I noted the words "every person they encounter has a story to tell".

One photo I found in my "archives" recently tells something interesting - the ladies were all trainee nurses with me and the photo was taken at one of the local country Ball's.  It was a feature of our life in the country during the "ball season" - but what does the photo tell us?

The photo was taken around 1965 - and I am still in contact with one of the ladies in the picture.  You can see that we were all dressed formally with long white gloves, drinking tea and earring biscuits at supper no doubt.  Look at the "hair do's", the clothing, the expressions on the face, the simple jewellery (or lack of it).  The photo was in black and white - coloured photos were not the norm!

The following photo is around 100 years old - again it is black and white - but what can you learn from this photo?
Do you digitise all your photos?  Do you share only online or do you print photos?  Do you have a photo album?
I have many photos in my computer and on hard drives, but the only ones I sit, persuse and study are the hard copy ones.  To me they are more valuable than the digital ones. 
When I am old and in a nursing home, the ones in my computer will be lost to me - the hard copy ones I can spend time revisiting old times!!!  


Kelly said...

Agree photos are a great way to remember and reflect those moments in time so that they will never be forgotten

Anna Jeanine said...

Good point! So even if I have them all on my computer, I better make some photo books with them, so I can flip pages when I'm old. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Di.... love your post. And I love old photographs.

I have a ton of hard copy photographs that my family goes through on occasion, and I have 10 times a many on my computer, thumb drives, burned on CDs, and even more sitting on a cloud. Boy... if I were to print all those pictures, I'd have to add an extension onto my house just to store them all.

Either way - you're right... pictures can tell more stories if you look closely to the details or "behind the scenes".

Thanks for sharing.

By the way, I'm Eydie and I saw your post on the UBC FB group.

Eydie :)

Di Hill said...

Thank you Kelly for visiting. You must be able to "hold" the photo, don't you think. At least sometimes.

Di Hill said...

Thanks Anna for visiting. A few photo books might be helpful in reminding you about things that old timers's memories seem to "delete" - even if only temporarily.

Di Hill said...

Thanks Eydie - I love the spelling of your name - glad you agree with me.

Joanna Sormunen said...

The pictures are a treasure. They tell such awesome stories. I think I will treasure mine even if they are in the computer, even in the old age. I'm planning to get a fancy gadget just so I can watch them, lol

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Di. I took the spelling from a much-loved American singer back in the 60's and 70's, Eydie Gorme.