Sunday, 24 January 2010

Picture This

The fog is finally starting to lift. The buttons on my camera are slowly starting to make sense. It's fascinating and it's challenging and it has reminded me that learning something new- even at my advanced age- is just grand!
It has got me thinking, too, though. Most of us have albums or boxes of photos from our pasts. Old, faded, crumpled snaps of places we used to go and people we used to know. A lot of those snaps look nothing like the photos we take today. I'm learning- still learning- to try this:


Years ago we did this:


But here's the thing: that photo of me at 24 tells me now so much more than simply what I looked like all those years ago. This is our first married home. I can see our wedding present coffee pot part of a set which was fashionable at the time; and the pine table and chairs we bought with money from my lovely Grandma (far too much money, she really shouldn't have). I can see the little fold up bookshelves we bought when we camped at Hadrian's wall. We had to fit them into the boot of our little car and spend the rest of the holiday packing the tent in round them. And I can see my black light. I was so proud of my clever, new husband who wired it in himself. You could lower it over the table, like the one in the pizza scene in E.T. That's where I got the idea from, I remember.

So, this snap brings back all of this. But what about today's focussed, stylish photos? Is this change part of why we scrapbook today? To pin each individual memory down on its own page instead of in a collective jumble? In keeping one good image, what else are we losing?
But, wait. This is a one memory photo I took yesterday:


And this is the photo which turned my argument round for me. It focusses on a person. It's not about things: how many I have, how they pile up in my house. It's about my daughter. And that's all I need for now.

Today I'm Loving...Horsey's fans. I saw him a while ago, hopping towards the computer. I held up a hand and said Stop, Horsey. Where do you think you're going?  And he looked up at me innocently and said I think I'm an internet phenomenon. Talk to me about YouTube, Sian.


18 comments:

Fiona said...

Great photo of your daughter. I look at some older photos I have taken and now think how much better I would arrange them now.

Deb said...

I love the picture of your daughter, and your comparison of how photos used to be taken. I have a few old family photos and they are all so posed - very "stand-here-and-smile-and-I'll-take-the-picture-without-thinking-about-the- background-or-surroundings."

Your class sounds like something I could use. I have a new camera and haven't begun to use all the features!

Ruth said...

I really like how you have told the story behind the photos. Technology has helped us all become better photographers, but it is true when they say that a picture paints a thousand words. I'm off for a root around my old photos box ... tell Horsey I'm waiting!

Amanda said...

And isn't it just as well things have improved I remember far too many photos of my childhood with the heads chopped off or the subject squashed to one side.

humel said...

What we do these days is take (better) photos of all of those elements individually.... You'd still have the coffee pot, the table, the light, the bookcase, but each in their own shot and on their own layout! That shot of your daughter is *amazing* :-)

humel said...

PS Please share the address of Horsey's blog - I want to follow!!

debs14 said...

What I want to know is - is Horsey on Facebook? I'd like to be his friend!
Love the old photo, we had the same book shelf when we were first married, until I had a bright idea of painting it. Disaster. That's all I'm saying!
Lovely pic of your daughter, there's times when 'point and shoot and capture the moment' is more appropriate than doing the whole artistic thing. Looking forward to seeing much more as your course progresses.
Oh, and of course, more Horsey!

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a thought-provoking post Sian! I think there's room for both types of photos in our scrapbooking. I try to leave some photos uncropped to remember what the living room looked like and to show the background which is so much part of our life, and I try to take better photographs that capture more of the internal essence of who/what we are.
Love the photo of your DD. She actually looks a lot like you in this one, I think!
Glad you're enjoying the photo class. Looking forward to a review when you're done.
Rinda

scrappyjacky said...

I really like the old photo,Sian...and for exactly the reasons you give....a photo like that is part of your history...and I think that type of photo becomes very important historically [not suggesting you're ancient, of course!].If all of it had been photographed seperately, it wouldn't have the same context at all.There's definately room for both types.
The photo of your DD is stunning...and catches a moment in time....that can now last forever.

Anna said...

Ah,love that song! It'll be going around in my head now! Great post - really thought-provoking. :)

Lizzie said...

I like the interesting pencil-pot photo & glad to hear you're enjoying your course and learning so much. That's a sweet picture of your daughter - definitely "a keeper"!
I have so many of those old photos, with a person/people in old rooms and places we visited. I wonder if I should start doing stuff with them.

Tell Horsey he'd get lots of followers on Twitter - I'd be one for a start! He would need to find something interesting to say each day (not hard for Horsey!) and he'd get loads of fans.

Anonymous said...

Love both photos! Oh, and Horsey too, of course. I he going to get his very own blog? I think there's some mileage in that! :) alexa

sharyncarlson said...

Very interesting, as always! And LOL about Horsey!

Liberty :) said...

great post!! what camera have you got? ive got a very advance point and click, intelligent ISO etc. but am fairly clueless!!

Liberty :) said...

oh and...were you disappointed with Hadrian's wall? I felt Hadrian just had not made any effort. I was expecting the great wall of china and got a rickety old wall that any old farmer could have built. The most disappointing two hours of my life!!!!

Sian said...

lol! I bet the Roman soldiers felt pretty much the same way.

My camera is a Panasonic FZ-18. It's a "bridge" camera ..in the middle range between point and shoot and the fancy stuff! If you have intelligent ISO use it, it really works!

Horsey loves the Twitter idea :) Lizzie. I think it's inspired too..but I'm not telling him that, obviously.

Ifa said...

LOL Sian, I still have those folding bookshelves...

melissa said...

what a wonderfully reflective post. And the picture of your daughter is just gorgeous, she looks like a lovely young lady.

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