Monday, January 30, 2006

Patty is right

Thanks so much for your comments on the Irishman Creek post, Patty. I went and looked at that entry, and I agree with you completely. Time machine is the perfect word for that type of photo. I think that's the power of the visual. It takes so many words to describe the smell, temperature, appearance, feel of a place, let alone the way you felt and the way the people around you felt, but one little picture brings back such vivid memories in one tiny flash. It doesn't even have to be a good photo. I've been quite annoyed sometimes because a photo I really liked has just been brushed over by others, but then you remember that they may not appreciate that expression on that person's face, or that camaraderie between those people, or that private joke. Which is a pity. I guess the most skillful photographers are the ones who can capture moments or expressions and make them seem like a memory to anyone who looks at the photo.

I think that's one of the reasons I'd really like to start collecting old black and white photos, of people. I like to look at pictures like that and imagine what they were thinking, and decide what sort of relationships they had with other people in the photos. Photography is one of the only ways normal people can live on after death, like that... you usually can't help but show your humanity in a photo. I think that's why some photos have become so iconic--they emphasise shared humanity.

Patty, thanks so much also for your comments on rats and passion. :) Sounds funny now, but I really appreciate that.


Dave said...

I loooove old photos, sometimes i'll go to the museum or look them up online, or find them in a secondhand store....just so I can try to see what it was like. Very cool.

Patty said...

Hey, that's great you went back & read it.

No problem-about the rat/passion comments. :)