your shoe box of photographs

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jnanian, May 1, 2018.

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  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    we all have heard that supposedly the kids who grow up from "now"
    might not have a shoebox of images to pass on from their parents because
    well, film and all that ... but probably WE will
    if you had a shoe box to put 10 of your photographs in ... what would tose 10photographs be?

    they can be bigger than a 4x6 print, they can be color or b/w poorly or perfectly processed and no more than 10.
     
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  2. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Subscriber

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    Some of them are in the boxes, some are at the walls. Some are in the family albums. And not just for my family.
    What is the problem? Why ten?
     
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    jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    small number to edit the good to the best or most meaningful .. like a time capsule!
     
  4. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    My ancestors on my mother's side were photo nuts starting in 19th century. I've inherited all their surviving negs and prints. Over the past decade (on and off) I've scanned almost all (9Gigs), printed 7 sets of a dozen beautifully/selectively and archivally for family members, am in process of better-labeling all those files (names, locations, headline-style titles and a few of my own observations in Word format) for another round of distribution (this will be via thumb drive)..and all is of course in cloud.

    My own photography isn't especially important in that context but my own prints are well-stored with notes in fold-lock archival polyester sleeves.

    Why would anybody think their work was more important than their family photo memories?

    I know a lot of Navajo people: they don't think people fully exist if the can't share their lineage.

    Among the tragedies shared by Jews, American black people, American Indians (and others globally of course) are destruction of histories by holocausts they've suffered, and of course the destruction of values brought to all of us by popular culture and transient lives.
     
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    jnanian

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    because someone could fill a storage bunker with family photos and memories
    since every photo has meaning and nothing gets edited out,
    a shoe box makes it so it has to be only a few.
    10 personal photographs edits down personal-work to something that might currently define who someone is was or might be
    through their lens which some believe is a window to their soul.

    in the end we are all either asian or african if you trace lineage back .. and 1 out of every 200 males is a direct descendant to ghengis khan
    but that isn't who someone might be now ... and sure i can probaly trace my lineage to richard the lionhearted but does it matter?
    nope it don't .. i do have 10 images i have been culling for my time capsule and someone might see it in 5 or 20 or 30years
    when i am wormy and sprouting daisies and say: huh i didn't know this guy liked jaquard looms and silted up sluiceways and microbiological landscapes,
    but now that i think about it, and look at this, its a book with non sequiturs and stream of consciousness blather .. it makes sense ...
     
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  6. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    As a James Joyce reader I wouldn't automatically discount "stream of consciousness blather". Some people are drunks, others are poets, a very few are drunk poets.

    However photographs aren't "streams," they record (ie remember) moments in real pasts...my memories of my people's past has mostly to do with individuals and events saved (in talk and photos) by the people themselves... lives of people I know about, if only second hand, going back into 1846 have been related to me... at 74 I remember and have photographs of them, making them inherently part of who I am.

    I do buy that Navajo idea: people who can't remember and recount their families aren't fully alive. My memory of who they were is anchored by their photos. Remembering them keeps them alive. Forgetting them kills them.
     
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  7. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    While there are some more artistic shots I've taken/made over the years, if I had to cull it down to 10 keepers, at least 7 of the 10 would be of family members, not the "great" shots, but the real shots.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Tough call for me. One I know would go in is a photo of an ancestor of mine who fought in the Civil War, in his Pennsylvania Zouaves uniform. Another would be of my grandfather as a teenager, high up on the top of an iron trestle bridge, puckish grin on his face. Maybe something of my parents' wedding, and something recent of my parents. My photos? I'd have to go through them seriously to pick out some key moments in my history.
     
  9. Theo Sulphate

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    These photos in my case would have to be family members, preferably showing the environment they were in.

    However, the photos need a narrative. On occasion I find old photos of people at a swap meet, gaze at them, and wonder about what their lives were like and what they did.
     
  10. Arklatexian

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    I have said it before to this group that the only "IMPORTANT" pictures that you make are of family and friends. Because of this, I prefer to take them on B&W film and never rely on electronic storage of any type. Stored properly, B&W negatives can, probably, last longer than the prints made from them and if they are still around after 100/200 years, can be printed again to make what passes for archival prints today, provided someone, at that time, knows how and has the proper equipment. if, if, if......Regards!
     
  11. Arklatexian

    Arklatexian Subscriber

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    That is the best reason that I can think of to use FB photo-paper and write names, etc. on the back with a soft lead pencil. In old pictures, you probably are not going to find out what their lives were like as having your picture made, back then, was a "special occasion" that many people "dressed-up" for. I am old enough to remember those occasions. Now, please don't ask me if I "practice what I preach"? No, I am like the rest of you........Regards!
     
  12. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    Elaborate on what you mean by IMPORTANT (all caps).
     
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    jnanian

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    life must really be a drag being half dead for the offspring or 3 generations later offspring of folks who escaped persecution with no photographs
    and so traumatized they didnt passon 7 generations worth of lineage because of their PTSD
    i guess everyone dies in the end ... :whistling:
     

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  14. jtk

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    jnanian

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    life must really be a drag being half dead for the offspring or 3 generations later offspring of folks who escaped persecution with no photographs
    and so traumatized they didnt passon 7 generations worth of lineage because of their PTSD
    i guess everyone dies in the end ... :whistling:
     
  16. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    That's true.


    My girlfriend is Jewish...her family photos go back to pre-Soviet Ukraine. They migrated to the US well before Shoah, so she has a history.

    You're right, it truly is "a drag" (as you put it) for those Jews (and black people etc) who lack family photos. Holocausts, wars, starvation, and slavery tend to be bummers.

    This is all that some folks have to replace lost families: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-shoah-1985
     
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    jnanian

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    :blink:
    ya think ?
     
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  18. Theo Sulphate

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    When I mentioned a narrative was necessary, I meant more than something like "Horváth Sándor, 1955" written on the back of the photo. I have lots of those and, without my grandmother's photographic memory and her tales of the family, the photo would mean nothing.

    Photography isn't very old in human history. I believe it is the narrative that keeps memories alive and the photo is a bonus.
     
  19. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    closed at OPs request
     
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