Of old photos, less is more?
I’m enjoying the last weekend of March as the kids nap and Grandpa’s 1950s Argus C-Four 35mm camera begs to be taken outside to shoot some film today. The musty smell of the old leather case and the metal camera that still bears his fingerprint smudges got me thinking.
I’m editing through thousands of wedding photos from a recent shoot, preparing the best photos to show the newlyweds just back from their tropical honeymoon. Thousands of photos from one day is something I never managed to fire off when I shot film. Maybe the cost of materials, limited roll sizes, or whatever the reason; I enjoy the added flexibility of shooting as much as I like nowadays.
One of our newlywed couples posted some old family photos on facebook, and though I didn’t know the people in the picture I just had to stop and soak in some 1940s photos of their grandparents as youngsters. Simple black and white photos from 65 years back, just a snapshot really. Out of the bazillion photos constantly added to Facebook these caught my eye. Old photos do that every time.
Classy black & white wedding photo of Sara’s parents. Not from the 1940s, but still a classy couple!
I wondered if what makes these photos most interesting is that there wasn’t the immense volume of daily photos taken and instantly shared as there are today. It wasn’t an instant preview type of thing to have your picture taken. Photography always seemed more magical when you had to wait to see the prints, even in one hour processing. Can anyone else attest to this?
I have rolls of film in the fridge shot with my Holga, I have no idea what I shot or when I shot it for that matter. I’ve forgotten what type of film is even in the Argus C-Four sitting next to the computer, let alone the last images recorded with it. I like these cameras for the fact that I can’t check an LCD for a preview, or delete an image seconds after taking it.
With convenience, instant previews, and the insane volume of photos one can take just to erase, has photography lost some of its magic? What do you guys think?
On second thought maybe the low volume of photos isn’t all bad. My awkward family photo from the 80s. No wonder I wanted to be behind the camera.
Keep shootin! eB