Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Picture worthy

 Do you ever find yourself staring at the background ? It is something I often do when looking at my old photographs. It isn't always a conscious thing, I just find myself doing that. I suppose it is because I want to see more. I want to know more about the picture. Where is the person ? I look for the little details, it's similar to where's Waldo except Waldo isn't there. I'm looking for something,  I just don't know what it is. This is best done with pictures that were taken candidly. The " snapshots " taken when the person is unaware. They are my favorite ones and the ones with the most background information.
 It is something I think the majority of us fail to do, record the background of our lives. We have a tendency to take photos of the ones we love or that are our friends. We take pictures of those things that interest us at the moment, those spontaneous shots. That is becoming the more prevalent type of picture. The kids call them selfies, those pictures of themselves taken by themselves. To us of a certain generation that seems an odd thing to do. But, many of us from that certain generation are now taking pictures of just about everything else and sharing them on social media. Then we enjoy getting " likes " on those same pictures. Now these pictures are the background in life for the most part, but I wonder how long those pictures will be saved. Oh, they say if it goes on the internet it is there forever and I guess that is true. The problem lies in retrieval, at least for me it does. How would I find some picture from an ancestor years after the fact ? And isn't that the reason we take those pictures, to save the moment for the future ?  Pictures are just that, a moment captured. Problem is pictures often lack context. The context is in the background.
 I was thinking about this when I was fortunate enough to get a few pictures from an unexpected source. A friend I discovered on Facebook has a grandson living in my old house. Yes, the house I grew up in. I lived in that house for at least fifteen years and had no pictures of it. Oh, I have pictures of my brothers and sister in that house. I have pictures of the Christmas tree. The thing is, every picture I have the house is in the background. I certainly never thought to just take a picture of the living room or kitchen. Why would you do that ? Well, if it had been remodeled of something tragic had happened I might have. No picture exists of my bedroom. When my father added the upstairs there was a picture taken of the roof hanging from a crane. It was a picture worthy moment ! The picture has been lost to time.
 I have taken some pictures around my house now. I created a small album called  " my favorite things " of the stuff I like. Little nick-knacks, some family heirlooms and other objects. I have taken pictures of the rooms in the house. The reason for this is a combination of things. First I'm getting older and with age comes nostalgia. With nostalgia comes an appreciation for the things you had or enjoyed. Memories are wonderful things, pictures can be better. The ability to take pictures economically is probably the biggest reason for this. Remember back in the day pictures were a bit of a luxury.You had only so many on a roll, 36 if memory serves, and they had to be sent out for developing. Now we can take almost an unlimited amount and we don't even have to develop them to see them. Everything and anything is picture worthy ! Still I believe we should make an effort to take pictures of the background. I'll be making an effort to do so. I'll take those pictures that I'm certain the grandkids will enjoy one day. The pictures that they will look at and be reminded. The ones that start a conversation, remember that ? I wish I had recorded a lot more of home. That home is still there but transformed now. I visit in memory but a visual aid wouldn't be a bad idea !