Flutterby™! : sliding

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2005-05-25 16:42:40.116484+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

It is a curious thing to scan a family's slides. If it were my own family, I'd find myself back in my childhood, taken to familiar places, reliving the pivotal experiences of my life. But it's not, it's a family whose history I'm familiar with, but I view it as an observer and bring only recent experiences to the scenes depicted therein.

So I see the young man off at boot camp in 1942. I see the first marriage, the smiling children playing in the yar, the family trips... and then the family trips become more about the scenery and less about the people. I recognize some of the places, but I have only the imprint on the frame, or the building on Alcatraz that was burned during the native american occupation, to help put a temporal context on the image.

The pictures get happy again with the second marriage, until the kids reach adolescence, but in the meantime I'm realizing things about my own pictures:

  1. Don't worry too much about scenery shots, get lots of people in 'em.
  2. Get someone else to hold the camera once in a while.
  3. Yes, you look like a dumb tourist, but take pictures of the signs.
  4. Label them now, because in 50 years you might not even remember who some of the people were.

[ related topics: Children and growing up Photography Dan's Life ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-25 17:31:06.580673+00 by: meuon

Good Points. Although most of the pics I share online are NOT people pics, most of my pics have become about people.. and often, they have signage when appropriate.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-25 17:39:25.41794+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, perhaps that lesson #1 should be "get more shots with people in 'em", because the scenery shots do have an immediate audience.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-26 13:55:46.828481+00 by: Shawn

With regards to #1, I'd say it depends on what you want out of your shots. I don't take pictures as a record, I take pictures in an attempt to capture a visual. Personally, posed people hold no interest for me.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-26 18:07:24.063252+00 by: petronius

It's funny your talking about slides. I worked in medical Av for many years, and thousands of 35mm slides passed through my hands. We treated originals like gold, some of them were the only images of rare conditions. All of medical education was based on these transparencies. And now they're gone. Kodak stopped making Ektagraphic projectors last year. They were the workhorse of the industry, and were so well build that they should last decades. Even so, I wonder if all these slides at places like the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology or the National Library of medicine will get scanned in?

A few months ago, somebody gave me an Ektagraphic, which is great. I can now look at my pictures from Japan in '89 or England in '78 again.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-26 20:43:42.24945+00 by: Dan Lyke

They're much easier to scan than negatives, partially because they demand more rigor in the taking (with negatives you get a wider light range, and a chance to adjust the exposure yet again in the printing). And I believe that the various slide stocks, especially the particularly environmentally nasty Kodachrome, are far more archival than most color negative materials.

I'll be ordering a few cases of slide film later this summer for the Alaska trip, as much as I like digital, the film bodies are far less power hungry, and it's easier to manage little snap cases of film in the field than it is digital cards.

But with flash memory densities increasing and small hard disk prices dropping fast, that'll only be the case for a year or two longer. Especially now that there's really no longer reason to print optically.

#Comment Re: posed pepole made: 2005-05-27 04:24:09.405553+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

"Personally, posed people hold no interest for me."

This, of course, in no way discounts point #1. I have lots of pictures with people in them.

Very few of those are posed.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-27 14:18:04.277445+00 by: Shawn