Photography through the ages

Today i wanted to write about something that I have been thinking about for the last few days since an early Christmas lunch with my Grandmother.  The title of this blog is a bit misleading, upon reading the title you might think you were expecting to read about The History of the Camera, digital photography now, 35mm film in the 80's and going even further back.

But no, I was more intrigued about our generational attitude toward photography and specifically having our picture taken.  As I mentioned earlier I had lunch with my Grandmother before Christmas, she is 92 years old and to be slightly morbid I want to ensure that I have some good quality images of her before she passes away.  Particularly so that Alex, my Son, has images that will hopefully recall nice memories as he is only 2 years old.  I brought along my camera and took a few photos while we were in the pub.  Not the best place to be taking photos candidly.

I took this photo of my Grandmother and I am incredibly pleased with the end result.  The image that came out of the camera was a bit meh it had lovely light coming from camera right through the window but a horrible tungsten orange light from camera left.  In addition the pub wall behind her is grotty and full of holes with a large beam of wood chopping her head off.

Now I am all for getting your images right in camera but sometimes you just have an image that is crying out to be rescued.

Afterward I looked at the final image and started to think about how well my grandmother had posed.  No wide "rabbit in the headlights" eyes or squinting.  No gormless expression, just right, as if she had done it many times before.

It got me wondering if there is a generational thing about appreciating someone taking the time to take your photo.  Today everyone has a camera even if it is just in their phone.  We all can get very self conscious about having our photo taken which often leads to poor posing.  I would imagine that my Grandmothers generation would have grown up with very limited access to photography and having your photo taken was probably an unusual, exciting and privileged occasion for many people.


I think we all need to appreciate that we live in a world today where we can record our passing through time and create images and videos that will help us to recall friends, family and events for many years to come.