Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Monday, January 21, 2013

The magic of old photo's

The other day I was thumbing through a Facebook page of an old friend of mine I have not seen in many, many years. Posted on his page were photo after photo of his family through the years. It was such a nice collection and anyone could readily see the joy and pride that glowed from within those images. I almost felt like I had experienced 40 years of his family life in just a few minutes. None of the photo's were very artistic, but they certainly captured the moments and memories.

Most of what I write about relates to artistic flavors of photography and I even at times tend to shun those more informal, yet meaningful and personal photo's.  I must admit, that approach has been a mistake I have made  for far too long, and as a consequence have failed to take anywhere near enough of those kinds of photographs.

Even so, on our bookshelves sit 8 or 10 old albums of exactly those kinds of images. Most were taken with simple disposable cameras and are not of very good quality, yet they retain a sense of spontaneity that more polished images tend to neglect. More importantly, they possess more personal value than all of the so called higher quality images I've ever taken.

I believe one day in the far, far, future, the images that will carry the most value historically will be those old family type photo's. All of the high quality images of scenic wonders will over time lose their impact except as a connection to a transitional era of ecological order. 

Yet, those simple, more personal images will resonate about who we were as a people and society, and future generations long removed from today will gaze in wonder about why that child was making that kind of face, or why did they dress up that dog, or what were all those candles doing on that cake. 

Who knows, but I believe every single person who has ever taken a snapshot photograph of someone in his family has contributed to the visual history of our era. Those histories will in time become some of the most valuable pieces of information we can pass on to the future.   

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