The importance of what you do.

The importance of what you do.

Text and picture World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved.

This photograph was taken late one August afternoon in Wilkes Street, Spitalfields. Virtually the whole house was covered in this lovely verdant creeper but it was the door with the lovely lamp above it that drew me in. The creeper being over the whole building reminded me of an elaborate stage set and the way the creeper parted over the door was like the curtains opening for the first act. It’s only a simple photograph, nothing clever technically. Returning to the area some weeks later the creeper has gone from the front of the house now, cut down, so this image is of a moment in time that no longer exists.

At the gallery almost every day someone comes in with an old photograph that they have found in a relatives sideboard or cupboard that needs to be restored. When people shot film and they had the roll developed it came back with a set of prints, these prints were shown to relatives and friends and then usually tucked away in a draw never to be brought out again. However, they were still there, a physical object. When the person passed away the prints were quite often rediscovered and began a life all over again as new people looked at them and passed them to their relatives and friends.

To me one of the downsides of digital is that the photographs are loaded onto a computer, looked at a few times and then forgotten. No one has ever come into the gallery and told us what a great time the family had sitting around a screen looking at pictures. I wonder when computers crash how many people will bother to try to recover the photographs and transfer them to the new machine. Not many I suspect.

You see where I am going with this, I don’t think in the future that there are going to be as many prints lying in drawers waiting to be rediscovered as there were in the past. I think there will be a gap on visual social history. Of course there will always be the pictures taken by keen photographers, both amateur and professional that are archived but the ordinary snapshot, which quite often contains as much information in the background as well as the subject in the foreground will be lost.

Bear this in mind  when you tale photographs, you are capturing a moment that will never be repeated. Anyway I don’t want to be pompous or the like but it’s just a thought, I hope you like the picture.

Technical info: Nikon D80 camera handheld in Aperture Priority mode with a 28 to 70mm f2.8 zoom lens. The shutter speed was 1/125 of a second with an aperture of f2.8. The ISO was 200

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