Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,
Steven
unzeugmatic

Photographs that Romanticize

I've been posting these odd black-and-white copies of photographs because we just got a fancy new copier at work that can scan documents and put the output in a .pdf file. This isn't quite the same as a real scanner, as what it yields for photographs are basically xerox copies of the photographs. Then I can display the pdf files, do a screen snap, and edit the screen snap as a graphic with a program that has no documentation and makes nothing obvious. I'll get a real scanner as soon as I get a real system of my own.

I've been looking at photographs and marveling at how we romanticize ourselves through our images. There's a photo of my father that gets called his "book jacket photo". It's his self-image when he's about 19, I think. I don't even know the story of why this photo got taken, but here it is.


I find this photograph unrecognizable as my father.

One of my own favorite pictures was taken the weekend of my older brother's wedding, in Breckenridge Colorado, about 25 years ago. The wedding photographer had a tourist-photo booth in town where he took photos of people in antique clothing. I've seen a lot of these booths at fairs and the like, but usually they are cheap quick gimmicky things. This photographer did actual sessions, a couple of hours long, with several proofs. He got really good photos of all of my family. In the photo of my brother David he's holding his own fiddle, and in the photo of my Aunt Jacki she's playing her banjo. These were real portraits. This one of me didn't survive the xeroxing/conversion process well, but I still like it (it's the only copy in that stupid cardboard frame -- the others are in real frames).


More than a quick snapshot of me, I think.

I don't know the story behind this third photo, of my parents in their living room 10 years ago (or possibly longer). The original is in color. This photograph, to me, reminds me of those Renaissance paintings filled with background objects, each carrying the weight of symbolism. I could talk about each object, but I'll just leave the image to speak for itself.


If it were actually an oil painting, the art history students could write papers.
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