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Monday, 1 February 2016

Picture- perfect history...duvet covers and horse drawn wagons.

Yesterday I found myself taking a photograph of a duvet cover.  It was perfectly reasonable and all that, but it made me stop and think...

In the 'olden days', (ie when I was young and technology was younger), taking a photograph was something that nobody did without forethought.  For a start, a camera was the size of a breeze block, and taking one around with you in its case was like carrying a small shed.  So we only took cameras to 'destinations'.  Like on holiday, or days out, things like that.  Plus, when you'd taken a picture you had to wind on the film until it clicked (something I was rubbish at, I'd never wind on far enough, I was responsible for some hideous 'double exposures', where my family looked like they were haunting themselves).  Then you had to make sure the film was finished (again, something I wasn't good at, thus often exposing the entire film by accident), get it out of the camera and take it to Boots (other chemsts were also available) to spend a week being developed.

Believe me, in the olden days, you only took pictures of things you really really wanted to remember.

Now most of us have phones on which you can take pictures (my 'olden days' self still boggles at that.  What, phones?  In your pocket?  That you can take pictures on??  What strange, science fiction world is this?).  My children take about a million pictures of everything.  Dogs jumping around?  Take a hundred shots. Night out?  Another hundred pictures of people they don't even know and won't remember come morning. 

I am still old school and take one (maybe two, if I'm feeling daring). I can't get over the feeling that this is all costing me money (see olden days, taking films to Boots).

Remember photo albums?  I've got one that belonged to my Uncle, who was born in 1914.  Look...
In the days when horse and carts were transport, and aeroplanes (that's one, in the bottom picture) were strange war machines.  These pictures are from the late twenties.  Moments so long gone as to be almost historical.  And now, my daughters send me messages with pictures attached of them trying on clothes in changing rooms - what do I think of this dress?  It's just all!

I've got pictures of my uncle's grandmother, which were shot in those studios where you had to sit very, very still for ages to get a decent shot.  And now I've got pictures of a duvet cover.  And cats.  And cake.  What would we have thought of our forebears if we'd opened one of these leather-bound albums of heavy pages carefully screened with tissue paper, to find pictures like this?
 I think we would conclude that they, and their shed-sized cameras, ought to get out more...

1 comment:

angela britnell said...

It's interesting how much my daughters-in-law enjoy looking at our old photo albums so they can see their husbands as small boys - they admit it's not the same having pictures on phones/computers and wish they could take the time to get them printed to keep.