Why photography? Ramblings.

To me, the beauty of photography is in the mystery a picture holds.

I think that video is cool in its own right, but still photography has always captured my attention for what is not shown while video gives lots more information about what is going on at the time.   I was thinking about this last night.  I was remembering back when I was a kid and my father was still in the Army.  He had done two tours in Viet Nam and had a bunch of slides he shot with his Canon camera.  Of course, he would periodically make us watch a slide show of these pictures, usually when my parents were entertaining friends or family.  I was always taken by the people in the pictures.  Foreign people from a strange land.  What was going on at the time the picture was taken?  What were the subjects thinking?  Were they happy? Sad? Lonely?  I remember seeing pictures he had taken of the soldiers he was fighting.  What kind of people were they?  Why did they want to kill my father?  Why did he want to kill them?  The thoughts of a 10 year old boy.  I was fascinated by the things I saw in those slides.  These were pictures of the war.  The real thing.  Way better than the movies.

I have always been interested in photography.   Ever since I was a kid, whenever I look at a picture I try to get into the moment it was taken.  I still do that today.  I love to look at the pictures people have in their homes.  Especially pictures that are old.  I wonder about them as I look at them.  I try to get a sense of what was happening when the picture was taken.  It’s the mystery of it all.  That is why I think still photography appeals to so many, certainly me.  Sometimes its what you don’t see that makes you think.

While looking for a photo of my father I found this:

RJD1This is from a scan of an old picture I found and I thought it would be nice to try to repair it in Photoshop.  This picture is probably from a time before he and my mother were married, perhaps his senior picture from high school but I don’t know that for sure and neither of them are with me today so I can’t ask.  And there is the mystery.  A reason to think about this picture as I look at it.

I’m surely no Photoshop guru but here is what I came up with:

RJD2Not bad, I think.  I only spent about thirty minutes with this so I’m sure I could do better if I took more time with it, and I will.

This is a picture of the guy who first got me interested in photography and pictures.  Before life took its toll on him.  This is how I like to remember him.

Thanks, dad.

One Comment to “Why photography? Ramblings.”

  1. Hey Rob, I completely agree. Last November my mom gave me a large box with all of her old photos, most of which I had never seen. I spent a lot of time scanning the photos to me hard drive just so that I could have a digital record/backup.
    So many of the photos bring up questions and thoughts that I think may never get answered now. I’ve asked her to explain some of the captions and stuff but there are so many remaining curiosities.
    This is a nice quote from Minor White: “One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.”

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