Alan's Blog




What to Photograph?

Photography has been an important part of my life for more than half a century. During that time, I've photographed many interesting places, landscapes, buildings and scenes. I've not been particularly interested in taking photographs of people.

Just recently, I've been heavily involved in copying my old photographic negatives and transparencies, of which I've got many thousands. This work is still ongoing and maybe I'll never get all of them copied before it's time for me to leave this earth. For the more technically minded, refer to URL:

This digitisation of my photographs has taught me an important lesson. Of all the thousands of photographs I have taken over the years, the most important to me now are those of the people I've known during the last more than fifty years. I've been far less interested in seeing the photographs of the places I've visited – a complete reversal of my way of photographing what is around me.

One of the delights of seeing, and copying, these old photographs is being able to send them to many of the folks I've known from many years ago – and finding out how delighted they have been to see them too. Thanks to the internet, I've tracked down a number of folks I haven't been in contact with for many years and sent them their photographs from, sometimes, more than fifty years ago. Of course, and sad to say, many of the folks depicted in the photographs have passed away but it is so wonderful that their likeness has been preserved and that I've been able, in some cases, to pass on these photographs to their descendants, much to the delight of the recipient.

I have also mentioned this in another of my writings at URL:

In days long since passed, I was very involved with photographing events at the church I attended in Haywards Heath, Sussex. There were various events such as parties, Sunday school outings and other such fun activities, many of which I recorded on black and white film. What fun it has been to find and copy these images from long ago and send them to some of those who were present at those events in the days when we were young.

The lesson I've learned from this is to take photographs of the people I meet as well as the places I visit. It also helps if one can obtain their contact details and send them to the person concerned straight away, rather than waiting for fifty years to pass before doing so.

I hasten to add that everyone should be spared the scenario where we get presented with a whole batch of photographs that depict "Monique in front of the Eifel Tower" or "Henry in front of London Bridge" or even the scenario I've seen online where almost every photograph depicts the rear view of one of the two people involved in walking the canals of France as they walk alongside a particular canal – see the photograph albums on the website at URL: In fact, I've found this to be so irritating that it's completely put me off reading the account of their walks, the details of which I would otherwise have enjoyed reading.

You may like to compare these photographs with the photographs I've taken of the Lancaster Canal at URL:

So, what to photograph? Everything! All the places, and the PEOPLE whom you love, know and meet along the way.

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