Why do we enjoy taking photos of old shit? Is it because we think that somehow by capturing the image on film we somehow relate to the object. Is it an issue of saying hey that old shit is cool, I was there and I saw it. Perhaps the old shit represents memories from our childhood. Ahh, but there’s an exception, if I was going to take a photo of an old car I’d rather photograph a car from the 40’s and that’s certainly older than I am. I guess I would be relegated to photographing 5.0 Mustangs and Pontiac Grand Ams from the 90’s…boy those are exciting. I thought about going back and capturing some images of where I grew up…but it’s just another suburban town, not to much going on there.
So why are we fascinated with photographing things that predate us by 20 some odd years. Old cars, old trains, burned out warehouses—what’s the attraction. Are these things cooler than what we live with now. Have we just looked at one to many old timey calendars with old shit in them. What can we find that’s current and interesting. Do we believe that somehow our photos are capturing history? If that’s true then is everyone with a camera a historian, I don’t think so. Unfortunately I think we’re simply emulating things that we’ve seen done before.
No new subjects—maybe that’s the issue. How many times have I taken a camera to Yosemite. Ansel Adams did Yosemite, do I think that somehow I am going to make a better image. Maybe the Yosemite photos are a documentary of my personal history. If that were the case then I suppose they’re effective. The issue is I don’t think I went out there with a camera to document my trip. Did I take any photos of the people I was with doing the things that they do on a trip like that? Of course not. I set up the tripod and waited around for the light to hit Half Dome in that particular way—just hoping to capture it the same way Ansel did.
So do we simply emulate the great photographers? That would explain the abundance of old shit… Lets try and find some new things to photograph. Lets document our lives with photographs and not simple snapshots. Lets find a new subject. Let’s stop photographing old timey shit. Then maybe we’ll have something that other less enlightened people with cameras will see and then attempt to copy—either way we’ll reduce the number of photos of old shit.
Anyway here are some photos I've taken...
Here are some photos my dad has captured... There is some old shit in there—but he was alive when most of it was new.