Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Value of Photos

With the advent of the Digital camera, many archivists and historians warn that there will be a gap in the recording of the human story. Less than 1% of photos taken are printed these days, many not lasting longer than a few seconds as the 'delete' button is pressed. There have always been gaps in the human story, and before photography came along there was a very big gap. Only the famous and wealthy were recorded. Mind you, an artist who could paint a fairly accurate (or at least flattering) portrait in an afternoon was in great demand and usually made a good living.
The above photo was taken about 1889. The original was made of tin, a daguerreotype. It was taken at Otter Ferry, on the shores of Loch Fyne, Argyle, Scotland.
At the time, some one thought it was a valuable thing to have. The children were cleaned up and dressed in their best, hair done etc. It was not a casual or every day event.
Sometime later, someone has thought that it was valuable, and carried it all the way from Scotland to New Zealand.
Many years later, I have found it so valuable that I have photographed it many times over, to distribute around my family.
Now, my children think it is priceless.
In the above photo, my great Grandfather Robert Lamont holds his son, Donald, and sitting beside him is his daughter Jessie, and then his wife Margaret McCallum, who is holding my Grandfather Archibald. On the right are daughters Maggie-Anne and Amy.
Get your family photos printed. Then your great great grandchildren will know what you looked like, and who they look like.

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