To tie into yesterdays post about history I want to look at how historians look at photographs. We look at key elements within photographs to get a general understanding of the time, place, and people being captured. To be honest, I haven’t done all that much work in photograph analysis but I have a pretty good understanding to look at the clothes being worn, tools or materials that were being used, cars that were being driven, types of plants seen, and architecture of buildings that are displayed. I love photographs and I think they’re one of my favorite aspects of history–probably why I stuck so closely with U.S. history, we have that kinda shit to be documented where there really aren’t any photographs of medieval Europe.
I wanted to bring this analysis of photographs back to our generation though; how will people of the future look at photos that were taken in the past ten years. People are going to take the Facebook profile pictures of teenaged girls sitting in front of their bathroom mirrors with pursed lips and I really don’t want to be categorized as that. No offense to those girls who do that but you’re fucking it up for the rest of us who care about how historians look at us. Dammit! I guess if you were doing a study of the architecture and style of early 21st century bathrooms it might be helpful–fuck that researcher is going to have a shit ton of resources to go through!
Another depressing matter of photographs is film. Let’s be realistic, film is becoming more and more obsolete as advancements in technology proceed and if there was some “Super Computer Virus” out there (remember, I don’t speak technology!) that cleaned out all hard drives of all computers/external units, we would be completely screwed! We would have no documentation of the last 10-15 years (unless you’re a super scrapbooker or something like that). I wonder what’s going to happen with everything and how we’re going to preserve these digital documents. Honestly, I just saw a glass negative for the first time a few months ago and those are ridiculously amazing–I hope people don’t trash them in thinking that they’re not important or anything because people like me drool over that sort of stuff! I don’t know, I’m hoping for the best in all of this!
Now don’t you feel better?