Sunday, March 11, 2007

Old Time Photos

I have always been fascinated with old photos. Even as a kid I loved to open up my grandmother's old desk and pull out photo albums and flip through the pages, making up my own stories about the people and places in faded photographs. More often than not I had to make up stories because my grandmother couldn't remember who half the people were anyway.

That's the thing about photos. Unless you write down who the people in the photographs are, eventually they will just be random people captured in eternity by light and chemicals. At least digital images automatically record the time the photos were taken so you will always have some clue about when they were taken if not who they were taken of.

I treasure all of my family photos. I love looking into the faces of family I never knew or the young images of my parents or grandparents when they still had the spark of youth and hope. They are my window to the past.

Years ago I bought a box of old photos at an auction. They were random images of people, many of them out of the early 1900s. They were nameless people, mainly posing for portraits in long gone photographer's studios from the past.

I find it sad when I find old photographs at auctions or in antique stores. It means the families of these people either didn't care or the photos ended up in the trunks of someone who died and didn't have any family to pass them onto. Either way, the photos symbolize to me the lost souls of people who will never be remembered.

I've scanned most of those old photographs of unknown people. And every now and then I use them on my blog. I occasionally put myself into the photographs to symbolically give the people some connection in a world that has forgotten them.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm helping these people's soul live on though their names have been forgotten along with the stories of their lives.

I like to think that anyway.
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