I had a thought today that writing is like staring at 3D paintings. You see nothing and then once you have loosened up an image becomes clear. Clive Thompson talks about the power writing has to clarify half formed thoughts. I am now wondering if pictures, in our times of image sharing, possess the same power. …
I have sat cross legged on carpet since I was a wee’un, leaning into huge boxes of photos of strangers and family. Boxes full of the rejects, proof sheets, the over/under exposed. My Dad kept them all. I would wade through them for hours. Sometimes I would even shove some in my socks to take with me, to keep looking.
I used to think my Da was just a photographer, like it was just the job he had before his strokes. But now I understand, he was a Photographer. This is a certain type of person. The type of person who races back into the house to grab their camera just in case there is something to shoot.
He always said he was not an artistic photographer. Not like Chinese Eddie. But I don’t know. I’m trawling through those boxes now, still, again and thinking there is some art in here. These images might be from Balmain, Yarraville, Footscray, Newport. Not sure. I don’t know anyone in the photos.
The old woman with the ciggie is my favourite. The painfully shy teen, the Larrikin, they are classics too. They are all there. Times really change and then they don’t. And that is what a Photographer sees, and shoots, and shows us.