40,000 photos but something’s missing

When I look at my family photographs from the 1980’s I look a lot younger but the photographs look a lot older. So I feel ok.

But when I look at photographs from 2000 I look a lot younger but the photograph looks like it was taken yesterday. Why? because I was given a digital camera in 2000 and so at that point my photographs stopped ageing. Sadly I haven’t.

The disconcerting thing about looking at the photographs of a much younger me in 2000 is that it looks like it was taken yesterday. Which means I feel like I’m ageing very fast. Or put another way, when I see pictures of me looking much younger I don’t get the comfort of seeing this in a faded photograph clearly taken a long time ago.

So my request to Microsoft and Apple is you need to make a filter that overlays an aged photo look to the browsing of digital photos. The older the photo (you know when a lot of them were taken from the metadata) the more faded. I obviously don’t want the original altered but you could place a temporary viewing effect on the photo – please!

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Goodwood Revival 2009

Had a fantastic day out at Goodwood Revival on Sunday. This really is a world class event for its originality, class, atmosphere and authenticity. I haven’t been for a few years but as soon as I walked into the circuit and was hit by those unique motor racing smells and sounds of what are now classic cars I was taken back to a romantic age of boyhood awe and wonder.

I couldn’t help but think everyone must experience this place at least once in their lifetime and then again I could understand why most won’t and most won’t want to. Which got my thinking why people wouldn’t want to go to the Revival meeting and I have to admit there is something a bit exclusive about it. And by exclusive I don’t mean unattainable but more that people might feel excluded.

So I was wondering why that would be. Is it that you have to get dressed up? Well, as someone who will generally find myself at the back of the queue for anything fancy dress I can understand there is a bit of this – but this is not difficult fancy dress or embarrassing fancy dress.

What I did wonder is whether the photographs don’t capture the feel of the event. As I was walking around with my camera I thought I would have a go at trying to capture better the spirit of the event. Visually the event organisers do an amazing job of propping the event with period everything, right down to the details. So it is a fun place to take interesting photographs but my pictures, as you can see below, didn’t really improve on anything you can find in wide circulation.

But, when going through the photographs afterwards which include both crowd photographs and close ups I realised all the images, almost without fail, have something in common – no one is smiling. No one is exchanging a laugh with their neighbour somewhere in the background, wherever I looked. Don’t get me wrong, people are enjoying themselves but no one is smiling.

Thinking I had solved the problem of why one might not feel they would want to go to the Revival I went to the Goodwood website convinced I would find pictures without smiles. But alas I found smiles however I wasn’t convinced. Why? well because everyone who was smiling was dressed up with a ton of makeup and that made me think they were just actors – employed to smile!

I run the risk of sounding like I am being difficult here – maybe even obstinate. But I do think a photograph of the punters smiling and laughing is what’s needed but then did I have a great time – absolutely, but would you have got a picture of me smiling – probably not – what is all that about?

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