Saturday, August 06, 2011

Sepia Saturday 86 : Thoughts On A Thinking Camera

Albert and Gladys. Circa 1930s. From the Burnett Family Stash
Almost everyone has one of these in their family albums. Perhaps it's your mother and father, granny and granddad, Uncle Sid and Auntie Elsie. Sometimes it is just a sunny day in the back garden, usually it is during some week at the seaside. Time for getting out your best flannel trousers and for putting on that ever so fashionable hat. And seventy years later, people will look at the photograph and say "what was happening?". What were they doing, where were they going, what were they thinking? Hindsight usually allows us to answer the second question : they were moving forward to become the people we knew : the mothers, fathers aunts and uncles that our own memories tell us about. To try and answer the first question we can analyse the photograph and provide them with a reasonably accurate rationale. But what were they thinking? Where is the camera that can tell us that?

You can find other sepia musings by following the links on the SEPIA SATURDAY BLOG

32 comments:

  1. They certainly look the epitome of 'cool' for the time.

    Bonnie & Clyde?

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  2. Albert almost has a bit of a George Orwell look about him.

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  3. That IS quite a hat - the predecessor of "the fascinator" perhaps (at least, the base).

    Yes, we do all have at least one of these, don't we? I know there's one of my mom and dad in their winter coats standing on some church steps. Perhaps one day there WILL be a camera that can tell us what they were thinking. I mean who ever thought we'd be carrying little phones around that could connect us to the rest of the world at the touch of a few buttons?

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  4. It's a great photo of your parents, and I do have a similar one of my own, but after the initial perusal, the curtains caught my eye. Then the bricks, then back to the curtains. People are nice. People are good. But it's fabric and patterns that seem to fascinate me. I always seem to go for the background, what's going on in a larger context.

    My parents are both gone now, but sometimes I wish they could come back and I could ask all the questions I didn't.... Like, who were they, really? Who were they before the kiddies came along and redefined them? Dagnabit, now I feel a post coming on....

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  5. Albert has the look of you Alan.....especially around the mouth....Being England, I'm sure they are thinking " I wonder if it will rain later?" !!!!!

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  6. What a great old photo. I just love the family treasure stashes.

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  7. Albert is thinking; “Aren’t I lucky?” and your Mum is thinking, “ Why has Albert got his pet stick insect sitting on his index finger?"

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  8. I enjoy looking at older photos, especially of family, and seeing how people looked in the days before plastic surgeries. You see noses that look like noses, baggy eyes... people looking as they should rather than all carved up.

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  9. It's those shoes with the bow ties I love!

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  10. I just love Gladys's shoes and socks! Like you I have a stash of old family photos with no clue as to what was happening, or why. Sadly I also have a large old album of photos of people who no longer mean a thing to the family still living. We can't even name them.

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  11. This is a wonderful picture. I like what you said about them looking forward to becoming the people that we knew. I have no idea what they were thinking, but they seem happy at the moment.

    Happy SS,

    Kathy M.

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  12. No problem Alan. That is a blog. A photo with thoughts.

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  13. Whatever they were thinking, they look contented with each other. That is typical of the very young. Perhaps they were newly married. I love her Mary Jane shoes and her hat.
    Nice looking happy couple.
    QMM

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  14. whenever I see a family photograph from way back, I'm almost always left wondering, what was the last thing they said before the click of the shutter, and what did they say next?

    Lovely warm photograph, Alan, of the very dapper Burnetts.

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  15. It's always interesting to see such photos. I've never seen one of my mother and father together; I don't think they ever had a camera.
    It also struck me on how names change, I don't know anyone named Albert or Gladys today.

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  16. Love the tie up shoes she is wearing and the belt loops, heck it seems that is all in fashion again!! Good Post.

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  17. One thing they were thinking was that the sun was in their eyes.

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  18. Love the way these old photos show what people wore at the time, one of those 'frozen moments'.

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  19. Both of their clothes look soft. Casual, comfortable, and soft. So often in old photos clothing looks uncomfortable. They look very in the moment.

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  20. Yes, we all have these! I have several, as a matter of fact. And yes, curiosity to know more always seems to go hand-in-hand with these photos. I love her shoes, by the way!

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  21. Wonderful photo! I've had similar reflections about my family photos, and recently learned from my parents that one of their nice photos had a backstory of frustration, argument, and discomfort. But the smiles are what we have left to record the moment

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  22. Probably best not to know their thoughts! How stylish they look though. My thoughts, when I look at old photos with me on, are usually 'what on earth was I thinking to be wearing that?'!

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  23. Alan, what a smart looking couple...she is the picture of fashion with her darling belt and shoes!

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  24. I agree with the comments about the style and fashionable and cool look of the couple. Fun pic.

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  25. Well I hope I have left enough for my kids and future generations to know about me, I have documented info with my photos, done scrapbooking and I have kept a journal since Jr High. Its so true, wondering what were they thinking? What was going on in their lives? Photos are a piece of the story, but also thats where the mind and our creativity come along to often tell the rest and that can be a fun ride too. :) Hmmm I guess we are just a bunch of big kids playing pretend, except instead of with dolls, toys,figures, now its people in photos and playing pretend in our own minds to tell a story, real or made up.

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  26. They are a handsome couple, aren't they? I always enjoy looking at their clothes and hairstyles. Very dapper.

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  27. sometimes, we're better off not knowing what epople are thinking...

    i'm just saying...
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  28. Sometimes I wish I had one of those think cameras even without taking pictures! They are a lovely pair!...as was your theme photo this week. The bull and his goddess really got the better of my curious nature! I even had a different post planned, but there's always next week right?! have a great week !

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  29. Anonymous11:27 AM

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  30. It is a classic. One certainly couldn't wait for the sun to move on and the stoop is the perfect place for the shot, so just squint.

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