Monday, December 03, 2018

Experiments With A DNA Camera


Stories abound about so-called primitive tribes who would shun photographers in the belief that cameras can capture the spirit of the photographers' subjects. As with many such stories, it is of dubious veracity: but if such tribes ever did exist I have a degree of sympathy with their beliefs. Nothing comes close to capturing the very essence of a person like a photograph. That was true of the 1930s - when this photograph of my father, Albert, was taken - and it is still true in this modern age of the digital selfie (although the spirit exposed by some filter-bleached offerings might not be what the subject intended).

When I look at this photograph of my father on a seaside beach (the chances are it will have been Cleethorpes), I see him ... and then I see my brother, and then myself, and then my son, and even - if I squint a little - my grandson. What that box camera of eighty years ago did was to capture, not the soul or the spirit, but a decent chunk of DNA.

2 comments:

  1. So whenever one of you guys squats down on a beach and smiles up at a camera, there's the same great image, give or take a few years! That's fantastic, Alan!

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  2. Wish I could pose like that. I do see the Cleage dna when I look at photos of my father and his father and possibly his mother as they aged.

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