A while ago my Grandma handed me a giant box of old Kodachrome Slide Film. It was a giant metal box with individual slots, paired with a cardboard box piled with old Kodachrome photos from family vacations and everyday life from decades ago.
I wasn't really sure what to do with the photos. The first thing I did was just sit down and sort through them. I rifled through the pile of slides and picked out the ones that caught my eye. There were a lot of gorgeous landscapes, but I favored the ones that showed of the era.
Eventually I got a scanner (Epson V550). The first thing I did was pull the old slides out of my closet. I dusted them off and started scanning. Throughout the process I felt this strong sense of nostalgia. It was simple images like a gas station that caught my eye. I got to see the 1950s – the actual 1950s, through the eyes of my great grandparents.
I then had a realization. Will my kids do the same thing I'm doing? Will they ever look me up on instagram, scroll and scroll and scroll down, and look at the photos I take? Will they sort through old hard drives of photos that have been stuffed in a closet? More importantly, will they feel the same sort of nostalgia that I feel? What will the 2010s look like to my grandchildren? What will my grandchildren think when they see the photos I take? Photos that might be boring otherwise are captivating because they capture the feeling of an era. If I took a snapshot of a parking lot now, no one would care, but when it's from the 1950's it turns into an interesting photograph.
I then also had the following realization. We never take photos of everyday life. Sure, we take photos of our food, we take way too many photos of ourselves, but how often do we take photos of what our life is like? How many of us, when we take photos are capturing the feeling of the era we are living in? Are we capturing a moment in history? I myself never take photos of a parking lot or my car parked at a gas station. What brand are we sculpting about the era we live in? Will it look unique, or will it just look like the 80s? More importantly, will the photos we take in the present be more interesting in half a century?
Maybe I'm overthinking this. Maybe I'm asking too many questions. Maybe I should just go take photos.