9/26/02

A few days back I mentioned that I wanted to start a family section on my site that was seperated from the rest of my site by password, kinda like Grant Heffernan has on his (although I don't know what his is like, I've just seen the "Family Portal" link on his home page, which asks you for a password when clicked, the rest I am just guessing). Well, I searched around and found a good password log-in script and I set up the basic site, and today I decided to sort through all my family and friends snapshots so I can start scanning the ones I want on the website. I thought I had lots and lots of snapshots, because they filled up a box, but it turns out to be only around 800 or so (after I threw away all the crap 'ie. pics of trees and mountains'), and that's for my whole life. That really isn't all that many, especially considering that about 550 or so are from my 3 trips to NY. I also realized that there is a big chunk of my life missing from pictures, but maybe my dad has some (I hope), from when I was about 5 until I was around 13 or so. Actually, I have the negs from a roll of pics when I was 8 or 9, and I have 2 rolls of pics that I shot of my friends and teachers from 4th and 6th grade (I think). Save from that, though, there's really nothing. That's too bad. I have a really bad memory, I have trouble remembering some things I did a week ago, let alone 15 to 20 years. Thanks to this lack of photo documentation of my life I have decided that I need to take more snapshots starting now. Unfortunately, they aren't going to be as important as my school days. I only have a handful of pics from my senior year of high school and only around 5 or 6 of my freshman year (Soph and Junior years were spent in Vietnam, and I have a roll of film from those 2 years). Oh well, can't change the past, just gotta try to do better in the future.

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I was thinking about snapshots after my day of sorting and filing into albums, and I realize how important they are. I know that Robin Williams had some cool things to say about them in One Hour Photo, but I don't remember what (bad memory). Photos are basically hard copies of memories, they are a backup for our brains, of sorts. They are more true than our recollections because they cannot be suppressed or denied or altered (well they can, but not the way our brain can), but they still go hand in hand with our memories, otherwise they'd be meaningless. If we didn't remember anything about the photographs we look at, they'd be just as boring as looking at someone else's snaps. I think back to the parts of my life that I have no photo or video documentation of and I am truly saddened by the loss of memories that although I cannot recall, I know would have been good most of the time.

I think a lot of "art" photographers may not like to do snapshots. They may feel above just pics of friends and family just doing things that friends and family do. I could be wrong, of course, but I don't think I am. I think that I might try to limit the "snapshot look" of my snapshots, though. I hate flash, and pics with harsh flash AND red-eye look just horrendous. Luckily most of my snapshots taken for the past 2 years or so were taken with an EOS 1v with a flash mounted nice and high, and always only used as fill. I did take a few of my brother with the Minilux set to slow flash sync that came out really cool on XP2 though. Now that I don't use flash at all, though, I will like my snaps even more. I will need more TMax 3200 though.