Project 2, Exercise 3- The Image as Document.

Daniel Meadows work I have always liked since I was at art college the first time round. Until recently when I watched a few clips of him on YouTube I had forgotten the breadth of his work and fell into a YouTube tunnel watching his documentaries.

The Free Photographic Omnibus

Daniel Meadows and the Free Photographic Omnibus, December 1974. Self-portrait photographed using a tripod and timer-  accessed- 9th May 2017.

His 1973-1974  Free Photographic Omnibus Project, saw him travelling around Britain for 14 months in a Double Decker bus, photographing anyone who wanted to be and then giving them their photograph for free. It reminds me a bit of Tom Wood where he was christened the ‘photie man’ and managed to get the pictures he wanted by giving away prints of the person.

(this is very old link, but it describes how he got his ‘Photie Man’ title)

Feelings about family photographs.

Family photographs to me are precious and sad in one go. I look at pictures of my brothers and sisters from when they were younger growing up and its all 70’s playing out, day trips and growing up together. By the time I came along, they had grown up more so I was in a different situation. Having my picture taken on holidays and at birthdays, events was just what went on. Somebody always had a camera at family events and the pictures would be shown round your granddads or aunties at some point in the future, always put into their own album with tissue paper to protect them. I think they are important as they are the lasting images to prove you were there, what you looked like and who you were with. There are photographs I look at now and think at the time  how much I hated having it taken as I hated – my face, my arms, my hair etc, but now I see who I was at that point, what was happening in my life, how I felt and I want to tell that me in those pictures to just carry and none of it is relevant and to have a nice time.

There are pictures I still have from school that I haven’t been able to throw away yet, even though I am now forgetting names and haven’t spoken to them for 20 years it is still a time and a place I think about. There are nights out, friends weddings, family weddings and photographs of my middle sister Alison who passed away 5 years ago. For a long time I couldn’t look at pictures of her as it was too much but now I can. I started to un box them as I found it rude of me and now she sits on my desk and on my wall and its nice to have her there.

I suppose the albums in my dads haven’t always been taken care of but the pictures inside are very precious. I wanted to be able to make a new album for them all but I also think it is important to keep them in the original, as if taking them out of it, disturbs the memories as they have always been in the red and green ones.

Will archiving photos be affected by the digital revolution?

I am the worst person for storing pictures on hard drives and pen sticks. I have become better and even deleted a load as I couldn’t understand why I had kept them. I tend to still share on Flickr as it has got a big capacity. I used to share a lot more but I have reigned it in as I don’t see the point sometimes. I was an avid poster on Instagram at one point but it has slowed in recent years and now I post when I want to not because I feel I must. However as ‘everyone is a photographer’ now and the reams of endless images keep appearing it can be overload and I miss the old red and green family album easiness of every few months getting them out and looking through them.

I don’t think the majority of images I have stored need to be printed as I feel I don’t need to. The whole ‘film isn’t dead’ thing can be annoying as it costs money and things just aren’t the same as the 1988 family holiday to Norfolk where my mum made us stand next to various lavender farms and windmills whilst she took our picture. I like that I can store them and have them in order and revisit if I want to, either to keep or delete.

I don’t think digital will make photographs obsolete as people will always want a copy of a picture or will have a digital copy and can print it themselves. I don’t think it matters as it’s up to yourself what you do with your images, print every one out if you wish, only use a film camera, store them on a drive or in Flickr or wherever you want. They are your pictures.

All websites and links accessed 9th May 2017.



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