The image of our times

I have two cameras.

One is a decent Canon Thingy which takes reasonable pictures and the other is my mobile phone which takes crap pictures.

Looking back over my vast stock of images taken over the last fifteen to twenty years the vast majority have one thing in common – no people.  I like photographing scenery or things, to capture a memory or something particularly unusual.  Occasionally people get in the way so they get included too, but mostly not.  then there are the family occasions where people are a sort of necessity otherwise there wouldn't be much point in taking the photograph.

Another thing in common is that none of those photographs show me.

I'm not unusually camera shy, but I know what I look like [that’s what mirrors are for] and I don't see the point in photographing myself.  Who the fuck wants to know what I look like?  Add to that the simple fact that I'm the one behind the camera and you'll see why I don't have many of myself.

I am therefore completely baffled at the whole idea of the "selfie".  Why in the name of fuck would I want to take loads of photographs of myself and stick them on the Interwebs?  Who fucking cares what I look like?  Who is supposed to admire these "selfies"?  Is it a vanity thing?  Is it somehow bragging?  I am at a loss for words here.

I can understand why people take photographs of landmarks.  If you visit the Grand Canyon or Paris then it's reasonable to take a snap of the cliffs or the Eiffel Tower but why does the photographer have to be included?  In most cases it just spoils the scene anyway.

I have this picture in my mind of digital archeologists in the distant future looking through the innumerable terabytes of images cluttering up the world's servers.

Jayzus but they were a right bunch of egotistical self obsessed cunts, back at the start of the Twenty First Century!

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The image of our times — 23 Comments

    • Welcome Paul!  I love a good scene and have a huge collection of photographs from various holidays and even quite a few taken around here.  I don't see the point in taking any of myself.  I know what I look like, and no one else cares.  The scenery photographs on the other hand evoke lovely memories.

  1. When tourists visit Pisa they insist on photos showing them propping up the leaning tower. When stag party groups visit Dublin's Temple Bar area, what kind of photo do they take?

  2. Don’t want to boast, but I still have my 5″ x 4″ camera and several 4″ x 2″ cameras, They need upmtemend hours to set up and take a photograph, but when you finally get there, the quality is vastly better than any digital pic. The time taken is so much better used in selecting and composing the final image that the modern digital rubbish pales by comparison. When you take time to record an image, there is a feeling that it must be worthwhile. But then, instant digital pix can be very good in the right place. Simply a matter of choice. Oh, and never take “elfies”

    • I still have a coupe of cameras gathering dust soewhere.  The Good Old Days where you got 24 or 36 shots per roll and you had to make damned sure to get the shot right as it cost money to get them developed.  I wonder if photographs were still non-digital, whould we see so much shite on the Interwebs?  I doubt it!!

  3. I cannot understand the obsession with selfies. “Narcissism” may describe what it is, but doesn’t explain why it has suddenly taken over.

    I am very pleased to have a teddy bear I saw sitting at a lecture as my Facebook profile picture!

    • I don't think it has suddenly taken over (the narcissism) – it's been carefully groomed by all those who, as Grandad said, have told the little snowflakes from birth that they're the most precious things on the planet, that they're entitled to that view, and that they're also entitled to be cushioned against anyone who confronts them with a different opinion.

      Narcissistic kids stem from narissistic parents – it’s not “suddenly” taking over. It’s been cultivated for a long time – only now some kind of “critical mass” is reached, so more people suddenly notice it.

      My 2 pennies 😉

  4. Totally agree with you there, D'you see all those people with their "selfie sticks" wandering around in front of every thing, recently on a trip to Venice there were posers walking around with their 9" apple ipad thingies waving around in the air ! I mean whatever next?

    I think also that the selfie brigade seem to rush around trying to get in front of every scene, and have little or no time to actually look, and experience anything at all, it seems just a box ticking exercise.

    • It's bad enough constantly taking photographs of yourself but to actually purchase a yoke to help you do it?  Basically a "selfie stick" is just a handy thing to grab if you're a phone thief!

      • which just proves they've no fucking real friends to take the picture for them, just interweb friends who wouldn't be seen dead with them, after all isn't that what"s Farcebook for?

  5. I hear 'ya Granddad. 

    Find it slightly amusing that *self-portraits* usually involve some character going from their miserable, grouchy self into this artificially made-up and "cheerful-looking" character. 

    It all reeks of "Look at us, we're so Koooooooooooooool!"

    • Even worse ar those who find someone "famous" and insist on a dual "selfie".  Look at me with my bestest fwend the local politician.  What happened to good old fashioned autographs?

  6. I sometimes wonder whether Selfies were invented by people who were too darned ugly or too darned uninteresting for anyone else to want to take a photo of them or to be seen in one with them!

  7. It seems the latest generations have been raised up to be self-absorbed to the point of idiocy. Being offended at the least excuse (or no excuse) probably goes along the whole mindset as well.

    I used to love taking photographs way back when and I had an Olympus OM-1 that took excellent pictures. When things went digital I used those type of cameras at work and at home. These days my rather fancy digital camera (non-SLR) has sat on my desk gathering dust for probably a year now as I seem to have lost all interest in that kind of thing. My wife takes all the photos now.

    • I had taken to calling them the Snowflake Generation, but I think the Selfie Generation describes them more accurately?

      I liked the photographs of the woods behind your gaff!  😀

  8. Surely they were just as big narcissist back in the day when you had to sit still for hours on end to get your portrait painted. 

    I take pictures of trees. 

    • Welcome, CynaraeStMary!  One family portrait is fine – something to hand over the mantelpiece [in those days] but if they had to sit still for hours about twenty times a day it would have been a different story?

      I just like scenery – mountains, valleys, flowers, trees, rivers, not people.

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