Capturing the ordinary life

The Web site Shorpy is a repository for vintage photographs. These aren’t high art, just ordinary snapshots taken of ordinary scenes — group photos, family outings, candid shots, streetscapes and the like. The details — the clothes the look on people’s faces, vehicles, building facades —  the take you back. The best photos are of places you recognize so that you can see the changes over time.

I love looking at old photographs. What strikes me about many of them is that they capture ordinary life at the time. If we took similar photos today, we would probably see them as boring, but given the benefit of time these scenes from a few decades ago fascinate me. That’s something to remember when taking pictures. “Interesting” shots are fine, but there’s also value in documenting the world around you as it is.


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