Mirar la fotografía

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Every photographs tells a story, the old adage goes. It’s a wonderful cliché, it’s a horrible cliché, and it’s most certainly not true. What stories do these photographs of my grandfather tell me? Having looked at them for so long now (a few years) I’m still not an inch closer to knowing anything about the man.

—Joerg Colberg, Meditations on Photographs:
Josef Nowak by an unknown photographer

I really liked this post since Colberg manages to put his thumb right on one of the things which bothers me most about a lot of photographs—in particular vernacular photographs. Between the rosy past which old photographs hint at and the way we’re trying to ape that look with hipstagram filters in digital photos, we’re trying and struggling to get our photos to tell a story through just their appearance.

Most photography has always been personal. We make personal images for our personal…

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