Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I ran across a photo the other day of my late father and my grandfather that would have been taken in about 1923. My dad would have been about five years old, sporting a little Buster Brown haircut and a little, round smiling face. My grandfather looked into the camera with gentle eyes and a sense of seriousness about him. My grandfather had been a photographer. Everyone in my family told me that he was respected for his skill and for his innovation and that he was ahead of his time with his use of the technology of the day. For the photo I was looking at, Grandpa had used a device, perhaps a timer, which allowed him to be in the picture with my dad. My grandfather died of a brain aneurysm only a couple of years after that photo had been taken. Had he still been alive today, I wonder what he would have made of our photographic technology. If he were transported through time, would he believe that you didn't have to have cumbersome equipment in order to take a photo? That instead, you could take a picture with a small hand-held camera, or even better yet, with your telephone that you carried on your person at all times? As I looked more deeply at the photo of Dad and Grandpa, I realized that I was seeing an early "selfie." Grandpa was truly ahead of his time.