Friday, December 29, 2006

Are We Documenting Enough?

I love the work of Walker Evans. I'm fascinated by his images. While perusing 'Lyric Documentary' I began to wonder why. I found that I really liked that the images depicted a certain time, that they froze a time for me, that they were a historical record. I wondered if this was what Evans was trying to capture, if he was aware of what he was doing, if he was aware that his images would be viewed by someone like me, decades into the future, wondering at a bygone time. I found that possibility profound and breathtaking.

Looking to my images and other images online I found that most were lacking as historical records. Some images were so stylized or so personal that they lacked a temporal reference point. The only real reference point was the posting date, or some other point known only to the photographer. Looking at images I could find no way that they would ever date themselves. They seem only to exist now, for now, disposable.

Are we documenting enough? Are we including enough historical information in our photographs? Or, are we making our photographs for the here, the now?