I love old photographs. Particularly when they are dog-earred and thrown into a cardboard box and sold out of someones car boot. Preferably when they are sold on the banks of the Seine but strangely, it’s not that often I can warrant a trip to Paris to satisfy my whimsical love of sepia.
There is something at once engaging, intriguing and temptingly voyeuristic about these kind of sepia tinged photographs, with that serene wash over the sitters faces. Our faces just don’t look like that anymore. Our photos are too rushed, too spontaneous and too drink fuelled to achieve this ethereal and haunting effect.
I can’t help but imagine that, in the day of digital, the next generations won’t have this pleasure of rummaging for hours through the lives of others, trying to decipher the cursive scrawls of notes on the back, hoping there might be some explanation or history there.
But, imagine my delight when I came across these gems in the blogosphere:
And while looking at them online might not invoke the same pleasures as out of a box, at least it gives images like these a place in the electronic age and perhaps a new kind of permanence. Albeit a contradictory one. I have discovered an entire website where I can indulge my unashamed voyeurism: Black and WTF. What does it matter WTF, those bygone people were freaky as hell but so are we. And at least these photographers were a tad more creative at capturing their eccentiricities.