Posted by: AllisonJo
Digital photography puts an amazing amount of post-processing control into the hands of anyone with access to a camera and some photo editing software. Don’t like the white balance? Change it. Underexposed? Brighten it up. We can crop, rotate, flip, and even eradicate little flaws and blemishes with the push of a few buttons.
And then there’s the other side of the coin – the Polaroid. Point, click, done. No re-touching skin tones, no cleaning up noise. Everything the camera sees is what you’ll get, and you get it instantaneously. As much as I love the flexibility of photo editing software, there’s something mighty appealing about snapping a load of pictures and accepting them exactly as they come out of the camera.
Chris Higgins over at Mental_Floss stumbled across a unique collection of Polaroids credited to one photographer, Jamie Livingston, who took a Polaroid every day from March 31, 1979 to the day he died in October, 1997. The resulting quantity of photos – 6,697 to be exact – is unexpectedly moving. He chronicles everyday events along with photos of his wedding ring and scars from a battle with cancer.
Looking through the photographs feels intimate, almost intrusive. He captures candid portraits of friends, family, and strangers. Some are beautifully composed, some are just meant as a memento of the day, like a snapshot of a TV news report of Frank Zappa’s death.
I highly recommend taking a few minutes out of your digital day to check out the collection of photos online, posted by a friend to Livingston. Or, check out the article on Mental Floss for a little more background.