I smiled and chuckled reading today’s xkcd.
Randall Munroe was a robotics scientist at NASA before his webcomic really took off, and sometimes it shows: some entries are pretty nerdy and obscure, and sometimes I feel I’m stretching a bit to get the joke. Other times, like today, I think he touches on the pulse of Internet culture, dead on. A capture of zeitgeist, if you will.
Some of you dear readers may have noticed that my family and I are on Flickr, and that it’s a part of my blogging here. My father-in-law, Bill (Cimmorene’s father) has been an amateur photographer for 40 years, and so it’s more than just a place to host blog photos, although I found out about the site through the VOX platform. It’s not just me, either; Cimmorene and Princess are both principal photographers for the account.
While Bill and some of our Flickr friends deeply explore the artistic side of photography, Cimmorene, Princess and I employ a more documentary-style approach. This is why I found today’s xkcd relevant. Photography is capturing the journey, yes, even that Inner side to the Hero’s Journey I’ve been writing about here.
Princess and I are especially pushing towards video, because of our desire to document what’s happening in our lives, and the observation of what we see.
If it’s not immediately obvious, Princess is a big fan of Toby Turner, and she’s imitating some of his voice characterizations.
Admittedly, I think we three raise an eyebrow or two when Internet media trends seem shallow. Princess doesn’t do a lot of selfies unless she wants to show a new cosplay idea, and as none of us have smartphones, but only a sophisicated point-and-shoot camera, she doesn’t take them in the manner most “selfies” are taken. She’s also more inclined to do a short video now and then, and for a while… I found DOZENS of videos in the memory cards. Since production software in Linux is pretty abysmal (as I said before), I told her she needed to keep her videos closer to 2-5 minutes, since I couldn’t easily edit things down.
We don’t take a lot of pictures of our food– well, not at restaurants, anyways. We do take some photos of our meals, to brag a little bit about our home cooking and baking, and now and then, we show some of the process of making it. Again, we lean towards a more documentary style of media making than a more artistic angle. We appreciate the craft, but we are usually more interested in showing people snippets of our lives, than strong artistic statements.
What do you think, dear readers? Is there meaning to be found amongst all the selfies and restaurant entreé captures? Are cameraphone snapshots art? Is the Instagram Polaroid filter cheesy nostalgia? Is photography, casual or well-crafted, part of your online journey?
Do I look awkward asking so many invitation questions? I think I do; it’s not a regular part of my style. But please, walk with me, talk with me… leave me a comment. Thanks!