Ancient & Modern
The Virupaksha Temple is truly ancient with its origins in the 7th century, as is the landscape here with its strange boulder strewn hills, and even the modern intrusion of posts and wires has an archaic quality.
The man, boy and dog add a human perspective to this scene to remind us that mankind has been living, building, and occupying this landscape for many centuries.
It seemed appropriate to present this scene in the style of a 19th century photograph; perhaps a wet plate collodion image printed as a calotype. It’s sad that the work of so many early photographers has been lost. Just the other day I came across the work of Grayston Bird who’s large collection of plates and lantern slides; his lifetime’s work, was destroyed, presumably by a fire, in 1937. A similar fate befell the work of Samuel Bourne who toured India between 1863 and 1870 taking 2,200 images of exceptional quality. His plates remained in Calcutta until destroyed by fire in 1991. A small selection of prints remain to hint at the quality of the work of both of these photographers.
Perhaps we need to reflect on our own images and the even less tangible form that they occupy on hard drives across the world. As sure as anything, most of the work of today’s photographers will be lost with our passing. Is the solution national initiatives, to encourage the placement of images in national archives? Should we store our precious photographs digitally or should we have prints made of our best work? Or are we being conceited to think that at least some of our work should survive?
Of more immediate concern is that my terabyte hard disk is almost full as is the same size backup external drive. Should I then add a second external drive and clear out my computer in order to start again? I don’t know! What I am sure is that trusting cloud storage for anything but short term needs is not a risk I want to consider.