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Why Do We Like History?

Do you have something you tell people when they ask you why you explore the old places? I can say a few words about history, a love for the old workmanship, etc. But, there is more to it. Things I don’t put into words because they make me seem a sad and lonely person. I don’t feel that way about myself. But, if my photographs are about preserving the past and feelings of things lost, fading and forgotten… I think that says something about me. It makes me seem needy, vulnerable. So, I don’t have an answer for the question of why I explore, other than touching the surface about liking history.

The email I’ve cut and pasted below was from 2011. I thought it would be easy to send a reply back, but I’ve never managed to answer the question without feeling vulnerable or lacking sincerity. I could have sent a fluff answer. But, I don’t want to. Some day there will be nothing left of me but what I did, wrote or photographed. None of those things are permanent. My existence will slip through history, like most people. The least I can do is put integrity and honesty into the very little remnants there will be.

I think about this still. The question I thought would be simple to answer, but isn’t.

Thanks for sending the link. Your photos look wonderful. You’ve definitely got a better eye through the lens than I.

I’ve spoken to a couple of environmental historians and the message seems to be the same. For your collection to be of use to a historian for research purposes, it would need extensive metadata about exactly where and when the photos were taken. Preferably following a standard metadata convension used by professional archivists (eg, Dublin Core http://dublincore.org/).

The historians also believed that your collection is much more likely to be of interest to someone for research purposes in 30 or 40 years and that perhaps then the interest would be in you as a photographer interested in old buildings, as opposed to the contents of the photos themselves.

Having said that, the photos are great and if you’d like to write a few paragraphs about why you’ve decided to take them and why you think it’s important to preserve these types of buildings on film, we’d be happy to share the story and a link to your photos on our news feed. Our readers tend to have a keen interest in the past and how we can understand the past. Your knowledge of photography and preserving would certainly be worth understanding further.

Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Adam Crymble

Take Another Look at Your Local Bus Stop

Most bus stops in North America are fairly standard issue from the bus company. There isn’t a lot of variety and bus stop shelters don’t tend to stay up once the bus route changes. Sadly, they tend to be vandalized too often as well. But, Christopher Herwig found unique bus stop shelters, enough to make a book about them: Soviet Bus Stops.

I like this one because it looks like a spaceship.

Old Cemeteries Society

oldcemeteriessociety

The Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria is dedicated to researching, preserving and encouraging the appreciation of Victoria’s heritage cemeteries.

Lively society of cemetery enthusiasts aka taphophiles! Local historians, researchers, recorders, writers, tour guides, volunteer caretakers of old cemeteries.

I’d like to join a group like this. I’d like to start it up myself but I’m not social enough to get it going. A group of one is a bit flat.

I wonder if there are others out there with a local old cemetery exploring group?

The Old House on the 3rd Line?

I drive by this old house about once a month on the way to visiting my brother in Orillia. It’s wasn’t an abandoned house but old and houses close to a highway interest me. They show how the roadways have progressed.

Yesterday I drove by and I had a triple look because (I’m still not 100% sure) the house was gone. I could see a wire fence around the area, over the driveway. But, there was no sign of the house. There is a chance I just missed it but, I can’t think of anything else there with a driveway. I hope I’m wrong and the house is still there. Not that it’s going to last forever but I will be sorry to see it not there any more.

These images are screen captures from Google. I never stopped to take a photograph of the house. I just thought it would continue to be there.

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