On meaningless pictures and different times

For the last week or so, I’ve been sorting the hard drives with all my personal work. Stuff like holiday snaps, street photography, architecture, events and pretty much anything that I had the time to shoot in between jobs or on my spare time and they seemed to be meaningless until now.

Pictures like these:

times will change-2

Something I noticed while sorting them out is that I rarely take pictures of large crowds unless it is to show how ridiculuous an experience or scenario is because of the great amount of people gathered in a single spot… mass tourism and mass crowds!


Urban Photography

Generally, I think taking pictures of a crowd is pointless; they lack a scenario, a narrative, a story and even social interest. They raise no questions when reading them and technically it is very hard to capture a pleasant aesthetic frame from a crowd.

times will change-8

Take for example the last two pictures above, nothing out of the ordinary is happening, your eyes are jumping from face to face trying to find a point of interest, a story. Probably you connect with the picture above because you’ve been to the Vatican, but other than that, there is nothing relevant about this picture or the rest here.


times will change-1

But while going through these photos, I realised how they are relevant right now as they are scenes that we no longer perceive as ordinary.


times will change-3

Now these pointless, storyless pictures have become historical documentations of what life was before the pandemic.


Urban Photography

And suddenly, you go back to the first picture with a story behind it, a narrative and all that I mentioned early because they now have gained a sociological value. They’re not pointless anymore. Something major has to happen in the world to change the sense we look at things.


times will change-5

That’s what happened to me, probably these photos would be trashed under different circumstances but I’m glad I’ve got the time to go through all those files I never had time to before so I can tell you stories like this one. Until next time.

2 thoughts on “On meaningless pictures and different times

  1. Like you, I have been going through my old photos and wondered where and why I took them. Some of them just don’t make sense. However, at the time I must have had a feeling, maybe a gut feeling, a hunch or attached some emotion to the situation that I felt I needed to record. Either way, as the saying goes: “It was the right thing to do at the time”
    Do I regret them, no I don’t think so. I try to recreate the situation I was in when I took the shot and that gives me the answer. So apart from the initial cull of badly focused mistakes, I keep them all. They may be of use in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean, Jeff. I found a few hidden gems that years ago had no relevance but for the most part, they’re pointless. Partly because I didn’t know what I was doing, mostly because I didn’t know myself as a photographer. Hope you’re well and safe.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.