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Your Parents’ Photos Are Better Than Yours

This is a chapter from the book A Lesser Photographer.

As a group, we photographers remain obsessed with megapixels, light sensitivity, and prime lenses.

The generations before us tended to shoot with whatever was handy. Their results were better.

Their photos of us as kids are grainy, out of focus, discolored, and lacking any logical composition.

And they’re wonderful.

They’re wonderful because the grain and fading give us the context of time.

The lack of composition revealed monstrously huge cars, long-ago shuttered businesses, and the extremely unfortunate clothing choices of anyone who happened to be passing through the frame.

The paper itself may well have outlasted the lives of the people who took the photos.

What would be lost if those same photos followed the modern rules of photography?