Before Digital, There Were Prints

Ein Foto auf Papier ist immens wertvoll, ein Digitales nur ein Haufen Daten.

Das hab ich heute wieder gedacht, als ich ein Foto aus den 60ern reproduziert habe. Das Original in den Händen zu halten und die Geschichte dahinter zu kennen… unbezahlbar.

Hier ein Gedicht über und für das gedruckte Foto, zufällig heute gefunden auf dem Zenfolio Blog (Autor unbekannt)

I’m not on a screen, phone, hard drive or disk
Nor on a laptop, DVD, or even a playlist
You won’t find me on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter,
Nor Facebook, WordPress or even on Flickr
I live in an album, several decades old
That holds many stories, people, and places untold
There’s no backups, copies or files of me
Just take one look; you get what you see
I grew up long before the Internet was born
Where communication was seen somewhat as an art form
There was no downloading, uploading or instant live streaming
No Liking, Pinning, +1ing or Tweeting
Just good old fashion visits from family or a friend
Who come to remember, relive or make a means to an end

I am bound in a book made of paper and leather
With dust on the edges, I’m as light as a feather
Sometimes I’m taken out and held in the hands
Of the image’s past lovers, relatives, family or friends
They pick me up with one hand or two
Gently cradling me in their palms, as if to rescue
Sometimes there’s laughter, sometimes there’s tears
And very few times, right before my eyes, I shatter fears
Because coming back to the past can be painful or sad
Albeit therapeutic, humbling, and really not at all mad

The image printed on me is black and white
A young couple in love, the man a tall height
It was the day of their wedding, the year 1952
After the war was over, and there was so much to do
Young ones playing in the background, older kids on their bikes
Pedaling down the street so fast, as if to take flight
A white picket fence, a small, quaint chapel
When the world was much simpler, life wasn’t a hassle
Her smile was radiant, his hand on her back
The shutter clicked twice, and that was that

I was first passed around weeks after the ceremony
Between the family and loved ones, it served as a testimony
Of true love that day, when life wasn’t on-screen
To interact with someone, face-to-face communication was key
After some months I was framed and put under glass
Displayed in the living room for any who passed
I saw many gatherings, parties and children playing
As the years went on, those kids grew up, the couple decaying
But I remained the same, as I always will be
I may fade or get crumpled, but the image is printed forever on me
After the children moved out and the couple passed on
I was taken out of my frame and put into the book where I now live on
And although I don’t see the bright light of day
I remain a testament to their future generations, and hear what they say
Some come looking, others stumble upon me
To retrace their lineage or unlock the past, and I am the key
So I am not invisible in a box full of wires,
Where photos aren’t real, they’re merely just files
So maybe some day in the future, when computers are long gone
I will still be there to tell my story, which always lives on.

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Ruggero De Pellegrini


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