Monday, November 1, 2010


When I am not doing something for a column, article or testing equipment and software, I relax at night watching movies and some occasional TV dramas. The most recent I found fascinating because it was about photographs, but thankfully there was not a badly cast photographer role in the piece. Nothing like the famous Michelangelo Antonioni blow-up with David Hemmings, Sarah Miles and Vanessa Redgrave, which I am sure inspired many to become photographers, sadly. This is another British drama that is about photographs, not people who make photographs or who model for photographs. It is a 3 part BBC Masterpiece Drama called Shooting The Past. And it s really about a huge collection of photographs whose future is in doubt and the mystery of the story.
Like so many great British dramas it is cast with characters that are anything but stereotypes and play out a fascinating story about a library of photographs housed in an old mansion that is threatened by a "corporate" takeover. It’s entertaining and kept me interested and involved for three enjoyable hours. But Shooting The Past also made me think you and the many photographers who read Shutterbug may be doing more than entertaining yourselves with a fascinating hobby. What you produce may become important to history. It makes me think how many things I have photographed no longer exist or have been changed significantly during my lifetime. Will they become important to history? You can't predict that or the future, but you can add something more than self-interest as a reason for every time you press the shutter button of your camera. If for no other reason, experiencing Shooting The Past will provide a good ploy to answer anyone questioning your interest and activity as a photographer - maybe you’re contributing to the documentation of our history.
Shooting The Past is available to purchase from BBC America at this web URL:  I rented the DVD's from NetFlix, and I am sure other sources for obtaining video programming also have this BBC production on DVD or for a download.

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