Stories From The Past

In times long past on the far reaches of Western Europe the ‘shanachies’ were the traditional Gaelic storytellers or folklore historians - known as seanachaidh or seanchaí - who kept alive the legacy of the old Scottish and Irish communities. Other nationalities have their own versions of these tellers of tales.

Interesting in photography that every picture by virtue of pressing a shutter combined with the speed of light means that every photograph is in the past. As story tellers travelling at the speed of light we are visual custodians of the past by default.

I use in the tittle the words "the past" to represent or draw a line from my past work undertaken over thirty plus years which is where I have come from, to delineate a future or ongoing body of works that look in some way to a future as photography undergoes its biggest revolution to date. The baby if we use this analogy to photography is learning to crawl.

However, this tradition of story telling continues. Whilst the past golden years of photojournalism and documentary photography no longer exist a new form evolves to take its place. The new age of digitisation and new technologies create a new world of information.

This new noisy world of images, whilst different to the analogue days of film, still is fundamentally about telling stories. Picture stories in print or web still play their part. Stories connect us and allow to grow our understanding of the people and world around us.

How we manage this world of billions of images showering into our lives through websites and social feeds like rain in a storm will be the challenge. For those people passionate about photography who want to be the story tellers of the future, the modern day Shanachies, the world is out there, how you choose to deal with it is up for grabs.