Bryon Summers


Photographer or Historian?

 Found family photo of my uncles and father  (left to right respectively). 

Found family photo of my uncles and father (left to right respectively). 

Are you taking pictures for the moment? Let me ask that another way. Did you know that what you photograph now is recorded history? Mind blown yet?

We obviously live in the now. I can go on a tangent about time travel to support this but you'd probably wish you had a flux capacitor to get that hour of your life back. Anyway, what we shoot now will be enjoyed more later. A while back when my father turned 50 we had a celebration that included a slide show of his life up to that point. I remember going through photo albums and scanning old images of him and other family members. The pictures ranged from baby photos to his first car to different houses he lived in. All of the shots were taken in their respective nows but they earned a greater appreciation decades later. 

Between 2013 and 2015 the larger portion of my body of work focused on the NY subway system. Those images will be relevant until something drastically changes. Consider that the NY subway is over 100 years old and a few generations equipped with cameras have used this mode of transportation. How many images do you think exist of this one subject? A century worth of history. You have to acknowledge each person who has ever photographed the subway as a historian. Anyone with a camera phone can be archiving historical events right now.

A great photographer was once told "with great power comes great responsibility". I like to think that voice of reason was talking about the responsibility to always capture great images. Or at least your best. So go forth and shoot. Take pictures and preserve your history because on a greater scale it is a part of our history.



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