Postcards from the past

Summer holidays are over ! Maybe you sent a postcard to somebody, probably you took some pictures ! What do you do with them? Will they just stay on your mobile phone, shared online and gone pretty soon ?


These questions coincided with an exhibition in the C/O Photo Gallery in Berlin I went to last week called “Send me an image” about the history of postcards from the first days to social media. Different artists experimented with the evolution of images. There were portrait leporellos from the 19th century to carry along, one artist piled up photographs of touristic sites, e.g. of the Brandenburg Gate or the Eiffel tower, which were taken by tourists always from the same perspective resulting in a somewhat shaky picture of the site. Two other artists entered into a dialogue made of Instagram pictures, one answering by an image to the image the other one had posted. It was obvious that the longevity of pictures has become shorter and shorter over time. Another thought that struck me was that in the past pictures existed only if they were printed, on postcards for example. They did not exist independently of their carrier. Thus they captured a moment in the past. Today taking pictures (esp. selfies) ist often used to show that somebody is somewhere (at a famous sight, at a party) and they are discarded shortly afterwards. Hence they have become a proof of the present rather than a memory of the past.


Still, I believe that a printed picture gives you a very unique experience. You look at it differently, more thoroughly. You can touch it, hold it, it comes to life. So if you want to make more of your holiday images and create something that stays on a bit longer, here are two simple options which all include my mantra from the last blog: PRINT THEM !


Home gallery

Make a little selection of pictures (3-5) with a special atmosphere or situation and print them on good paper at least 20x30 size and put them on the wall. You can just pin them, use little letter clips with a hole to put on a nail or simple frames. It does not have to be costly. You can change them during the year or after every trip / holiday.


Postcards

Yes, I am a fan of postcards although the visit to the above mentioned exhibition was rather discouraging. There was a group of pupils on a guided tour and when being asked who had already sent a postcard in his/her life almost nobody raised their hand. I felt very old in that moment… Nevertheless, I make postcards as I work on a series about the Sanssouci Park here in Potsdam. For example these. You can buy them in several shops/ libraries in Potsdam or on my website here.



But apart from this, I always look out for non-touristic cards when travelling and I found some on my recent holiday to Denmark by a local photographer Jakob Gjerluff. Three of them will go on my wall for at least some months to remember my time at the Danish west coast. It will be a home gallery made of postcards and it will look like this:



Whether you opt for a gallery or postcards, it is important to develop your photographs by using even a simple image programme in order to highlight what you want to express (contrast, saturation, crop etc.). And – I know I am repeating myself – print them on really good paper. FineArt if possible. It is worthwhile, you will notice the difference.


Take care and get your pictures out !

Petra

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