Finally starting to upload some of the photos I took a few months ago in Italy— these are a couple of scenes from Rome. [1]

One thing I realized as I uploaded these months-old photos is the value of immediacy in the content we share nowadays— these photos uploaded now feel far less valuable than say, an Instagram you could have seen in the moment when I was traveling. Real-time enables vicarious experiences in a way that can’t be replicated by time-shifted sharing, and in a world where infinite new, novel content can be accessed, older material matters less and less. This is interesting when juxtaposed with the trend of vintage-style photos, shared in real-time, that are intended to evoke nostalgia of the present moment.

Here’s a good essay making the rounds recently about just that phenomenon, the rise in popularity of the “faux-vintage” photo. Thought this was on point:

Documentary vision is kind of like the “camera eye” photographers develop when, after taking many photos, they begin to see the world as always a potential photo even when not holding the camera at all. The habit of the photographer involuntarily framing and composing the world has become a metaphor for those trained to document using social media. The explosion of ubiquitous self-documentation possibilities, and the audience for our documents that social media promises, has positioned us to live life in the present with the constant awareness of how it will be perceived as having already happened. We come to see what we do as always a potential document, imploding the present with the past, and ultimately making us nostalgic for the here and now.


[1] This was my first extended time using a DSLR, so most of my shots didn’t come out quite like I hoped and I felt like I didn’t come close to doing justice to anything I saw. Looking forward to practicing more.