The Tin

There can’t be many people who don’t have photograph albums, surely?

We have loads;  about fifteen plus mum and dad’s six albums. We also have packets and packets of family photographs – all dated – that somehow never did get put into albums; probably because the cost of the albums was prohibitive and the storage options limited.

The moment that photography went digital, we went to the other extreme. We had very few prints around the place and the entire digital collection lived and still remains on various computers and hard drives.

I can’t knock digital photography. I love it generally and specifically I love it for flexibility it gives you to edit your own snaps. The one big drawback is that with digital photography, you don’t have The Tin.

We didn’t appreciate The Tin for years. We used to look through the albums and re-visit the photos that we liked, the family snaps of everyone looking happy and the dog looking clean and smiling and the nice bits of scenery and architecture.

Then, one day, son no 2 said “Woss this?” and pulled The Tin from its hiding place under my desk.  It was quite dusty and totally forgotten. I told him it was nothing much – just the rubbish photos that never made the albums.

The Tin contained discards – those snaps where someone’s face was blurry, where no-one was posing properly, where a dog rushed into shot and surprised nan so that she looked startled, as though a small rodent had shot up her skirt.

“What’s this?” he asked.

It was a snap of the underside of a small boy’s shorts and his father’s upside down face between the legs.

“Those are your shorts at the moment when you’d just grabbed dad’s expensive SLR camera,” I told him.

“He was just shouting at you to “Put the camera down!” and you took the photo by accident.  We were up a mountain in the Lake District at the time and dad was terrified you’d wreck the camera.”

That triggered a flood of interest and soon we were all pouring over the contents of the tin, laughing at the terrible hair (me)  the big shirt collars (Capt Sensible) and the brilliant shot of my dad, sitting very upright and proper in the undersized carriage of a model railway on his own, looking straight ahead with an intensely miserable expression while my brother and I sat in the carriage in front gurning happily at the camera.

“What’s up with grampa?”

“Oh he was in a bit of a strop.”

In fact he’d just given my brother a huge ear-bashing for messing about and leaping from carriage to carriage. The snap is an eloquent portrait of childhood enthusiasm and fun contrasted with the black cloud of adult fury.

Then there was the picture of my brother, aged 15, during Christmas, in dramatically camp post, head back against the sofa, eyes closed, wearing red plastic lips from a Christmas cracker and looking for all the world like Freddie Mercury.

And the one of nan dozing in her housecoat on the sofa after a sherry or two while the corgi snoozed alongside her, showing his lipstick.

I can’t reproduce any of these pics because The Tin is now in The Attic and they are sort of private.  But I have discovered a collection which is almost a digital version of The Tin.

There’s a nice little android phone app called Whatsapp, which enables you to send text, photos and vid to friends all over the world at little or no cost. So I have taken a few pics and sent them to various people or simply recorded moments for posterity. It was only when I was looking for one particular image the other day that I realised what a bizarre selection I’d accumulated.

They will mean nothing to you. They are random pics but they represent a kind of eccentric diary and hey, after all this talk of photographs, this blog is sorely in need of some images, so here they are.

About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
This entry was posted in Art, Cats, Coast, Countryside, Current Affairs, Cycling, Food, Kittens, Literature, Seaside, Watery things and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The Tin

  1. sabina ahmed says:

    Loved it Jan, I see you have not lost your touch and the writing is more engaging and polished. I loved the photos too. Since I have acquired an iphone, there are loads of photos on it, but Orange does charge extra for sending images!

    Lovely photos and great blog thanks Jan.

    • janh1 says:

      Hi Sabina, thanks v much. 🙂 Don’t know about the writing though – I think it’s sloppier than ever, personally. You can get Whatsapp for your iphone for free! Son no2 has it – we are forever swapping food pics, hence the image of the Jewel in the Crown of Little Chef restaurants – the Jubilee Pancake!

  2. IsobelandCat says:

    Fun post and fin pix. I have a tin, a case and more boxes than I care to count of photos dating back to the 1890s – not all taken by me, obviously. More and more I lust after an i-phone!
    I assumed that was a breakfast you had made. Time to seek out a Little Chef. 🙂

  3. janh1 says:

    Sorry, Isobel, I’m missing the connection between an iphone and your photos?

    Oh yes, Little Chef are keeping up the fine tradition of the Olympic Breakfast, which you follow with the Jubilee pancake. Then you sit for a while because it’s best not to attempt movement before some sort of digestion has taken place!

  4. Pseu says:

    lovely random selection. Can you find one for this weeks photo challenge?

  5. valzone says:

    Lovely post Jan. Haven’t we all got a ‘tin’ !, or in my case, a tatty suitcase, plus boxes containing stuff that won’t fit in the tatty suitcase. I loath to keep repeating my message, that a photograph is a moment in time, but its true. When the family albums come out, you can reckon the day is day is taken care of “Oooh, look at that one….Who’s that?……did I really wear that?”

    • janh1 says:

      Hi Val…. oh family albums – such a rich fund of memories and laughs but mostly horror at the way we were (in my case!) Why on earth did I restrict the discards to The Tin when I could have had The Suitcase? Doh!

  6. Jan, The Tin sounds like a thing eery family should have. It, and its contents, made me chuckle. I am going to look out one of my own. I have started printing out pix I love and pasting them into a notebook with a few scribbled notes. Its a lovely way to make sure the pix don’t disappear into the ether.

  7. janh1 says:

    Yes do – especially the imperfect ones 🙂 I’m surrounded by proper books with pages that are like old friends. To me they will only be supplemented with on-line books but never replaced. Similarly, an album or a scrapbook that someone has made and written in their own handwriting somehow seems much more personal and special than anything on a screen.

  8. IsobelandCat says:

    I have an MacBook Pro laptop that I love, and I adored the i-pad I borrowed, so an i-phone seems the obvious choice, but I see that Nokia are bringing out the Lumia 800 next week that may be the more economical answer.

  9. janh1 says:

    Personally, I would give Nokia a wide berth.. They are not up with the game at the moment. i-phone, or Toshiba (v good copy of the iphone but you don’t have to rely on iTunes for all the uploading etc) or my personal fave HTC! 🙂

  10. IsobelandCat says:

    But as I have a mac the i-tunes bit is easy, and to be fair, i don’t use it that much anyway.
    Today’s review in the Torygraph of the new Nokia sounds pretty positive (I am trying to be sensible you understand) tho’ I am still thinking about an i-phone, tho not necessarily the newest one. i don’t want all the extra twiddly bits that use up battery and which i don’t use.

    • janh1 says:

      Erm, well also bear in mind that the iphones have rubbish cameras. Capt Sensible has one, so I do know that. Not that I’m trying to put you off, Isobel, although it might read like it! Just trying to ensure you have the fullest facts available to help you make up your mind!! 😀 I’m shutting up now.

      • IsobelandCat says:

        Thanks, Jan, I appreciate it, but the camera is something I could quite happily do without, so that doesn’t worry me. I’m in no hurry, so I might wander into a phone shop and ask to see some soon, but a lot’ll depend on how much it increases the cost of my existing contract which is a bargain.
        What do you particularly like about your ‘phone?

      • janh1 says:

        What do I particularly like? Well I do think the camera is useful. There are loads of occasions when I’m out on the bike or having a meal or something startling happens and I need to capture the moment – and it’s dead easy with the phone. Similarly you can take a quick squirt of video.

        It’s a total PC substitute really if you have a good signal or Wi-fi. Emails, Whatsapps, texts, internet access, Wordfeud (like Scrabble), Jazz FM, podcasts to listen to, Twitter stuff, Yahoo, a brilliant camera (not a brilliant photographer however) and camcorder, it’s an mp3 player too so synchs with my music collection, iPlayer, Amazon’s Kindle, map my ride (cycling app)…. you might gather I changed the memory for one twice as big…. 🙂
        The only thing that is a bind is extending typing. It’s just slow but if I held it horizontally, I’d have a bigger keyboard. I never do, though, being essentially thick.

      • Sophiescott says:

        Are you on commission for HTC Jan? 😛 I agree that the camera on the iPhone 3GS is rubbish. It did improve on the iPhone 4 but I’ve no idea to what extent. A few of the videos I’ve posted of the Kittens have been from my phone, but I know I’ve seen better.

        You can do most of the things you suggest on the iPhone too – I don’t know about the Kindle though.

        However, whatever one you go for Isobel, once you’ve used a smartphone, you’ll wonder how you managed without it 😀

  11. That’s an eclectic mix of pictures – unsurprisingly I love Leo sleeping.

    I have a box rather than a tin, but most photos in the box are still in their folder thingys.

  12. janh1 says:

    Yes so do too I! That’s his usual after dinner position (mine, not his) wedged between me and the arm of the sofa.

    I have many photos in folder thingies too. But at least the folders are dated now. That was Phase I of Organising Photos. Phase II has been somewhat delayed…

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