Monday, March 26, 2007

Goblets and light

Crystal and silver
Laval, Quebec, December 2006 [Click to enlarge]

If photography is little more than the art and the science of capturing reflected light in two-dimensional media, then it's virtually a given that reflective surfaces can make for some of the most interesting photos.

Or maybe I just wanted to capture a unique view of some of the prettier things that have been in the family for longer than I've been alive. Quickly viewed, they're clearly beautiful in their fragility. But as I look closer at this picture, I notice the imperfections - namely, slight chips across the top, scratches here and there, the inevitable signatures of generations of serving.

I wonder what stories these glasses would tell. The celebrations, the sadnesses, the family members no longer with us. I conclude that the wonderful glow that surrounds this scene comes from the spirit of all that these have gone through. The imperfections do little to take away from their uniqueness: in fact, they tell a rich story of family and time.

I feel small as I trip the shutter. Almost as if I'm not worthy of the history I'm capturing through my lens.

Your turn: Family heirlooms moving through the generations. Please discuss.

One more thing: This is another one of those images that draws the viewer in. Look closely at the silver cup, where the ghost of another family scene is taking shape.


Anna said...

Is that your tripod Carmi?? :)

I love when items are passed through generations. It gives you real sense of what came before you...not only the people but also a time that is gone. I am happy to embrace what is passed down, whether it is stories or objects so that I might have a better understanding into our family. I always wondered what my grandmothers old dining room table would have said! :)

I like this shot.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I love looking at Family Heirlooms wether they be furniture, china, glassware---whatever....I have a Vase that was my Grandmothers....I don't use it because I am so afraid of breaking it, but it does sit on a shelf where I can see it ALL the time to remind me of my dear Maama...Amd it is near a Large Oval picture of her, taken when she was 16 years old...

I love those glasses Carmi...And the Silver Cup, too....Are these your Friday Night glasses, my dear? Or Passover?

kenju said...

I love my family heirlooms and I relly enjoy seeing others, and hearing stories about them. The chips and small imperfections add to the beauty of them, Carmi, showing a well-used and loved item.

Maybe I should photograph some of my loved family things.

Ann said...

That picture is fabulous! I knew I would love stopping by here again. i have my grandmothers china. Sometimes, when no one is home, I open the hutch doors and pull out a piece or two. I can picture family members passing around the platter, all the laughter and jokes hit me like they did back then. Ghosts of my childhood flood out and I see cousins how they use to look 25 years ago. Nice post!!

Gyrobo said...

I've always wanted to have a mummified monkey hand in my family. You know, just so I can tell people I have it.