Friday, April 15, 2011

Snappy Snaps

I wrote this a while ago but didn't know where to put it:

The man in Snappy Snaps in Cornmarket Street, Oxford, UK, wore a St Pauli sweatshirt and I thought at the time he was Romanian or Albanian. He told me that the policy now is that I must pay when placing the order for the prints - no longer when I come to collect them. He said that he trusted me, but his boss would not allow it, because people keep leaving orders and forgetting to come to collect them. Upstairs they have boxes and boxes of unclaimed photos. In an attempt at a humorous exchange, I suggested he stage an art exhibition of all the uncollected photographs. I didn’t even like the idea much but it was one of those things that must have already been done somewhere. He wrinkled his nose in dissatisfaction. He said, with an earnestness that slapped my art-student-knowingness sideways, that most of the photos are of such bad quality that it would not be worth exhibiting them. His grammar left occasional ambiguities in his speech, but I understood perfectly when he looked into my eyes and remarked,

“The digital camera has destroyed the art of photography, today it is more like a machine gun”.

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