Thursday 26 March 2015

Pompeii Photos: Ancient Roman city remains unscathed by 'selfie' generation

From Science Daily:
Pompeii Photos: Ancient Roman city remains unscathed by 'selfie' generation
Photos tourists take of Pompeii are almost identical to those taken by our ancestors. After examining 19th and early 20th century lantern slides of Pompeii and modern day photos researchers discovered the shots taken around the site are remarkably similar.
Read more here.

1 comment:

Jackie and Bob at pompeiiinpictures said...

We have been to Pompeii many times to take photographs. Since we took the original photos we have acquired some of the Warscher photos from the DAIR and recently the Stanley A Jashemski photographs. We also have many old 19th century photographs on the site.

When we slot them into our web pages alongside our pictures we often find we already have the identical picture but Jackie is standing in exactly the same pose and place or examining the same objects as Tatiana Warscher and Wilhemina Jashemski. Eerie.

We do generally like people free pictures because we are trying to show the features rather than Great Aunt Ada or the distinguished visitors. Getting the right photo can be difficult at times, trying to time a shot between passers by who are oblivious of you. We try to time our visits so that we are there before or after the cruise ships arrive.

We also find that people who send us their photos have taken them from exactly the same spot as we already have photos of. This can be good and bad. Often it means we cannot use them but it is good if they show changes from our photos which is one of the more powerful research features of pompeiiinpictures.

Overall it would seem to be the nature of the site, such as the expanse of the Forum or a shot only available through a locked gate, and the average photographers approach to Pompeii based on getting as much in as possible.

You also find this commonality in books where they dwell on the same features or houses, often copying the same material, mistakes or misinformation, and give a false impression of Pompeii, with people trying to get into houses that are not open or are reburied. This is one of the reasons we created pompeiinpictures, because we were fed up with reading about the same few houses, with the equally interesting others ignored.

Why do press releases and newspaper articles always conclude with the identical footnote: Pompeii was buried by an eruption in AD79, which.......

Perhaps it is as Erich Von Daniken once suggested, the sum of all human knowledge is programmed into all of us, on a fixed release rate basis, so we all invent or do the same thing at the same time, except for the odd exceptions like Leonardo da Vinci where the timing is out and he invents helicopters hundreds of years too early.

Whatever the reason for this phenomenon it can be unnerving to see yourself unexpectedly in someone elses footsteps.

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