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These days, when everyone understands the permanence and reproductive potential of the photograph, its considered something of a faux pas not to grin inanely every time someone whips out a camera. The amateur photographer always finds something to fiddle with, and the authenticity of their subjects grin, drains away like an upturned milk bottle as he or she procrastinates with a variety of settings. Photo albums (when there were such things) dutifully document the depressing weathering and wearing of ourselves throughout years we know very well to have been miserable and difficult. Yet the grin remains fixed, as if decay were an enjoyable experience and something to be shown off.

Not so in past times. When photography was in its infancy the subjects of photographs foolishly imagined the drama and austerity present in paintings of glaring old men, could also be translated into this crude new technology.

git2

The phenomenon of miserable old gits in old photograph is a much celebrated and well documented one, but is I’m afraid one in which my collection is a little deficient. The subjects of these two photographs seem to have pulled off a certain amount of austerity, but I have seen images in antique shops of truly, almost unbelievably miserable old gits, but, upon examining the price tag I have always found them prohibitively expensive. Perhaps the price goes up the more miserable the old git is.

git1

Never the less I submit to you these two photographs which I have much enjoyed over the years, and if anyone has any photos of miserable old gits knocking around the house, you know where I am.

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