Lessons from a 4H Picture

Stuck in one of the sticky photo albums of my great aunt was a picture of my brother and I wish a 4H cow and calf. There are several lessons about this picture and the image of it that has been used in this post.

Don’t crop too much.
  • Don’t crop too much. This example is a little bit extreme, but the humans have been cropped from the photograph to illustrate the point. There may be times where something in the edge of the picture helps to identify where it was taken, when it was taken, the event going on at the time, etc. In this case, there is a high school in the background that helps to locate the photograph.
  • Dates written on photographs may not be entirely correct. My great-aunt has written “12-1979” on this photograph. It was not taken in December of 1979. It was taken in July. The likely reason for the December date: the photograph was included in my parents’ Christmas cards the winter after it was taken. My aunt apparently wrote the date she received the picture on it.
  • Transcribe any information exactly as written. While I know the “12-1979” date is incorrect, I will transcribe it that way and use sic after it to indicate that it was what was originally written on the photograph. I’ll make a note about my belief as to why the date was written as it was.
  • Preserve as you can any photographs in those “sticky albums.” This image was created from a photograph made of the picture before any attempt was made to remove it.
  • Don’t be surprised at who keeps pictures. This photograph was one of many my great-aunt had of her fifteen nieces and nephews in a series of albums. While I knew she had probably received photographs over the years, I did not expect her to have them organized, roughly chronologically, into albums.

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