|Photographer Ian Beesley's favourite shot marks a time when his beloved boss of old was coming to the end of his career, just as Ian himself was beginning a new one in photography.|
When I saw Ian Beesley's best photo in the Guardian today, I could have cried.
When I found Bob in the train crew's cabin, I thought he was having a snooze. I stepped through the doorway and took a photo. As he heard the shutter click, he looked up. I could see instantly he had been crying, so I asked what the matter was. "I just received my redundancy letter," he said. "It's the end. If I was a horse, they'd shoot me." The industry was in decline, but it was still a big blow.
I apologised for taking his picture. "Don't be sorry," he replied. "That's your job now." I thought that was good of him. This picture's always been poignant for me because it reminds me of the man who encouraged me to pursue photography. It marks the end of his working life and the beginning of mine. Read it in the Guardian
Just a few pages away, under the headline 'Retailers who were past their sell-by dates', was a piece about the fall of the big retailers HMV, Jessops and Blockbuser. It said:
"... the internet, supermarkets and a squeeze on living standards represent a fearsome combination for specialist business models that are, let's face it, past their sell-by date"Nobody appeared to be sorry for Blockbuster. Video rental? Definitely an anachronism in the world of instant streaming. Jessops - well, it's been cheaper to buy photographic equipment online for years. But the media lined up to eulogize HMV - tales of fond coming-of-age stories to the soundtrack of music purchased at the store.
I wondered aloud at the dinner table if we would all be lining up to eulogize bookstores if the same terrible fate befell them.
The husband didn't see the same cultural tragedy in it.
It's already been happening for centuries, he pointed out. Industries failing with the rise of new technology. We didn't mourn the demise of the typewriter for long. We were too busy learning to cut and paste on computers without scissors and tape.
The world moves on. Culture moves on.
We should be excited about what's coming next, he said.
I guess I am excited about what's coming next.
But I would still be very sad.