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The Shooting Gallery
October 8, 2010 8:31 PM   Subscribe

In 1936, a teenager from Holland named Ria van Dijk shot the target in a shooting gallery, activating a camera shutter. She is awarded the photograph as a prize Over seven decades later, she is still shooting. The near-annual images are collected in the book In Almost Every Picture 7: Shooting Gallery. A selection have recently been posted online. (via)
posted by emilyd22222 (26 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love this. It's been floating around in photography circles for ages but the slideshow is particularly brilliant.
posted by unSane at 8:46 PM on October 8, 2010


So cool! How come in '76 she doesn't have the gun?
posted by mannequito at 8:55 PM on October 8, 2010


Really great find - I can't put my finger on why I enjoyed that so much, but I did - so thanks!
posted by crayon at 9:07 PM on October 8, 2010


This is fascinating stuff, much moreso than the average time-series photo essay. I don't know if it's the perspective, the gun, or the setting. But I found it totally engrossing. Thanks for sharing.
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:11 PM on October 8, 2010


As an American with 50% Dutch grandparents; happy!

As an ex-Boy Scout that really enjoyed target shooting (no animals harmed): happy!

As an okay photographer with a pretty good eye for a well composed, nicely exposed shot: crap.

This is really depressing - as time goes on, these images just deteriorate into schlock. Is it just that more people (maybe with not as much of an arty attitude) had cameras as time went by? I'm still happy to see her keep coming back an having a good time year after year.
posted by skyscraper at 9:28 PM on October 8, 2010


Bad. Ass.
posted by phunniemee at 9:28 PM on October 8, 2010


Sort of like watching an abbreviated version of Up Series but with guns.
posted by roue at 9:29 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I missed the mention in the post that she "is still shooting."

As I was cycling through the photos, I did a little fist-pump when she made it past 2000.
posted by avoision at 9:36 PM on October 8, 2010


as time goes on, these images just deteriorate into schlock

Every one of them is taken by an automatic camera, so You can't blame the photographer. Perhaps you are simply charmed by the sepia tones of old film. In that case, get yourself Hipstamatic (iPhone) or Vignette (Android) and make art.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:49 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everything about this is amazing
posted by breath at 9:51 PM on October 8, 2010


Jimmy Havok:

Didn't see the automatic camera thing but-


The person setting up the camera had to make a choice about framing what the shot (shot?? There's a feeble joke there somewhere) would be and what camera to use. Less and less thought went into what the images would look like: take a look at this compared to this.
posted by skyscraper at 10:38 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I forgot to mention that the deliberate lomotization thing is not at all where I was going. The original images were within reaching distance of what the best photographers were doing - the later ones, perhaps not.

Then again, I could be wrong.

I'm still mightily happy to see Ms van Dijk keeping in the bull's eye.
posted by skyscraper at 10:50 PM on October 8, 2010


It's a wonderful document of someone's life, as well as a compelling and cohesive set of vernacular photographs. The photos weren't intended to be art, and yet they are. And honestly, the 2006 image is compelling for many reasons: the metaphotographic capture of a camera crew observing the yearly shot, the ambiguous "Hug" sign, the motion of a passing bicycle. And yet there is a tremedous tension created by the vast expanse of empty space on the left side. And I'm only half joking. Yes, the early black and white photos have a certain charm, a vintage quality that evokes the great photographers of that era. But 50 years from now perhaps the later images will have some similar quality, making us look back longingly to the pre-holographic era etc etc
posted by Lorin at 12:10 AM on October 9, 2010


The thing I love the most about this is that this woman created a tradition for herself and has stuck with it for over 70 years. It makes me sad to think that there's nothing I can say that I've done intentionally every year since I was 16, and it's impossible to change that. No time like the present to be a little more deliberate, or to start thinking a little more about the moment.
posted by pkingdesign at 12:30 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I guess my only objection with your 'schlock' assessment is that it implies this is somehow a bad thing.
posted by seagull.apollo at 12:38 AM on October 9, 2010


It looks as though she wore the same watch for years.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:33 AM on October 9, 2010


In 1951 the guy on teh right shows off his photo. Her tradition is semi-famous, that's a local newscrew next to her.
posted by dabitch at 3:08 AM on October 9, 2010


spelling, arrgh!... I guess it's "famous" now though, I mean she fills a whole book published by the ad agency Kesselskramer. :)
posted by dabitch at 3:09 AM on October 9, 2010


Is it just me, or is that the same BFF she has standing next to her in the first shot (the blonde with her hair a little Leia-ish) and as a white haired woman in a bunch of the later ones?
posted by Diablevert at 5:11 AM on October 9, 2010


Is it just me, or is that the same BFF she has standing next to her in the first shot (the blonde with her hair a little Leia-ish) and as a white haired woman in a bunch of the later ones?

Diablevert, if that's true, I'm going to go past "smiling and heartwarmed and wanting to give this lady a hug", and straight into "shedding a few manly tears".
posted by ixohoxi at 6:20 AM on October 9, 2010


The person setting up the camera had to make a choice about framing what the shot (shot?? There's a feeble joke there somewhere) would be and what camera to use. Less and less thought went into what the images would look like: take a look at this compared to this.

skyscraper, I wonder if some of this has to do with the increasing accessibility of camera technology, and the decreasing levels of technical expertise needed to operate one. Setting up the camera in 1936 probably would have required some knowledge of lenses, and the developing process, and so forth. Anyone with that knowledge probably would have had some exposure to the artistic aspects of the craft, as well.

Nowadays, there are cameras so simple to use that any idiot can snap a photo (or set one up to take a photo automatically).

It's probably not so much a culture-wide decline in standards or craft, as it is a change in who is operating the camera.

(But, agreed, some of those later angles are just stupid and ugly.)
posted by ixohoxi at 6:30 AM on October 9, 2010


You folks debating the camera are hysterical. The whole charm of this photo series is the Art of Photography is entirely absent. There's no framing, there's no exposure control, there's no zone system and tone curves. They're cheap amusement park polaroids, for tourists. The photographs are entirely accidental. The compelling thing is the story they tell despite any deliberate attempt at storytelling.

(Sadly, this effect is somewhat lost in the later photos where it's clear the folks in the photo know she's famous for doing this.)
posted by Nelson at 8:01 AM on October 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like how the friend who's there in 1965 is still there, holding the handbag, in 2008 (and 1977, 1980 and 1997 from what I can tell).
posted by bright cold day at 10:58 AM on October 9, 2010


(Sadly, this effect is somewhat lost in the later photos where it's clear the folks in the photo know she's famous for doing this.)

But isn't that also part of the story?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:48 PM on October 9, 2010


UbuRoivas: "(Sadly, this effect is somewhat lost in the later photos where it's clear the folks in the photo know she's famous for doing this.)

But isn't that also part of the story?
"

Touché!
posted by bwg at 5:35 PM on October 10, 2010


I love that the carny caught in the image looks either bored or stoned or both.
posted by bwg at 5:38 PM on October 10, 2010


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