Matthew Amster 01
1. When was this photo taken?
2. Where was this photo taken?
3. Who took this photo?
4. What are we looking at here?
This is the late Burt Swersey at his home in upstate New York. Burt was an inventor, who taught innovation. He inspired students to think about solving problems worth solving. He was a deeply reflective man. Burt died unexpectedly a few years ago & for those of us who knew him the wound is still fresh. The photo is quintessentially Burt: direct, kind, unassuming, & secretly brilliant
5. How does this old photo make you feel?
I felt strong emotions upon opening my link & seeing this image. I learned about the
Lostrolls project from Burt's son Bill, a childhood friend & photographer. The kismet & coincidence of Bill's Lostrolls tip leading me to find this roll felt magical. There were only four images on that roll, all portraits of the his family, each capturing something special
6. Is this what you expected to see?
No. I expected something random & perhaps even out of focus or indecipherable. I did not expect a clear, well-framed, image of something so meaningful
7. Does this photo bring back any memories?
I can remember the feel of my new, cheap, Chinese made Seagull Rollilex knockoff in my hands. I loved taking pictures with that camera (rarely used 120 film as it's not convenient to develop-hence it sitting in a drawer twenty years). We had a meal that day on a screened patio with fresh corn from the local fields, & a stroll around the garden. The image is B/W but my memory comes back in full color
8. How do you think others will respond to this photo?
Burt had a huge impact as a teacher at RPI, a late career move he undertook after retiring to the farm in middle age. His students will certainly see something special. I think his unique, calm demeanor, will be apparent to those who didn't know him & perhaps even his penetrating gaze communicates something wise
- Lost Rolls America
- Image Size
- 1381x1381 / 677.7KB