Photography is one of the most universal languages we have. Any person who can see, can interpret a photograph and derive an emotional response. Everyone approaches photography in a different form, some only absorb it through advertisements while others actively take pictures daily.
In todays socially connected world we are looking to photography to transmit emotions that would normally be expressed in person. The ever improving cell phone camera's and "filters" stand as proof of this growing demand. When I travel to far away places, seeking to capture that unique, hard to find scene, I often find that I am blocked by an iPad or cell phone taking the same image.
Hidden in this universal pursuit are the hobbyists who want to understand photography more. For those it is less an issue of sharing photographs and more about understanding the medium and how it has evolved over the years.
I am sure there were more 'serious' photographers who would have questioned the artistic merits of this photograph. Some would have looked disapprovingly at the gear he chose to use, the lighting he ignored or the simple composition used. All of those serious photographers were taking impressive pictures of the flora around the lake, while my grandfather took a simple snapshot of his father drinking the Argentine tea called Mate.
Today all of my grandfather's images of flowers, monkeys and airplanes showing great artistic abilities just fill the album. The ones that make you stop and really look into the photograph are these simple portraits. The gestures of a man I never knew but who is responsible for my being here.
When that iPad jumps out in front of my artistically composed shot, I will no longer curse under my breath. I will be reminded that the photograph I am fighting to get will become, at best, filler in an album. I will then turn my camera to my family, regardless of what they are doing, and snap my most simple image of the day...and the only one that will matter in years to come.