I came across this amazing collection of photographs on Flickr yesterday and was totally captivated by them. The photographer was Costică Acsinte, a
Polish Romanian war photographer during WW1 and afterwards. These photos all seem to have been taken around 1940 and are a real mixture: some are of military personnel, some are posed photo portraits taken in his studio, and they strike a huge contrast to the narcissistic selfie-generation we seem to be turning into.
The portraits aren’t sophisticated: the hanging backgrounds are often wonky and damaged, but there is a real honesty to the pictures. He really managed to capture something of the people he was photographing. Whether they stare almost defiantly at the camera, smile or look distrustful like the elderly couple, the way his subjects posed themselves tells volumes about them as people. There is little to no information about the subjects, so you find yourself trying to work out what you can about them and their circumstances just from the photographs. I’ve just picked some of my favourites here, if you’d like to see more they have a huge collection here.
On a different note, and I know it’s something I’ve said before, but isn’t it shocking how young the soldiers look? Is it just as I get older that they seem to look younger and younger (like the ever-decreasing age of doctors), or do they look incredibly young to everyone?