Pictures Without Borders: Unoriginal photography

During our brief stop off in Trogir, Croatia as part of our road trip in Summer 2017, we took a (huge!) number of photographs.

Admittedly, the town itself is a photographer’s dream as the castle, waterside, winding narrow streets and stonework buildings, all under the reliable sunshine, make it an easy place to point a camera and take a picture that looks new and original.

On our return, I arbitrarily picked up a book, “Pictures Without Borders: Bosnia Revisited” (Steve Horn, 2005) from Amazon for no more than £10. My interest in the book was more due to our visit of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to see what else Former Yugoslavia had to offer and how much it had changed from pre-90’s war, to the photos in the book from 2003, to now.

Still, it came as a surprise to see that one of the pictures in the book (Page 27), from Trogir in 1971, matched one I took on our trip in 2017. Of course, on our stop off this summer we sought out and grabbed another picture.

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The irony that my picture coincidentally recreates one from a book of photographic ‘then-and-now’ recreations isn’t lost on me. Does it make me a good photographer, with an eye for a good picture? Or is it simply a testament to how beautiful a town it is, how every corner makes a good picture, how fortunate it is to have survived scar-free despite the conflicts of the 90s?

I guess all it proves is that no picture is truly original, just the time at which it’s taken.

by Tom McBeth & Natasha Bryan

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To see the full, high-quality, watermark-free images from Croatia, click here to visit our Shutterstock gallery.


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