Memory of Where They Used to Be (Day 14 of 31)
Memory is a funny thing. Some photographs contain ghosts that not everyone can see. Not ghosts of people, but of buildings, trees, gardens that are gone. Like the sides of city buildings that still show where long-departed neighbouring structures used to stand, some photos show mounds of empty earth, driveways to nothing, tattered remnants of former lives.
Such pictures can have an evocative melancholy for those who can remember what’s missing; but it may be that even viewers who aren’t familiar with the changed landscape can appreciate it. A pang of loss is a universal thing.
Consider taking some photos of places you know well that have changed over the years, and try some different ways of including clues to the past life of this place. For instance, I mentioned driveways that no longer lead anywhere—a sight that can be so odd and moving. If you happen to take a photo in such a landscape, think about playing up the driveway in your picture and showing how it trails away.
Virtually all of us who are older than, say, ten or twelve have many people who are missing from our lives, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten them all. In some sense a photo can still show that same kind of memory: an element may be no longer there, but also not quite erased altogether.
(For the month of October 2017, I’m participating in the 31 Days bloggers’ challenge. You can find out about it here, and check out the interesting work other bloggers are posting.)