“Roadside Tree, a Return to Memories”
“A return to memory, the chance to relive and reimagine an experience does not happen often in real life, but there is a joy in revisiting memories through photos that has a firm hold on me” – Ed Lehming
Since I was a child, I have enjoyed looking back through family photo albums. I am fortunate that I have a family that has been able to document so many events through images. I find myself leafing through the photos, recalling the sounds, tastes, and smells of those events. My imagination and memory also takes me back to the people who are not necessarily in the frame and the event expands in my memory and imagination.
I don’t languish there, though, if I’m honest, I do look back fondly on what seemed to be simpler times; times spent with family and friends. Looking at the photos, you’d think the world was idyllic. I know that there where events going on in the world at the time and in the lives of the people pictured that were every bit as distressing as the world we live in now, but a quick recall without reflection ignores this and only the good remains for me.
There are times, when looking back, that I try to imagine the effects of a slight change or wonder if I recall the time correctly, my mind tries to fill in the blanks.
These thoughts were all triggers by the recent memory of a tree along the roadside that I had hoped to capture as an image. The tree and the scene when I finally did stop to make the image still captivates me. All the required elements aligned and I was able to make a phot that I am very pleased with. Yet, I have returned to it, to see if I can draw out some further elements, to realize it in a slightly different way. In this case, showing the scene as more of a digital painting; making it a bit more moody and dreamlike. I wonder as I do this if some time in the future, will look back at the image and be able to fill in the experience? I also wonder, as others view this image, where their imaginations go and how they see it?
The strange thing about looking at old pictures is that you remember what was outside the frame, sometimes the whole day’s events, even smells.
So very true. The photo seems to expand in our mind.
And yet memory is fallible, and we sometimes get things wrong. The legal world has learned that eyewitness testimony often turns out to be inaccurate.