Photographic Memory

When we remember people and places we usually do so visually.   Whatever we hear in our minds is often accompanied by a picture, so vivid it is like a mental photograph.  We trust this memory as being an accurate reflection of reality.  This however is quite often not the case.  Numerous scientific studies have shown that the memory is flawed and that is it as much to do with the person remembering as it is what actually happened (we will all interpret a situation differently).

When we reflect on the past we sometimes do so with a sense of nostalgia.  A feeling of the “good old days”.  Our use of this term to describe our experience of remembering fondly is a peculiar one.  The term “nostalgia” was created by a Swiss physician in the late seventeenth century as a diagnosis for symptoms in mercenary soldiers.  It literally means “home sickness”.  It suggests that there is something wrong, that we are longing to feel at home and that we currently do not.

A photograph is similarly trusted.  It is seen as a mirror for our experience.  Even in this age of easy image manipulation we still trust what our eyes see if it looks like the world we recognise.

Photographic Memory is a project that uses recent images taken of current locations, but without twenty first century denominators (no mobile phones, modern cars etc) in shot.  They are then worked through Lightroom and Photoshop to resemble aged photographs from various eras.

If these images make us nostalgic then we are lucky.  They are modern, they are the here and now and we have no reason to feel home sick for a bygone age.

This is an ongoing project.



80s style fairground image