Saturday, 21 July 2012

The nostalgia effect

A trip to is always rewarding and usually ends in a lost hour or so. Today I stumbled into some photographs from Kentucky that I liked and clicked through to find out more. It all got me thinking about something that puzzles me. When it comes to looking at old photographs, particularly those from an earlier time in our lives, do we like looking at them for solely for nostalgic reasons, reasons of remembrance and social history? Or do we like them for themselves as pictures? Can the two be separated?

This, of course also applies to our own photographs. Can we judge them in any way that is more objective than subjective? Garry Winogrand said he left his films undeveloped for a year in order that he could distance himself from them. It is difficult to judge photographs shortly after taking them. But if they are left unlooked at for too long the nostalgia effect can kick in.

Looking at the pictures below for the first time in almost thirty years I'm not sure if I think they work because they do, or just because they remind me of the time in my life during which I took them.

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