Street Photo of the Week #81

How many of you haven’t wondered, at one point or another, what it would be like to travel back or forward in time? And if so, which direction in time would you prefer to explore? 

The concept of time traveling appeals to us so much precisely because it satisfies a certain curiosity that extends beyond the here and now. We are limited by the present but that’s not to say the past or future don’t manifest in other ways within our daily lives.

Take for example antiques or mementos that people hold on to for years on end. These items from our past we might not even need or use yet we often struggle to get rid of precisely for that reason. We’re emotionally tied to them for their past history. The same goes for the future although it’s not as tangible an approach. We spend a lot of our time and energy planning and preparing for the future that we never truly can predict. That’s why we’re so drawn to innovation and anything that promises a better future for us or our loved ones.

Photography is the best tool at our disposal for capturing time. It might not bring back the exact feelings, smells or other sensory triggers that the real moment does but it brings us pretty darn close. It is a trigger in and of itself.

For this week’s theme “Back to the Future”, we wanted to combine the idea of traveling within one’s own time with what photography as a tool can help add to that storytelling. The theme was a challenge for the community but we received some unexpected approaches to the theme that expanded the concept further.

One of the most striking examples was the following by Jörg:

Photo by Jörg Hastrich

Photo by Jörg Hastrich

In this instance, is this man in the wrong time or are we? How is that we’re able to date him or at least associate a period in our history to the way he looks? What is the appeal in finding such characters like him, beyond the entertainment value?

It’s an interesting shot relying heavily on the details that places the concept of the past (or how the past even saw the future) in the present. If we look closely around us, there’s other similar instances of behind or beyond one’s time and each has it’s peculiar value towards us understanding (and appreciating) our present time.

What’s your take? Share a thought.

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