A couple of weeks ago I listened to Episode 27 of the Eyeball podcast featuring Noah Kalina. Overall it was a really enojyable 73 minutes and if you’re reading this, you probably like photography and I recomend you listen to it. One thing Noah spoke about was the interestingness of a photograph. I’ll paraphrase here: He said when a photograph is just made, it is super interesting because it is new. Then it drops in intrestingness over the next 6-8 years before starting to become interesting again and in 10, 15 or 20 years it will be super. Time is what makes a lot of things interesting. You just need to be patient and hold on.
I immediately connected with this concept and thought back to several photos I’d made in the past that have taken on new meaning as of late. I’ve always considered myself to be a sucker for nostalgia and that maybe what it really is all about is letting time pass, allowing something that is common or everyday to become less so.
Yesterday evening I was about town doing a bit of scouting for a small photo project I’ve been ruminating on for a while. Shortly before I headed home, I noticed that a house I had photographed in the fall appeared to be either doing a large remodel or was in the process of being torn down. I headed up the hill to get a closer look and quickly found that it was a full teardown in process. I was immediately struck by two feelings. Oddly, one was a twinge of sadness since I found the existing house had a nice bit of charm. The other was how quickly and without notice things change, even things that haven’t measurably changed in years or longer. In this case, it didn’t take 8, 10, or 20 years. The photo I’d made only 118 days prior that I hadn’t thought much of since had suddenly become interesting to me again.
If I had known that the house was slated to be torn down when I made the photo in November, I don’t know that I’d find it as interesting now that the space has changed. I’m willing to be proven wrong on that point of course. I also think this situation is a bit of an exception to the concept Noah shared in the podcast. I really do believe he is right that given several years, lots of photos take on a new life and meaning. Great reminder in this time when photography can be consumed instantly, to slow down and let things marinate a bit.