Moment Captured, Moment Gone

Just a simple photograph. Most family albums contain photographs like this one.  A young lady holding a child, the photograph probably taken around the mid 1930’s by the fashion. She could be anyone.

Click. We often take photographs and then forget about them. In this age of easy digital photography we seem to be taking more and more. I just wonder how many family images will make it to become 75+ years old. Click. Moment captured, moment gone. We don’t appear to realise the value of something until much, much later. Photographs, like a good wine,  get better with age. They even attain new meaning as they get older. Photographs constantly develop long after the camera, computer or chemicals have been put away.

I remember when i was about 16, being shown an old photograph of my Grandpa on his motorbike. He would have been around the same age as me when the photo was taken, sometime during the mid-1930’s. Until that point i realised that i’d always thought of my Grandpa as the old person he was. He had never been young – at least, I’d never really thought of him as ever being young. The motorbike photograph opened my young eyes to the fact he HAD been a youthful, adventurous and care free person once. Once there was just my Grandpa, the open road and his motorbike. Then came the war.

Coming back to the photo above, i have a confession. I do know the lady above, or at least i did. When this post publishes, i’ll be at a funeral service for my Gran (or should i say Nana – the term Grandma made her ‘sound old’ she said :)) who died at the age of 96 this month after a stroke. It was kinda hard to associate the frail old lady i used to see at the care home with the youthful person in the photo, but they are one and the same person – separated by 70+ years or so. Time and photography often conspire together to taunt us.

I won’t end the post on a sad note (even if it is a sad day) but I’ll finish with something that has always made me laugh. Some years ago, when i was a photography student, my Nana was chatting to friends and proudly talking about what her grand children were up to. Finally it got around to me  “Our Richard”, She proudly stated “ Is studying pornography (pronounced by my Nana as porn-e-ography) at art college”. Fortunately  i wasn’t there to die of embarrassment and someone, thank goodness, corrected her on my behalf 🙂 We all know what you mean Nana.

Dedicated to Elsie Davison 1915 – 2011

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2 thoughts on “Moment Captured, Moment Gone

  1. Hi Richard, your wondering about capturing images for memory touches me.
    Hopefully some can say ‘in the end, we still have the photographs and the memories’.
    Especially the strong imprint an image creates in one’s brain, like time is frozen.
    As if time could stop flowing, progressing and people could stop growing and
    changing during time. And go in the end.
    I am sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful story about your nana.
    She sounds like a lively spirit in that story!

  2. Thanks Chris for the lovely comment. Totally agree with what you said . It was very sad, but my Nanna was 96 and had been going downhill health wise for a couple of years – she couldn’t recognise any of her family (due to dementia) for the last six months or more. In many respects we lost her then.

    Glad you like the story about her – she often got words slightly wrong 🙂 I asked her once what my Grandpa did during the war – ‘He worked in Naval Audience’ she replied. I thought about it a while and then realised she’d meant ‘Naval Ordnance’ 🙂

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