Photoessay: Nostalgia

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I recently met up with some classmates from nearly 20 years ago (boy, does that make me feel prematurely superannuated), which got me digging around in the archive on my return home. Whilst the earliest roots of my interest in photography started at university, I didn’t really do much serious shooting until the year after – there simply wasn’t the funds or time. I am reminded that the underlying purpose of most images is memory; be it of people, events, ideas, or something else; and that memory is often dynamic with time. Emotions tend to skew things towards extremes, and photos can either be a normalising factor or an emotionally enhancing one. In the browsing I did come across images that were both; all were universally of zero photographic merit and a lot of it was honestly dingier than I remember. But looking a little later – a couple of years – yielded a very thin set (this set) that was a bit more in line with what I want to remember. No doubt I’d make something quite different if I was back there again shooting today. When it comes to remembering photographs, the digital archive doesn’t change or fade, so it can only be our memory that’s playing us for a fool. MT

Shot with a mixed bag of stuff from a long time ago.

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Back in the days when real photography was in black and white…

  2. Are these the original processing, or have you re-processed them?

  3. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    No wonder I am so constantly blown over by your intellectual prowess!

  4. Belle histoire, bien racontée en images.

  5. Robert E Moore says:

    Your selection is very much the Oxford I recall … my time was 1975 …. a year reading Theology prior to my subsequent medical education in the states. However I had the pleasure of watching my daughter receive her M Stud and D Phil in Art History from Oxford 35 years later. That entailed twice yearly visits for nine years … which allowed me to rediscover the jewels and the long forgotten blemishes of the town.

    Paddy Summerfield’s book The Oxford Pictures elicits a similar nostalgia to that which your selection evokes … his closer to my era.

    Love the Bridge and Radcliffe pictures.

    Truly a special place … treasures and trash … the latter easily overlooked in the rush of daily events.

  6. I suspect it hadn’t changed that much for hundreds of years, then all of a sudden…my time in 2000 would be pretty different to 2019 (and even when I was there for my brother’s graduation in 2014).

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  1. […] today, I was reminded of a blog post I read earlier in the week, which was written by photographer Ming Thein.  In his post, Mr. Thein spoke about having revisited some of his photography from several years […]

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