Recently in THIS PICTURE OF YOU by Sarah Hopkins I read a line about photography that went something like “that’s why I love it, you can actually see that every moment is different”. If we press the shutter continuously looking at a single subject each resulting photograph is different though sometimes in a minuscule way. Looking at a set of images like this helps to remind us to appreciate each moment for its uniqueness. I immediately thought it was a great description, then the more I thought about it I both agreed and disagreed.
Because, when I look at a stranger’s photos I feel a sense of familiarity, an emotional pull. So whilst it may be true that every moment is different, perhaps the range of emotional responses to an image (or anything) is limited and it is this limited range of responses that links us as humans across all dimensions.
So when I look at this image of children I don’t know, taken somewhere in Japan, sometime in the 1930s I feel like a child again running around with my brothers, so a sense of happy nostalgia. I also feel a tug at my heart as it reminds me of my own children and that wonderful (though sadly brief) sense of intense companionship they have.