These memories of my darling dad will never fade. As the memories in my head begin to become fuzzy (albeit they will never fade into nothingness) these memories will remain sharp - and the colors can even be enhanced to make them more superb than they were on the day they they were created.
The thing is - these memories I speak of are not even my own, yet they mean so much to me. I wasn't even born when these memories were captured, yet I am able to see into a past to which I was never a part- the past of people who meant so much to me. These people will always be with me, and their memories will never fade - they have already become brighter and more vivid - a gift from advancing technology. I thank heaven that my mother was interested in photography, and that she was blessed with a talent for it. She's pictured here holding me, alongside my grandparents whom I adored. This memory is still clear and alive, although I have no real recollection of it - I had not even reached my first birthday at the time, so how would I? Yet I am able to have and keep this memory. Vivid as the day itself.
When you love someone you love the whole of them - not just the part of their life you were gifted with sharing. You want to see who they were, where they came from. You want to see them in their prime. You want them with you when they can't be there - there is comfort in that. Love is a primal emotion and we crave for something tangible to see, to look at, to touch, to connect with. We are so lucky today to be able to connect in a tangible way with past events, sharpening our own memories and joys, and even surpassing them to a time before we even had memories and joys.
Photography is a powerful medium, and I've recently been reminded and humbled by that in a massive way. For years many old family slides sat in the loft, untouched and gathering dust. I recently uncovered them and with the help of a dear friend they were scanned into the 21st century with file names like .dng and .jpg - formats which will be equally alien to our children as creating a slide is to us. The timing could not have been better, I'd just lost my darling father, and was able to see him as I'd never seen him before. He became alive again and I was able to know parts of his life which I'd never glimpsed into before. I was moved more than I've ever been moved before, simply because of the power the light box gave to us. To use an old cliche - a miracle of science.
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Never again will my camera be a mere piece of technology - a tool of a trade. It is a living miracle of love. It gives people eyes into where they had none. It provides windows into the past for you, and enables you to create fresh windows for others as well as yourself. A lesson I have learned is that memories can not be re-captured - but once they are captured they can remain forever.
I could never possibly have seen my father graduate from St. Edmund Hall in Oxford, as I wasn't even born to have been proud of him in that moment. Years later on seeing these photographs for the first time I am able to be filled with pride and joy for a man I loved so much.
I thank my mother for taking the photographs that made this possible, and that gave me a gift which previous generations were never able to enjoy. The camera is such a precious box of magic, and it's power is wondrous.
For my darling dad. 1935-forever. Much love.