Stories told by a photo

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I used to sit in a shop quite close to where I live and gaze at a photo of our local railway station that was taken over a hundred years ago. Intriguingly, the precinct area looked more vibrant than what it feels like nowadays. At that point in history, the UK was probably one of the world’s super powers and London was obviously at its heart. Thinking about that photo makes me wonder how these current times will be remembered or perceived in the future.

Photography was probably a lot more expensive in those days. I take photos everyday in a range of locations, so there is so much more information about the present moment to sift through. This doesn’t mean that everyone will come to the same conclusions about what we are living through.

Who knows what will emerge out of the Brexit debate, for example? What impact will this issue have on the future of the political parties that we have grown accustomed to? Is it likely that those who want to turn back the clocks in cultural terms will be disappointed with the eventual outcome? Is it possible that the horse has already bolted from the stable?

Such information is not documented primarily by photos. Newspapers, websites, podcasts, television and radio programmes are able to examine issues of this sort in much more detail than still images.  So what will our photos tell us about now?

What would be the difference between the documentation of inner city life, compared to what it is like in the suburbs and rural areas? What do we share in common in all these locations? Is it mainly the products we use to make our lives convenient?