Thursday, June 9, 2011

Then and Now....Before and After....Young and not so young.

Back in 1988 I was about to open my first commercial studio on Fairview road at Five Points in Raleigh. I was also one of a number of photographers that spent one day photographing the state of North Carolina for a project called "The Big Click", a take off from Eric Smolan's Day in the Life Book Projects. My choice of assignment was to document the life in Five Points. Lately I've been revisiting those images and have been updating them from the same location. It's fascinating to see what changes have occurred and conversely what hasn't changed. In this image, Chuck has been working on my cars since I moved to Five Points in 1987. Back then he managed the Yates 66 gas station for Mr and Mrs Yates who now live in Charlotte. Today he owns the business called Five Points Service. Not much has changed except Chuck no longer sells gas due to the low margins. His hairline as receded as well. He told me that disc brakes now cost over $200.00.

I've photographed the Rialto Theater a number of times. Here my goal was to reproduce the 1988 version as closely as possible. I wish the car wasn't there, but I will probably revisit the image another day. During the 80's the Rialto was often a music venue. I remember walking my corgi Pippa one day while Arlo Guthrie was taking a smoke break on the sidewalk. I didn't stop to chat, although probably could have.

These photographs are part of an ongoing series that updates photographs that I have done in the past. I believe photography is most valuable as a historical record of the world around us. There are photographs that have no artistic esthetic value at all but over time develop a historical value that is far more important. I often tell people that we don't look at the quality of our yearbook pictures after 20 years...we just want to see what we looked like.