I was using my Stumble Upon to browse photography sites when I came upon some very thought provoking images. The title of the post is The Day Before and the photographs are part of an ad campaign from the Cape Times, a Cape Town newspaper in South Africa. The ads show images that look very simple and plain in nature until you know the context of what they represent. There is a photo of a park full of people enjoying a beautiful day with the twin towers in the background. The date of the photo? September 10, 2001. Following that is an image of an Asian mother and her son dated August 5, 1945, an image of JFK and his children in the Oval Office, November 21, 1963, and a group of African children walking to school dated June 15, 1976. I think most of you know the significance of the images but if you don’t, they are all from the day before a significant moment in history; 9/11, the bombing of Hiroshima, the assassination of JFK, and the Soweto riots. The tag line for the ads reads “The World can change in a day, don’t miss your daily edition of in-depth news”. Now I don’t know about the “in-depth” news part but the first part is so very true. And the really fascinating part of it is that as a photographer, you have the ability to freeze those moments in time, to capture the world in a way that will be forever changed after you press the shutter. It’s hard to know what the significance of an image will and can be. There is no way of knowing how the world will change and how the insignificant can suddenly become so significant. I’m sure the person who took the picture in the park that 10th day of September had no idea how poignant their image would be the next day.
Maybe that is the way we should approach every image that we make, as if it is the last time that anyone will be able to see it as it was because it could be forever changed the next day. Pretty deep, huh? To see all of the images, you can go here.