You might remember this picture of mine from a long-ago print sale. Well, a couple of weeks ago a city truck arrived (early in the morning in order to wake me up, but never mind that) and removed the streetlight. That's all they did. Plucked the streetlight out of the ground and took it away. It's gone. There's an orange cone where it used to be. I have no idea if they're going to put it back or if it's gone for good.
Really ought to be the number one consideration for photographers of the real world: here today, gone tomorrow. Alan Watts has a nice segment in one of his lectures where he talks about even the physical world being evanescent and phantasmagoric. He notes that we think of, say, an apple as having solidity and physical presence, but "a hundred years from now, where is the apple?" And in fact, he notes, the entire physical world is that way...constantly coming into and going out of being.
Photograph what you want to while you can—you never know how long anything is going to be there. And value the photographs you have of things once familiar—someday it may be all that is left of that thing.
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Featured Comments from:
Ed Hawco: "Boy, do I have to learn that lesson over and over. Most recently, on a street near where I work they knocked down an old greystone house in preparation for (yet another) condo tower. It left a marvelous 'ghost building' against the adjacent wall, which I grabbed an Instagram snap of. I planned to go back later with my OM-D and get a better quality shot. When I returned two weeks later they had put up a temporary sales office building that covers the ghost house! Grrrr!"
"Less than three years later Mt. St. Helens erupted, completely changing the mountain. I suppose it's true that the mountain is still there, but it's totally different from the mountain I could have climbed back in 1977."
chuck lavis: "Your post reminded me of a pic I took at a neighbor's house four years ago. My daughter was two at the time. Now she is six and the neighbor's house is two McMansions. I was trying your 'Leica for a year' program at the time. Really glad I did."