Now & Then is about embracing the temporal characteristic of photography.

You can take two photographs at almost the exact same time. If your camera is set to multiple exposures, the simple act of holding your finger on the shutter release will activate an electronic equivalent of what was once known in analog camera terminology as a motor drive. You may have experienced this with your phone by mistake. Whatever the reason or the method, the multiple exposure captures an aspect of photography that has fascinated us since the beginning of the first recorded image. Photographs capture an instant. Photographs stop time. For a split second cameras capture something that will never exist again.

Now take the idea of multiple exposures and protract it. Instead of shooting simultaneous photographs of the same object, and trying to capture exact seconds of difference, separate the exposures by days, months or even years. It’s not a new idea and contemporary photographers have been using it in a variety of ways. The New York Times uses it a lot.

In the first two photographs shown above time weaves a narrative for even the most mundane of subject matters. This curb located on an gentrifying industrial street in West Toronto is shown months apart. “Now” is the first photo taken in mid-October, and “Then” was the original photo taken somewhere around the beginning of July. Here the story is simple. A truck seems to have run over the curb rather than around it during a delivery. Maybe this caused some sort of accident or some sort of damage to the truck or it’s cargo contents. Regardless, the result was the decision to paint the curb with a brighter and more liberally applied coat of yellow paint. This “change” covers up the original tire print that might have inspired the re-configuration and perhaps solves what was becoming a problem or a safety issue.

The following photographs were taken years ago. Somewhat out of place and isolated, this tree stands, and stands, and stands. Stoic, watching and alone.


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