Powerful Images

I appreciate history.  An understanding of historical events, within our own lives, within the confines of our own country, and across the world helps to shape our daily lives and the decisions we need to make as individuals and as governing bodies.

But on a more personal scale, I enjoy reading a historical novel that has been well researched so that the setting blooms to life in my mind, complete with smells and sounds that waft and echo across the pages.  Without some knowledge of the past, walking the streets of Pompeii is nothing more than a stroll on cobble-stoned paths past piles of rubble; driving the streets of the small towns of Normandy is void of the echoed rumblings of tanks, the footsteps of soldiers and the rat-a-tat of gunfire.

Some knowledge and understanding of history adds richness to what I experience today.

I don’t have an appreciation for sci-fi time travel to our unknown future, but give me a book about traveling in time back to, say, 18th century Scotland like Diana Gabaldon’s series – yes I read all the way to #5 – or Michael Crichton’s, Timeline, which has left me with a desire to re-visit the Dordogne area of France.

I am a visual person.  The passage of time is often conjured in my mind as the pages of a calendar blowing in a breeze as the months and years flutter by – an oft used Hollywood tactic.  As I stood graveside in the small village of Starcross in Devon this metaphor riffled through my mind as I looked down upon the final resting place of my 3x great grandparents.  I envisioned their holographic presence watching us, looking down at them – their peek into the future and the lives of their descendants.

This merging of past and present fascinates me.  So when I stumbled across Kieron Pelling’s site  at Compelling Photography it gave me pause.  He in turn alerted me to the site of Sergey Larenkov

I found Sergey’s technique so forceful at delivering the past that I just had to give it a post.  It may take a moment to load but these photos have an impact to anyone with the history gene.

13 thoughts on “Powerful Images

  1. Thanks to Jim’s reblog of law of attraction from my blog I met you today. I am excited to be stopping by your blog more!

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  2. i am the same way, i don’t care about sci fi and part of me says why should i, i probably won’t be here then, so forget it. lol, but i love history. i didn’t when i was in school, but i love the cultural part of history, and one of my hobbies is the slave period where the slaves were fighting to learn

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    1. I did not enjoy my high school history – ancient histories of Rome and Greece, although once I visited these places I became entralled with the ancientness of it all. I prefer the earthy atmosphere of medieaval Europe. A book I would love to re-read is Green Darkness by Anya Seyton which takes place … I think it was about the 13thC in England … I read it many, many (many) years ago but I’ve never been able to find a copy of it. I can also get caught up in the slave period and the hardships these people endured.

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  3. Lynne, I think of that all the time, everywhere I go. I am passionate about history. When I researched the Norman Conquest for my historical novel, The Keeper of the Crystal Spring, the past was so real and alive to me. By going to the actual setting of the novel, I was able to incorporate geographical features, surviving structures, and the unique folklore and history of Shaftesbury and Enmore Green into the story. When I went to look at Sergey’s website, I found the photographic images stunning and a little bit chilling. They brought to mind those souvenir books of Rome and Pompeii, where they show the existing ruins, and then you can cover it over with a clear page that fills in the missing parts to show how it would have looked in ancient times. His blending of past and present is quite innovative–and ghostly. Great post!

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    1. Thank you Naomi – in my country that is so vast and underpopulated it is possible to think that maybe, just maybe I could tread where no else has, at least for a very long time, which frees the imagination to soar freely as far and wide as it can go. Then I walk up the Spanish Steps in Rome and see the wearing away of the stone by footsteps of the multitudes before me and it sets the imagination in a whole new direction. Sergey’s technique gives a visual reference for the sense of walking in time. His photos just keep me hanging there.

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