Anticipating nostalgia

This is a recently started and ongoing project. It occurred to me that often, what attracts us to a place initially is not what we miss about a place when we have left it. As a photographer, I am aware that I am often more excited to take photographs of places I have only just discovered. As a nostalgic person I find that I often don’t have images that actually reflect what interested me most about places that I have come to know well (the first flurry of photography diminishes as the excitement wanes and the place becomes more familiar). Often I can look back and see these ‘nostalgic’ images in my minds eye… it is just that I never though to record them at the time.

This paradox interests me, particularly as I expect to be moving country in the next few years.

Is it possible to forsee the memories of a place that one does not yet feel nostalgic about?

Is it possible to ignore what first strikes excites us about a place and to divine straight away those things that we normally come to cherish only after an extended period of time? What is it about these things that makes them important to us? Is it that they are unique, unexpected, or reveal some hidden truth? If they reveal a hidden truth, then that truth cannot be very well hidden and could we perceive it at the start if we tried hard enough?

In this case I hope that as the collection grows I will be able to spot the images that move me most (and I already rather suspect that it is those without ‘special’ light or features, but will only know if I have succeeded when I finally leave the southern Charente.

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