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Recreate a childhood memory in a photograph.

The image that recreates my childhood memory is illustrated in Gallery 1. The image is idealised using Photoshop in several ways in order to resemble my memory.

In my childhood this sculpture was situated a distance away from surrounding buildings within a square. Over the years urban development has required the sculpture to be moved several times so that it now sits closer to retail shops, as shown in the original non-manipulated image in Gallery 2. To isolate the figures so that they resemble those of my memory I selectively blurred the background (and used a wide camera aperture).

Anytime I visited this place as a child with my grandmother I would stand with the dancing children and she would gently clap her hands to the sound and rhythm of the imagined music. Therefore I added motion blur to the fiddle player’s bow arm and to the legs, arm and in one case hair of the dancing children.

The link between the quality of light and human emotions has long been established. I warmed the image and exaggerated the rays of sunlight (Higgins, 2004). Memory is mostly associated with emotion (both good and bad) and my memory is that when I stood with the dancing children with my grandmother it was always in the warm rays of bright sunshine. This was unlikely to have been the case on every visit yet this is how I remember it and therefore the sunshine is shown as ‘more than real’, idealised. This unsubtle exaggeration would also convey to the viewer that this photograph had a purpose other than a straightforward depiction of the sculpture. The image of dancing children evokes childhood, and the rays of sunshine everyone’s childhood memory of a time when the ‘summers were long and always sunny’.

Because of the digital manipulations to the image (above) I do not think the photograph needs a caption or text to accompany it.

Gallery 1

Gallery 2


Huggins, Barry (2004) Creative Photoshop Lighting Techniques Cambridge: ILEX