Busy City Centres – Now and Then

A few weeks ago I was in Norwich’s City Centre which despite having two covered modern shopping malls still really radiates out from the old market place. It was a sunny, working lunchtime and the market was busy. I took some pictures, but nothing special.

People shopping
Norwich Market 2013

Then The Reluctant Retiree posted about her visit to Warsaw and uploaded this stunning photograph of a pre-war Warsaw.

Warsaw
Credit – Museum of the Warsaw Uprising.

The contrast between these two images prompted some questions. Firstly, does our familiarity with our own everyday surroundings numb us to their intrinsic charm and energy? Or, are we always wearing our rose-tinted spectacles when viewing images of the past? Or is it much more to do with the art of the photograph and the difference between an image constructed by the professional photographer and the happy snaps of the amateur?

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Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

4 thoughts on “Busy City Centres – Now and Then”

  1. I’m usually enthralled with old photographs in color. We’re used to seeing images from the 20’s and 30’s in black and white, and to see these scenes in color is fascinating. The familiar pales in comparison.

  2. Yes, I agree with you about ‘the familiar pales in comparison’. Although there are quite a few surviving 19th and early 20th century hand-tinted photos and a large collection of ‘true colour’ photographs taken by a series of photographers sponsored by the French philanthropist, Albert Kahn. The images starting from 1909 despite being in colour don’t necessarily have the same resonance – for me anyway. Maybe it’s more to do with fulfilling expectations – pre-war cityscapes – you think of black and white as so many of the famous, iconic cityscapes are black and white, so colour is unexpected.

    1. A pleasure. Hope you’ve recovered from the bad hotel experience – I think you’re right, you’ll laugh about it now it’s in the past, but at the time it is really grim especially if your very hot and very tired too. I admire your stamina.
      Agnes

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