July’s Assignment Gallery – Before and After

What could be more interesting than a change in scenery, or the same scene or story witnessed over time? This was the question asked of our viewers/photographers in July’s photo assignment, Before and After. An unusual and eclectic mix of ideas, concepts and images were the result as they rose to the challenge of telling their unique story of time passing. Here’s what some of them had to say about their depictions listed in order of last names alphabetically:

“You said that I could dig in my archives, so I did for series one.  The first image was taken in 2000 on Agfa 25 (black & white film).  The subject is a newspaper photo of that I found on the wall of an old abandoned building.  At the time that I took this image, I had no idea who the person was since I had not documented any information that was in the article.  At the time, this unknown woman haunted my light box and darkroom.  Who was she?  Why had fate placed a nail coming through her neck?  The feedback that I got at the time was that I should have shot this image straight on.  I knew that I would re-shoot this again some day.  For image two, I returned to the abandoned building where I had previously found many intriguing newspaper clippings lining the walls.  It was five years later, 2005.  I had returned to find out more.  Who was this unknown woman who had graced my prints and mind?  Was she still there?  Could I create a better image than my first attempt?  I carefully maneuvered the creaky and disintegrating floors, rounded the corner and began climbing the stairs.  There she was!  Time had decayed the newspaper, she had lost ‘sight’ in one eye.  But, she had a name!  Helen Menken was her name…  I found other newspaper clippings that had 1939 dates.  This is the first image I made during this visit.  For image three in this series, I wanted to express motion to try to bring this woman to life.  I also wanted to reflect the piercing remaining eye.  Ms. Menken was captured on E6, EPY to create a blue and cold color cast.  Radial blur was achieved in camera  I intend to return to this location early fall to see if there is anything left seven years later. – Anne Abernathy

“Hammondsport, NY celebrates it’s ‘Coolest Small Town In America’ status. The carnival rides made for some interesting subjects in the dark.  A fireworks show was an added bonus.
My moments in time will be a bit longer than others due to the exposure times for shooting in the dark.” -Roger Bailey

“The first two pictures I took from the top floor of the parking garage where I work, first in the early morning, before a lot of cars in the outer parking lot, and then at lunch time, with more cars in the outer parking lot. The third picture shows the two girls jumping on the trampoline having fun. This is the before picture – the trampoline was in one piece. The fourth picture was taken after a fierce thunderstorm came through our area, with high-mileage winds. Those winds lifted the trampoline from our neighbor’s yard and deposited it in our backyard, damaged beyond repair, hence, ‘After the Storm.’ ” -Linda Card

“A park near us has been performing controlled burns on their prairie in order to maintain its diversity.  I was amazed how fast the growth came back – these images are only about one week apart!” – Mel Mann

“Time – it is relative.  For a child, it is always now.  I like how these two photos capture the joy of the moment, the anticipation before the slide and then the exhilaration of sliding.”  -Margaret Murphy

“I chose to do self portraiture. I used a tripod and went to the same scene a few weeks apart from one another. By coincidence, I changed my hair color during the elapsed time. I also moved houses and switched from two (old) jobs to two new jobs. I enjoyed this month’s submission as I went through a lot of changes, internally and externally during the time elapsed between the photos. NOTE: the photos 5W is the BEFORE and 2W is the AFTER: blonde before, brunette after.” – Jesse Meyer

“I’m working at the Blue Damsel Fly-fishing lodge, up Rock Creek by Clinton (Montana), for the summer doing some lodge work and managing their photography and online media. I’m actually staying in a tipi and the lack of ambient light makes for great night shots. The first set is of my ‘room’s’ surroundings. Second, went from the awesome lone tree in the field to a construction site for another new hospital. Third, well, I’m sure you are all too familiar with that.” – Ross Perkins

“These photos are from my backyard, as I turned it into a Japanese Garden over the course of eight years. I had always wanted one, and asked a master gardener to show me how to turn my vision into a practical work plan and select the appropriate plants. It began with just dead grass and a design drawn on the ground. The ‘during’ photo is just before putting all the plants in the ground. The final photo shows it today after five years of growth. As the work progressed, the design evolved, sometimes of necessity, sometimes of new inspiration. Gradually, I realized the garden had taken on a spirit of its own, and its symbology had become an outward reflection of my own inner spirituality. Over the years, we have grown to become part of each other. It has been rewarding in more ways than I would have imagined.” – Bob Scott

“These images are important subjects in my life. The dog’s name is Timber. She just turned 13 and she couldn’t walk anymore. We felt we could not bear to see her in pain, and we had to put her down. But I feel that these pictures do express a passing of time, and that time reminds us as people that we are not here forever.  Also, the story of a Christmas tree…and a little girl that I have photographed since she was 6 months.” -Kathy Wright

Kudos to the brave souls who submitted images for the very first time. It’s usually a huge first step for anyone to show the world their particular vision of it. Next month, we’re asking you to do a double-take. Take a look around, below and behind you with August’s assignment.




6 thoughts on “July’s Assignment Gallery – Before and After

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Barry Grivett

First, I’m surprised more folks didn’t do food making or consuming. That said, I’m delighted by what folks did do.

And, I applaud Anne’s use of di-/triptych formats–making her stories easier to appreciate.

Finally, thanks to all for sharing your vision & contributing valuable inspiration.

Roger Bailey

I agree with Barry on Anne’s choice of format. Also, an arrow button for the next/previous image would also help. Rather than closing and opening images. I’m not sure of the difficulties in setting something like that up.

Nice work by all who submitted! Love Amy McRae’s 2nd. image.

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Bob McGowan

Hi Roger! The arrows for scrolling from image to image, either for next or previous, should appear if you hover your cursor at the midpoint on either edge of an image. It should not be necessary to open and close them individually.

Thanks to all who participated! As usual, the imagery is varied, unique and surprising in terms of how the assignment was interpreted. Perfect!


Anne Abernathy

Thanks for the nice comments! When I was trying to arrange the stories they did not make sense to me until I put them into one image.
Roger – When viewing these images on my computer I can just tap the left or right arrow on my keyboard to navigate. On a mobile device if I click the image a little arrow will show up, so give these options a try. It looks like both you and I got to spend some time at a carnival for this assignment!
Ross – It sounds like you are living one of my dreams! Years ago I lived out a Rock Creek at Ekstroms when you used to be able to camp there. The three months that I camped there has left an overwhelming love of Rock Creek and all that it offers to the photographer, fly-fisher and outdoor enthusiast in me! I would love to hear more about how you acquired this job!!

Roger Bailey

Thank you Bob & Anne,
I found the arrow on the images and the key board arrows work also.

One of these days I will learn what some of those buttons on my camera are for as well! lol.


Great Job Everyone.

I have been away for the month on a job and was stretched a little thin to be able to work on this but was really great to see what everyone has done. Some great ideas. Loving the next topic. Getting excited to get out and shoot.

Cheers Chippy

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