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One of the critical roles that photography has assumed is that of being a record keeper of the past. In a temporal sense, photographs are only made in the present, but as they become objects, printed in either a darkroom, a periodical, or lately from a digital based printed, they are images of a past. They often show a world that has been changed, or no longer exists. Photography then acts to preserve moments in time that we can revisit at any later time and according to our convenience. They are objects that empower us.

Part of our fascination with the photograph - is that it can be a window to the world. It can help connect us to both a private and public world. We look at early pictures of our own youths and those of family and friends and an instant connection is made both in a cognitive and emotional sense. Pictures of public events and public figures act to preserve whatever mythology we have about the past. Whether they are pictures of famous world leaders, movie stars, or made during remote travels to cities or places visited the picture objectifies a world that is more than a denotative one. We take whatever feelings we have from a person or a place and they become a literal extension of our world. A great photograph is more than what it looks like. It can be a vehicle that carries us to a world of desire, memory, nostalgia, fear or any feeling that can motivate our behavior.

In a historic sense, photography preserves and brings into a visual present any number of connections that we have made to the world. Their power and potential is in the energies, thoughts and emotions that they elicit. We are compelled to live in the present, but the present is largely shaped from the past and photography is a compelling visual link to the past.