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Capturing a Moment

Watching the aging process in accelerated time is a reminder of just how fast it all flies by

By Larry Carlat

When my older son was six or so, I hoisted him onto the branch of a tree in our backyard, instructed him not to smile, and then took his picture. I snapped the same photo — we called it “Boy in Tree” — for each of the next 10 years, and the ritual became one of those special things shared by a father and son.


Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with this bright idea. Buenos Aires photographer Irina Werning has been shooting a series entitled "Back to the Future" (it was a very popular meme a few years back) in which she reenacts old childhood photos with their subjects, now all grown up. More recently, someone had the brilliant idea of using her photos in a music video for Feist’s “Bittersweet Melodies,” and I’ve been sending this link to my friends with the subject line: BEST. MUSIC VID. EVER.



I’ll wait.


Wasn’t that freaking awesome?


There’s nothing quite like watching a life flash before your eyes, especially when it’s somebody else’s.



Or someone you love. Filmmaker Frans Hofmeester has been shooting video of his daughter Lotte for the past dozen years. He boiled down more than 600 weeks of footage into this amazing video: Lotte Time Lapse: Birth to 12 years in 2 Min. 45: 



When we’re young, we want to speed time up. When we’re old, we want to slow it all down. And a photo stops time altogether, capturing a moment that we can never get back. Yet it allows us a brief visit to the past, where we are forever boys in the trees.

Larry Carlat served as managing editor for Next Avenue. He is a writer and editor who lives in Venice, Calif. Read More
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