Preserving Memory

This image is the cistern which resides in the garden of Pennsbury Manor, one of my favorite living history museums.

The Cistern at Pennsbury Manor

I love the way the brick walk raises up to meet the well-layed bricks of the cistern itself. It’s organized, but not “perfect.” Sometimes it’s the flaws which make things, and people, interesting.

My wife and I would like to take a photo of this cistern in each season of the year, rotating the images as the seasons pass. To me, it’s a reminder time really does move on. The world changes – and we have to embrace that truth.

People frequently ask me why I keep heading back to the same places over and over and over again, and take pictures of the same scenes over and over and over again. I don’t see it that way. I’ve never gone back to the same place, because the “imperfections” of life keep changing the places to which I travel. I could take photos of the same subject year after year and find that subtle changes in light, or the paint, or a different flower being in frame completely alters the resultant photograph. I could even head back to Pennsbury this Summer and never capture this image ever again. I could have headed back an hour after taking it and not duplicated it.

One of the most remarkable things about photography, and also video, is that it captures a moment in time and preserves it into the future. Photography is very much like a cistern. We fill it with visions of places which have not existed from the moment we capture an image, and from it we are able to draw the wonders of memory.


  1. Peg Horton says:

    It is good to build memories. There will come a time when memories are your only contact with your past.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Jamison says:

    It would be cool to see all four pictures when it’s done.

    1. wezlo says:


Comments are closed.