I’m always intrigued by those photographers who shoot self portraits, particularly when they bring something new to the mix. Chino Otsuka used her camera and some skillful Photoshop work to not only carry out a self portrait series, but to transport herself back in time, into photographs featuring her younger self - sometimes from almost three decades in to her past. The results are both thought provoking and mesmerizing.
I often feel the strongest personal photography projects I’ve seen are by those who just have a simple vision or evocative idea, and just execute it really well. This is the foundation behind Chino’s “Imagine Finding Me” project. She explains her thinking:
"The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I'm embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history."
It’s a wonderfully simple concept, yet really thought provoking. Chino obviously spent a good deal of time and effort working her “modern” self into the old images, matching color tone, grain, depth of field, shading, light cast and shadow to replicate the look and feel of the previous images.
Her modern self has an interesting relationship with her younger self in these images too. Sometimes she is just present in the photograph, other times they are interacting in some way, or her older self is mimicking what her younger self was up to at the time of the photo.
More than anything, as I look over these shots, I imagine what it would be like to really go back in time and meet my younger self – what would I say, how weird would it be and what would I advise my younger self with all the decades of hindsight I've had?
Like all memorable projects, it’s thought provoking stuff.
For all the naysaying you can hear about how digital has had a detrimental impact on photography, whenever I see projects where digital makes concepts like these accessible to anyone, I can’t help but be inspired by the open ended possibilities of where photography is going, where it can go, and what we are capable of doing with it.
If you had a chance to go back in time and meet your younger self, what would you say? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Credits / Via [Chino Otsuka]