So, many years ago when I first moved to central NC, I quickly discovered various hiking trails behind the apartment complex, mostly skirting a local creek (you know, as opposed to an international creek – I suppose the adjective is unnecessary there.) This was before I was serious about photography – no, let me rephrase that: I’d been serious about photography for at least fifteen years before that, but never able to buy any kind of decent equipment so, depending on the year, what I had was either a basic Olympus or Pentax SLR, or most likely my trusty Wittnauer Challenger, an old meterless rangefinder that I no longer have and is next to impossible to find anymore. Despite the limited options provided by this camera, I still managed to take a few images that I liked a lot and hung prints of on my wall, and one of them is the image above – not especially artistic or fascinating, but a nice mood piece, giving the impression of a deep forest glade. Most people would define “deep forest” as being away from traffic noise and Cheeto wrappers, which was hardly the case here, but that’s part of the fun of photography – you can provide impressions wholly different from reality.
Now, in twenty-some years since, I’d moved out of the area, then out of the state, and eventually back in. Coming across the shot again in my negatives folder some time back, I realized that the spot where I took this has likely changed little and is really only a handful of kilometers away. I had it in the blog folder to feature at some point, but thought that it might be better to do a “then and now” thing with it, given that I could visit it again without much difficulty. But I just never got around to it. The general area has changed a bit of course, with new construction and all that, and I tried once to find an access to those trails with no luck, mostly because I’d have to park a car someplace now. Yesterday, however, I set out specifically to do this, and found myself (that’s where I’d been!) back on those trails after something like 23 to 25 years.
More importantly, I was sure I’d found the place where I took the shot; it looked right, and seemed to have details that I remembered from the original. It’s a totally different time of year right now, and it was likely even a different time of day, so I wasn’t expecting a perfect match even allowing for more stream erosion and a few different trees. But after I got back and compared the two frames, I realized I wasn’t right at all – these are two separate locations.
They’re close, so maybe I can be excused, but even allowing for a difference in focal length, that right bank is way too low, which can’t be put down to drastic erosion with trees of that size on it. So, not there yet. But I’m probably returning again today and going a bit further out on the trails, so we’ll see what happens.