chickenshoot (chickenshoot) wrote,

Digitally Destroying a Memory

This is/was my cousin Loyd. He was probably 17 or 18 years old in this picture, died when he was 19. In reality he left us 20-25 years ago, but sometimes it seems like someone just yanked him out of the world a few days ago.

My sister Sandra and my mom and I were digging through boxes of photos at my grandma's house recently, and this picture was rediscovered. Before I altered it, Loyd was standing with a prom date we remember possibly being named "Toy," but none of us ever met the girl. Sandra was thinking she'd like a copy of the picture, as we just don't have many of him in his teen years, but she was wishing the strange girl wasn't there with him. Wouldn't it be a nice picture with just Loyd and his awesome Andy Gibb hair and sharp suit?

I said, hey, I can do that, so I took the picture home and scanned it in tonight. Using Photoshop I erased the girl from the picture and then straightened Loyd's posture a little so that it wouldn't look as though he was still leaning toward someone. Then I moved him to the middle of the picture and patched up the background, covering her shadow a bit. It all worked so well.

After I jacked with the photo for a while, though, I began to feel like I had done something really wrong. I'd altered the memory of this evening for these two people. Or maybe it just feels strange to sort of create a "new" picture of someone who can no longer have a picture taken? Hmmm... Then I began to think that "Lloyd" looks funny spelled with AND without two L's, and could no longer remember which was right.

I finish my project confused and shamed. See you in hell, all you other photo-manipulators!
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