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News & Insight

Photoshop ‘Time-Travel’: Photography That Shows What Alzheimer’s Is Like

By Kishore Sawh on January 27th 2014

When we’re children, time passes by with all the leisurely sultriness of a Louis Armstrong melody. In the summer days, the sun would meander through soft skies as if it were being nudged by the most tender of breezes, then winter would arrive and seem to stay for a decade. So, what was all this nonsense we were being told as teenagers that we have to focus and get moving, or in a flash ten years would pass? This was madness, as ten years is, as any teenager knows, a century.

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There comes a point soon after, however, when everything alters. Time seems to strap a jet engine to its back, and the days pass as if God has his finger on the fast forward button. Yawn and you’ll miss a month. Thankfully though, most can remember those feelings; the feeling of bliss in youthful ignorance, and the experiences of a life. You’ll likely have taken a lot of photos along the way. The photos help to jog our memory and bring us back to a time and feeling. Those memories make up a life, and give it a sort of chronology and scale.

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But imagine opening up a family photo album and seeing yourself at an event, where you look exceedingly happy, except you can’t remember this ever happening. To your mind you were never there, it’s a hoax, and you can feel alienated from your own past. This is just a peek into life with Alzheimer’s, and this scenario is one, used as a tool by Alzheimer Nederland to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. Using highly developed post processing skills, Alzheimer Nederland took photos of people uploaded by friends to Facebook, and ‘Photoshopped’ them into photos of past events. Those photos were uploaded online and the persons were tagged. When they were notified and clicked on it, they would see themselves in the photo at one of many events, and have no recollection they were ever there. It was a moment that never took place. That confusion is meant to raise awareness largely through empathy. Have a look at the video for just how this was accomplished.


I think this is pure genius. Alzheimer’s is not something that should fall out of our consciousness and yet it’s an illness that’s difficult to fully understand and sympathize with. Sympathy has its place and is necessary, but empathy is harder to come by. This is actually a brilliant idea and a wonderfully positive use of photography and Photoshop. It’s nice to see Photoshop get some good press also. What do you think of this? And what other photography based concepts can you think of to raise awareness for plagues in our society?

Via: Upworthy


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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  2. Hanssie

    Using Photoshop for good. Who would’ve thought we’d see the day? ;)

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