Local ‘re-photographer’ to showcase Five Points history at libraryWritten by Chase Will | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Morales has spent the past few years compiling old photos from the area and photographing them juxtaposed with the modern location in order to compare the past with the present.
The process, which he calls his Toledo Rephotography series, includes finding the exact location a photograph was taken and taking a picture of the picture at the site, highlighting changes over time.
“A lot of them aren’t Downtown, because those are the better known places, well-documented and well-photographed,” Morales said.
One area he has focused on is the Five Points neighborhood. At 6 p.m. Jan. 28, the West Toledo Library will host Morales for a presentation of his photographs, which explore Five Points history.
Part of Morales’ goal in juxtaposing the past with the present is giving residents in the area a sense of their roots. This stems from a TEDx talk he gave a few years ago in the city.
“The theme that year was reimagining Toledo and that’s exactly what I do with my photography series,” Morales said. “I show people different perspectives of places they’ve probably seen a dozen times, and give more of a historical context to everyday places.”
Just a few of the places Morales has documented are the Toledo Library, Lucas County courthouse, Toledo Art Museum and historic churches such as St. Patrick’s.
The presentation was organized by Sam Melden of Sylvania Avenue Neighbors, an organization focused on the betterment of the community through the arts. Melden heard Morales’ TEDx talk and realized they had a common goal.
“His photography has done a lot to connect the Instagram-type generation to the history of Toledo,” Melden said. “I’m excited to see how conversation emerges after seeing these images.”
Melden also said it’s an exciting time to be a resident of the Five Points area as new artists emerge and find inspiration in the area’s many historical sites.
Morales began as a designer and film graduate who didn’t do much in the way of photography. When he got an iPhone several years ago, he found he could get high quality pictures while out on casual walks without carrying a heavy camera or needing to plan shoots ahead of time.
When he began posting his work on Instagram, Morales received a positive response from the community and explored new and interactive ways to incorporate the city’s history into his interests.
“Toledo gets a bad rap for having a poor economy and all this other stuff,” Morales said. “I wanted to show people that it’s very beautiful, and if you look hard enough you can still see that beauty.”
Morales’ photography can be viewed at www.instagram.com/benmorales.
A Q&A session with Morales will follow the free presentation.