In What Is Left Behind, photographer Norm Diamond takes a look at what most collectors see at estate sales: the cycle of life. And then he photographs the objects. Among the artfully preserved poignant moments, a bride’s wedding dress and photo (as well as her wedding night lingerie), and a burial receipt for a young mother and her baby who had died in an automobile accident…
Diamond is now retired, but he previously worked with very ill people as an interventional radiologist. In an interview at Slate, Diamond admits his career likely affected him and this series:
I didn’t realize it until I had retired, but I think when you deal with people who are sick and dying all the time, your outlook on life is different than people who aren’t subjected to that. You don’t tend to be a glass-is-half-full person; you see some of the poignancy of life and some of the sad, tragic things that occur and that maybe part of where I’m coming from.
Diamond photographs some of the objects there at the estate sales; others he purchases and takes home to photograph. Either way, it’s a very moving series which reminds me yet again of that perfect line in Genesis’s Home By The Sea:
Images of sorrow, pictures of delight
things that go to make up a life
You can purchase copies of Diamond’s photographs here.