Rephotography is the act of repeat photography at the same site, with a time gap between the two images; the so-called "then and now" view of a particular area.

Some of these images are pretty casual in terms of their artistic expression, usually taken from the same viewpoint but without trying to recreate the same "vibe" of the original shot. Others, however, are produced very precisely. Either way, they provide very interesting insights into the passage of time and its effect on the world.

Hands down, the best online archive of such pictures is the subreddit r/OldPhotosInRealLife. Natural wonders, urban settlements, you name it, it has it all. Continue scrolling to check out the most popular recent posts among its members, and be sure to check out our earlier publications on the subreddit here, here, and here when you're done, too.

#1

1980s And Nowadays, Forestation By Hikmet Kaya In Turkey

1980s And Nowadays, Forestation By Hikmet Kaya In Turkey

Mahammad_Mammadli Report

Maggie
Community Member
1 month ago

Fabulous. People like him are the real celebrities.

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#2

Tiergarten, Berlin (1945 & 2021)

Tiergarten, Berlin (1945 & 2021)

hankmeisterr Report

Don Golosso
Community Member
1 month ago

If those statues could talk...

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According to The Difficult Knowledge Project, a University Of British Columbia initiative led by Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe, rephotography developed in the natural sciences to demonstrate environmental change, such as erosion or receding glaciers, and has been applied to fields such as sociology to show social change, usually in the built environment (e.g., towns and cities).

Rephotography can also be applied to, for example, the campus or school setting as a way to discuss organizational change and other aspects of the environment.

To get a better understanding of this interesting genre, we also spoke to its contributor, photographer Nicole L. Lashar.

#3

Haarlemmerdijk Street In Amsterdam, Netherlands (1971 And 2020)

Haarlemmerdijk Street In Amsterdam, Netherlands (1971 And 2020)

Mackelowsky Report

MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
1 month ago

that's improvement

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#4

Boston - Elevated Highway Moved Underground, Replaced With Green Space. (1990s V. 2010s)

Boston - Elevated Highway Moved Underground, Replaced With Green Space. (1990s V. 2010s)

rrsafety Report

Nitka Tsar
Community Member
1 month ago

Definately an improvement!

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#5

1910 Great Flood Of Paris

1910 Great Flood Of Paris

hankmeisterr Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

When Paris suddenly becomes Venice.

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"When I began exploring rephotography, I was passionate about pursuing photography as an art form and I was equally excited about traveling to new cities and exploring the art and architecture," Nicole Lashar told Bored Panda.

"Rephotography allowed me to combine the artistry of photography and travel into one experience. At first, it was not the end result that mattered, but the experience of exploring new places and stepping back in time to try and find the exact perspective of the original photographer. But as I continued, the significance grew."

#6

This Is A Photo My Great Grandfather Took In Youngstown In 1951 And A Photo I Took Yesterday

This Is A Photo My Great Grandfather Took In Youngstown In 1951 And A Photo I Took Yesterday

Sclusive88 Report

DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
1 month ago

Great to see it has remained almost the same.

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#7

Roman Theatre Of Cartagena (Province Of Murcia, Spain) 1991 vs. 2021

Roman Theatre Of Cartagena (Province Of Murcia, Spain) 1991 vs. 2021

dctroll_ Report

Anyone-for-tea?
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, how could something like this ever be built over the top of?

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#8

My House - Lillington, Nc - 1914 And Last Year

My House - Lillington, Nc - 1914 And Last Year

aarontodd82 Report

Tomas Holicka
Community Member
1 month ago

Here you see how slow chimneys grow. Barely 3 feet in a hundred years.

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#9

Kharkiv, Ukraine 2015 And 2022

Kharkiv, Ukraine 2015 And 2022

Twizzyu Report

Lula Lulu
Community Member
1 month ago

This is really sad

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Lashar said her rephotographs explore differences, mostly in architecture from an early, historical photograph to its current appearance, "not by side-by-side comparisons but through transparent, overlapping images transposed onto each other thus resulting in aesthetic artwork."

"The perspective created by combining the photographs allows the viewer to see two time periods simultaneously. The viewer has a new outlook on the space as they see the present colliding with the past," the photographer explained.

#10

Minami-Sanriku (Japan) 2011 vs. 2020

Minami-Sanriku (Japan) 2011 vs. 2020

dctroll_ Report

Don Golosso
Community Member
1 month ago

I guess it was rebuilt after the tsunami? Beautiful result though!

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#11

Poznań Old Square - Ww2 vs. 2021

Poznań Old Square - Ww2 vs. 2021

DataOperator Report

edgar
Community Member
1 month ago

The Old city part of Warsaw was also rebuilt as before thanks to the paintings of the place they could gather.

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#12

1946 vs. 2021 - Poznań, Poland

1946 vs. 2021 - Poznań, Poland

DataOperator Report

GlassHalfWay
Community Member
1 month ago

Great restoration!

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#13

Besikli Cave Tomb In Hatay, Turkey

Besikli Cave Tomb In Hatay, Turkey

hankmeisterr Report

K- THULU
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, that is amazing....

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If all of this process sounds difficult, well, that's probably because it often is much more than simply taking a picture.

"The biggest challenges for rephotographers as they're creating 'then and now' imagery are sourcing the original photograph, finding the exact location as the addresses are rarely known, and then getting the perspective correct when they're photographing," Lashar said.

#14

Positano, Italy A Century Apart (1920/2022)

Positano, Italy A Century Apart (1920/2022)

smartfuse Report

majormaj
Community Member
1 month ago

They added colors.

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#15

A German Aa Battery In Aasenfjord, Norway. A Transparent Screen With A Photo From The War Is Placed So You Can See What It Looked Like When New

A German Aa Battery In Aasenfjord, Norway. A Transparent Screen With A Photo From The War Is Placed So You Can See What It Looked Like When New

Anderssorte Report

Ivo H
Community Member
1 month ago

These AR-like look-trough windows are awesome!

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#16

1916 vs. Now- Verdun Battlefield, France

1916 vs. Now- Verdun Battlefield, France

DiosMioMan63 Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

The "Dead marshes" in Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" were inspired by the battlefields of WW1, more specifically the body-filled craters left after the shellings. Tolkien fought in the war and created the foundations of his Middle Earth mythos precisely during those days.

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#17

Butchery Lane, Canterbury, In 1895, 1920, 1992 And 2022

Butchery Lane, Canterbury, In 1895, 1920, 1992 And 2022

cricklecoux Report

Don Golosso
Community Member
1 month ago

The cathedral was still buffering back in the 1800's

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"My rephotography was based on architecture, making it a bit easier to find the exact location," Lashar started explaining her own approach.

"I would select a location first based on proximity within the city, the age of the building, and the number of historical photographs of the building. Then I would search through image databases to find the best image. It can be hard to find a high-resolution photograph that is available for free and fair use. I was able to use satellite imagery, such as that found on Google Maps Street View to ensure the building was not demolished and that there were other reference points to help rephotograph the site."

#18

1000 Year Old Toghrol Tower In The City Of Rey, Iran. First Photo Taken In 1840’s

1000 Year Old Toghrol Tower In The City Of Rey, Iran. First Photo Taken In 1840’s

JohnBernhisel Report

DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
1 month ago

That is a stunning tower.

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#19

1878 - 2022. Tetons. Not Much Has Really Changed In This Photo. But I Still Think It's Neat

1878 - 2022. Tetons. Not Much Has Really Changed In This Photo. But I Still Think It's Neat

andeo1996 Report

DuchessDegu
Community Member
1 month ago

It's very reassuring nothing changed!

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#20

Redlands Fire Department Group Photo 1958 And 2012 @ Intersection Of 35 Cajon St, Redlands, Ca

Redlands Fire Department Group Photo 1958 And 2012 @ Intersection Of 35 Cajon St, Redlands, Ca

hankmeisterr Report

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
1 month ago

Thank you firefighters! :D

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#21

Gooderham Flatiron Building, Toronto (1895 vs. Today)

Gooderham Flatiron Building, Toronto (1895 vs. Today)

jayatil2 Report

k1ddkanuck
Community Member
1 month ago

I live very nearby. It's honestly crazy to see how this city has grown and evolved over the past 15 years or so, let alone the past 125+. When the first photo was taken, Toronto was essentially a backwater with dirt roads, a railroad station, a whiskey distillery and grain storage complex, and a bunch of pork processing facilities (hence the nickname Hogtown). Today, it's a global capital of technology, culture, finance and tourism (or "Alpha" city if you prefer), and the 4th most populous city in North America after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles, in that order. Blows my mind sometimes to have watched it grow up from the early 90s till today.

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While researching the satellite images, the photographer often notices much larger structures surrounding the building in question, and the perspective of the original photograph would not have been possible with the current state of the surroundings.

"When photographing, I took several different angles and revisited the reference image multiple times to match it up as closely as possible. The original location of the photograph, height perspective, and type of lens or camera all played a role in the possibility of lining the photograph up perfectly. At times the desired results were not physically possible based upon equipment or location proximity."

#22

Manhattan In 1851 And Today

Manhattan In 1851 And Today

ParaMike46 Report

Keerthi Vardhan
Community Member
1 month ago

Maybe for aliens watching from above, the building light look synonymous to some kind of fungal growth.

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#23

Avril Lavigne's First Album Shoot 2022 vs. 2002

Avril Lavigne's First Album Shoot 2022 vs. 2002

Assbait93 Report

Marie Dahme
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow it’s like she didn’t age much.

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#24

Fascism To Kebabs, Durham 1934 V 2020

Fascism To Kebabs, Durham 1934 V 2020

DanLT1 Report

Dan Padgett
Community Member
1 month ago

Awww, poor fascists... Pizza is always the best choice though :)

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#25

Baroli Temples, Baroli, Rajasthan, India. Built 10th Century Ce. Sketch From 1850 And Picture From 2018

Baroli Temples, Baroli, Rajasthan, India. Built 10th Century Ce. Sketch From 1850 And Picture From 2018

1NbSHXj3 Report

Ansi
Community Member
1 month ago

Where is the water? 😲 Is it not supposed to be water? Is it something else?

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A good rephotograph, according to Lashar, allows the viewer to effortlessly hop in time and see the same place in different periods.

"Mark Klett, the master of landscape rephotography, explains in his book After the Ruins that a rephotograph is most successful when the 'viewers are convinced they are seeing the same place. That is less about technical accuracy than visual verification,'" Lashar highlighted.

"However, a great rephotograph elicits emotion or pondering from the viewer by displaying social, typological, or infrastructural change. By viewing the two time periods simultaneously, each viewer, affected by their own perception and prior knowledge, has an emotional response or questions the changes that have occurred."

#26

Ent To NYC And Had A Free Day So I Visited Some Iconic Album Cover Locations

Ent To NYC And Had A Free Day So I Visited Some Iconic Album Cover Locations

bloon18 Report

Marie Dahme
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh Simon and Garfunkel how I love their music!

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#27

Torun, Poland

Torun, Poland

KomisarzLudowy Report

rspanther
Community Member
1 month ago

I always like seeing how old buildings haven't changed over the years.

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#28

Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal. 100 Years Apart

Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal. 100 Years Apart

hankmeisterr Report

Jessie Jess
Community Member
1 month ago

I think it looked cooler 100 years ago!

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#29

Roman Forum (Rome, Italy) Before 1864 vs. Today

Roman Forum (Rome, Italy) Before 1864 vs. Today

dctroll_ Report

Richard Graham
Community Member
1 month ago

You're either Forum or Againstum.

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#30

Loket, Czech Republice 1900 And 2019

Loket, Czech Republice 1900 And 2019

T-Pack Report

Aahzmandus Pervect
Community Member
1 month ago

That new bridge is such a step back.

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Note: this post originally had 105 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

See Also on Bored Panda