40 Before-And-After Pics That Show How Times Have Changed, As Shared On ‘Old Photos In Real Life’ (New Pics)
It is incredible what story two pictures, put side by side, can tell us. And what a difference decades or hundreds of years can make to our landscapes, architecture, and overall history. Therefore, something like rephotography has gained huge interest from people by showing contrasting images, one from the past and one from the recent times of the same place.
We will never run out of sights to rephotograph, therefore, the subreddit OldPhotosInRealLife will always have something new for us to explore. In this post, we have selected photos that illustrate the most visible changes. A place that was just a plain field has more recently been inhabited by fish. Some places that were full of life are now abandoned and overgrown, or vice versa.
Seeing how much, in the relatively short period of time that cameras have existed, things have changed, we can only imagine what the world was actually like thousands of years ago. Luckily, in the future ahead, our grandchildren will have something to look back at, but for now, we invite you to explore the already existing shift. And if you feel hungry for more, see our previous posts on Bored Panda here and here.
In addition to this post, Bored Panda got in touch with an incredible photographer named Mark Hersch who specializes in rephotography and adds his little twist to it. Instead of putting pictures side by side, he combines the images into a single one, which reveals parts of the old world and the new one. Feel free to visit his website and for the interview, read down below.
More info: markhersch.com
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Mark is one of the many people who have an interest in both history and photography. That has led him to rephotography. Mark has shared with us his experiences with this style of images. “Photography and history are two of my lifelong interests. A few years ago, after coming across some really historical photographs of Chicago, I went to those locations to recreate the photographs in the present day. But I wasn't content to look at them side by side, so I started experimenting with ways to combine them into one. As my technique improved, I did many more.”Make sure to take a look at Mark's adaptation of this style. It is truly incredible.
Even though most of his images were taken in the US, you will find some from England too. “Today I have over 500 images across 16 US cities plus London, England.”
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In order to recreate images that match the original, photographers must have a basic knowledge of composition and lighting. But besides that, there are more things to consider. Mark shared with us his process of choosing the perfect location and what he looks into to make the image more interesting.“I look for locations that are easily recognizable by viewers. These would include popular neighborhoods, streets, buildings, and landscapes. I also look for pictures that contain a lot of era-specific reference points (e.g. clothing, vehicles, etc.). When I go out to shoot my contemporary photographs, I take great care to match the angle, perspective, focal length, and even the season and time of day of the original image.”
For most photographers, the afterward editing should not take too long, but Mark takes his time due to his unique method of merging the photos. “Once I'm back in my studio, I merge them in a way that reveals the most compelling portions of each image. I use very detailed and time-consuming editing techniques to make a seamless and believable transition from old to new.”
Minami-Sanriku (Japan) 2011 vs. 2020
Some knowledge of rephotography comes from experience only. So before you go out to make your first shot, we advise you to learn from Mark's experience in the field. “I've had to adapt over time to accomplish what I set out to do. Early on, I just assumed I could find the original location and start shooting. I came to learn that some of those locations either don't exist anymore or the viewpoint of the original photo has changed, making recreation impossible. So now I use a variety of finding aids, including Google Street View, to ensure I can get the shot I need to create the final image," shared the photographer.
All of these images have something to say to us. Everyone picks up the message they seek, though we wanted to know what is hiding behind Mark's rephotography. “My work is intended to convey to the viewer a sense of wonder. To show how things change over time, but also in many ways stay the same.”
My Mom And I Sitting On The Stoop Of The Bronx House That's Been In Our Family For 100 Years, Recreating A Photo Of My Great Aunt And Great-Great Grandmother Taken In The '40s
Before-And-After Photo Of Abandoned Building Renovation
You can re-take the shot without any regard to the specifics mentioned before, such as the season, right angle, and such, but to get the best possible results, science comes into play. “I often say rephotography is both a science and an art. Science typically comes first. This is where all the technical parts of photography come into play: shutter speed, aperture, focal length, and lighting. All of which have to match those of the original image. It can be tricky because the equipment we use today is very different from a hundred years ago. It just takes practice and a fair amount of trial and error. Once I get the science right, the art is in creating an image that pleases the eye,” shared Mark.
And on some occasions, you will have to adapt to the location even more. Mark told us about the most challenging locations in his past and what it takes to capture them. “Occasionally I'll find a source image that wasn't taken from ground level. So I may need to use a ladder, lean out a window in a building, or even pilot a drone to get the shot I need. For one particular image, I had to have my assistant stop traffic on a busy street long enough for me to climb up a step ladder in the middle of the street to get the shot. A few motorists weren't happy, but I got the shot!”