Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ghosts of the Past

Time tunnel

One of the tricks I'm planning to use in the book I'm working on (celebrating 150 years of the Otago Chamber of Commerce) is to combine historic pictures with contemporary shots taken from the same viewpoint. It's an idea I got from Sergey Larenkov's amazing WWII photomontages.

Photoshopping the montages isn't so hard. The most difficult bit is trying to get in the exact position and matching the focal length of the original photograph. Having a copy in front of you is essential but often its impossible to match the positions, especially in photos taken a long time ago as some places have been built on. It's also a challenge trying to match the lighting and weather conditions but its a very satisfying thing to do when you nail it. I'm tempted to make another book project of this one day. The thing I've picked up from Larenkov is that drama in the photos makes a huge impact, not just the change from then to now. People also help bring the shots alive, especially when they stare out of frame.

The Exchange

You can tell by the frames on these that I've made them my shots of the week for my mail list followers and the feedback has been very good. If I do try to make a commercial project of this, I might collaborate with a talented designer I know to really make the technique sing.

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