Rephotography


Rephotography

Rephotography is the act of repeat photography of the same site, with a time lag between the two images; a "then and now" view of a particular area. Some are casual, usually taken from the same view point but without regard to season, lens coverage or framing. Some are very precise and involve a careful study of the original image. The founding work in this style was the Rephotographic Survey project, conceived in 1977 by the project's chief photographer, Mark Klett. This project engaged 120 sites of government survey photographs from the American west first recorded in the 1870's. The resulting book, Second View, The Rephotographic Survey Project, included precise rephotographs of the same locations 100 years later along with an essay by Klett on the methodology and problems encountered with rephotography. Klett revisited these sites a third time for his 2005 book Third View with a new team of photographers including Byron Wolfe, Michael Marshall and Toshi Ueshina.

The accurate rephotographer needs to determine several facts before taking a new image. An important starting point is the choice of the older image. It's usually a good idea to show continuity between the two images by including in the frame a building or other object which is still there in the modern view. Some urban scenes change so much that the original buildings shown have been completely obscured by subsequent skyscrapers, or have been demolished. A "then and now" photograph could be taken but there would be nothing in common to link the two images.

The vantage point from which the original photographer took the view may have disappeared over the years, so the rephotographer has to choose an original view for which the vantage point is still accessible, or arrange to rent equipment to duplicate the original position of the camera.

Since modern cameras have lenses that differ considerably from older lenses, the rephotographer also has to take into account the area that the lens covers, and the depth of field available. Older lenses were softer than their modern equivalents, and usually of a larger aperture, reducing the "wide-angle" feel that modern lenses record.

Through scrutiny of the original image, the rephotographer needs to determine the season and the time of day from observation of the vegetation and the shadows shown in the original view. The best way to do this is to set up a camera at the original viewpoint, at approximately the right season and time, and wait with the original view in hand, until the shadows reach the same positions relative to surrounding objects. If done with extreme accuracy it should be possible to place one image over the other, and see the edges of buildings match exactly. A good example of this type of rephotography can be seen in the McCord Museum of Canadian History's virtual exhibition [http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/keys/virtualexhibits/twolenses/ "Urban Life through Two Lenses."] Another is Douglas Levere's project, "New York Changing", has recently been published. Here Levere rephotograped 114 of Berencie Abbott's, "Changing New York" images.

Rephotography is often used by the scientific world to record the effects of erosion over time, or to measure the extent of sand banks in a river, or other time-related phenomena.

External links

* [http://tyler.hrc.utexas.edu/photo/fullDisplay.cfm?CollID=98 Second View] - Rephotographic Survey Project
* [http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/keys/virtualexhibits/twolenses/ Urban Life through Two Lenses] — Virtual Exhibition
* [http://newyorkchanging.com/ New York Changing] - Douglas Levere Revisits Berenice Abbott's New York
* [http://www.thirdview.org Third View] - A Rephotographic Survey of the American West
* [http://www.atlantatimemachine.com Atlanta Time Machine] - Huge collection from Atlanta
* [http://www.springfieldrewind.com Springfield Rewind] - Rephotographs of Springfield, Illinois
* [http://www.basichip.com/vertigo/main.htm Vertigo Then and Now] - photographs of San Francisco. The source of the earlier photos is scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 thriller Vertigo.
* [http://www.hiddenglasgow.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=681/ Hidden Glasgow] rephotography in Scotland's biggest city
* [http://porttownsendthenandnow.com/ Port Townsend Then and Now] - A collection of Rephotographs from Port Townsend, WA.
* [http://www.intwinpeaks.com/ InTwinPeaks.com] Rephotography of the"Twin Peaks" filming locations, then and now


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rephotography — noun A form of photography in which the same site is photographed at two separate points in time, then and now . See Also: rephotograph, rephotographer …   Wiktionary

  • rephotography — /rifəˈtɒgrəfi/ (say reefuh togruhfee) noun a genre of photography, particularly online, in which a photograph from an earlier period is lined up beside a contemporary photograph in the same location, or one in which the subjects dress in the same …   Australian English dictionary

  • Refotografie — Das Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento Die Refotografie oder Rephotography ist die wiederholte Aufnahme des gleichen Motivs, welches zu einem früheren Zeitpunkt schon aufgenommen wurde. Der Refotograf bezieht sich dabei meistens auf eine alte… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Richard Prince — For an article on the British actor who murdered William Terriss, see Richard Archer Prince. Richard Prince Richard Prince Born August 6, 1949 (1949 08 06) …   Wikipedia

  • Photography — is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light sensitive material such as photographic… …   Wikipedia

  • List of photographers — This is a list of notable photographers who already have articles. Contents: Top · 0–9 · A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Key …   Wikipedia

  • Portal:Photography — Wikipedia portals: Culture Geography Health History Mathematics Natural sciences People Philosophy Religion Society Technology …   Wikipedia

  • Color space — A comparison of the chromaticities enclosed by some color spaces. A color model is an abstract mathematical model describing the way colors can be represented as tuples of numbers, typically as three or four values or color components (e.g. RGB… …   Wikipedia

  • Charge-coupled device — A specially developed CCD used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package. A charge coupled device (CCD) is a device for the movement of electrical charge, usually from within the device to an area where the charge can be manipulated, for… …   Wikipedia

  • Color temperature — The CIE 1931 x,y chromaticity space, also showing the chromaticities of black body light sources of various temperatures (Planckian locus), and lines of constant correlated color temperature. Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.