Posted by: David Vernon | September 3, 2008


Tilting AtI’ve always been fascinated with the idea of photographing a scene again. Not the next day, or the next week, or even the next year. I’m talking about 50 years or 100 years later. Rephotography is not a new concept. The notion is simple. Investigate a series of photos from a place and a time. Put your camera in the exact same spot and take the picture again. Enjoy. Even cooler however is taking the picture with the same camera. That’s kickin’ it old school. Michael Johnson, from The Online Photographer, is running a series on forgotten cameras. People are submitting photos of and by cameras that have been sitting in closets or up on shelves for years. A Brit named Henry Rogers submitted some stuff today and he used a camera he acquired from his grandfather in 1952 to rephotograph a scene on the North Thames river that his grandfather had photographed in 1901. It’s a great comparison and a powerful use of photography.

Back when I lived and worked at the University of Wyoming – a buddy of mine, Mike Amundson, did a Masters project involving the rephotography of Wyoming from the early 20th century. He used a view camera for his project and it turned out great. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a rephotography project here in Peoria. I had lunch last week with the Executive Producer of Peoria’s WTVP’s “Main Street Memories” series. That show, about Peoria’s history, was filled with an old images of Peoria gathered from numerous local sources (particularly The Peoria Historical Society and the Special Collections arm at Bradley’s Cullom-Davis Library). He did recount that it wasn’t easy gathering everything but I think a few inquiries are in order.

But what do you have that can be done again – all these years later?

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