Week #16 – Rephotography

Gotta love the Beefeater Gin Man

Perhaps you’ve seen that commercial for, well I don’t remember what it’s for…an insurance company? A car make or model? Something. They have taken a new trend in photography and presented it in a 30 second ad to the masses. It’s called “rephotography”.

There are, if I’m not mistaken, two kinds of rephotography. One involves researching an old photograph, usually of a building, and then taking another photograph of the same subject in the same or similar conditions. The two photographs are presented side by side for comparison.

The second type has become more popular in recent days with the advent of the website dearphotograph.com
and the book produced by the website’s creator. This type of rephotography involves putting an old photograph back into its original surroundings, matching the features in the edge of the print with remaining features in the present-day scene.

I chose the latter for my project this week. It is, I believe, the more challenging of the two. Trying to hold the print still while taking the photo is no easy task. Also, because there wasn’t enough room in the house for me to get both the print and the background in focus at the same time, I did use some Photoshop magic to bring the whole photo together. Of this, I am not ashamed (and I never will be for using PS3 in order to allow the viewer to see what I’ve seen in real life – a rant for another day…).

I will experiment with rephotography again. It’s really fun to see what photos will work, which ones won’t translate, and to see the whole thing come together is rewarding in a way that’s different from other types of photography. Glorifying the printed product is probably part of that appeal. People don’t print as many photos as they used to; this is for several reasons not the least of which is that fewer and fewer people are taking photos worth printing! The point-and-shoot produces massive quantity but little quality. And who wants to pay $0.15 for a print that’s badly out of focus, poorly composed, and recalls a single night of reckless partying? (<– all photos on FB, more or less)

This photograph within the photograph shows my brother, Jimmy, and my sister-in-law, Amanda, on the morning of their wedding. It was a casual, in-the-halls-of-the-courthouse-affair, and this photo shows the mood of the day. It was taken by my grandfather.

3 comments on “Week #16 – Rephotography”

  1. Nice mixing Maggie. It sort of rminds me, even different, of the picture of old oil lattern with the sunset on the beach set in as the flame. Also on not getting as many prints made, with digital, you can shoot unlimtted amount of prints at no cost. So you just shoot and shoot and shoot, checking to make sure you got something, then continue on. In the days of fillm, you can not know right away what you got, if anything. Also, a couple of other things. Unless you were processing the film and ptints your self yuo did not see the results for, say one day or maybe a week or so. Most cameras would only give you 8, 12 or 16 pics depending the format of the camera.

    Keep up the Good Work,

    • Thanks, Grandpa! I have actually been looking into film photography for a variety of reasons. Not sure yet how that endeavor will develop (pun not originally intended, but then it’s a little funny…)

  2. Maggie, I remembered somewhere that you had mention into getting into film work. whe G’ma andi I red your Thank You Note, a bell went off. So I went on the web site and found it. If you do not have a 35mm film camera I have one that you camera I have one you can have if you like. So let me know. If you do answer my “Photo” e-mail address. It is CTDPICS@aol.com.
    Love As Always,

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