The seige of Leningrad and other rephotography

Composite by Sergei Larenkov - A photo from the 3-year Seige of Leningrad from 1941-1944 merged with an image of the same location in contemporary St. Petersburg

Matt sent along a link to these interesting composite images of St. Petersburg/Leningrad made by combining photos from the 1941-44 Leningrad Blockade and contemporary photos of the same locations. There’s a lot to see at englishrussia.com, though if I remember right from when I last looked at the site a few years ago, the posts can sometimes be a little NSFW or come from an odd-feeling gawking perspective. Regardless, these pictures are worth a quick look, as are these archival (noncomposite) photos from the Seige.

The pictures brought to mind a few other projects I’ve seen that fall more clearly under the genre of “Rephotography.” While the photos, the rephotographed ones, aren’t always interesting as pictures in and of themselves, the exercise often produces interesting studies in anthropology and urban design.

From Rephotographing Atget -  Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande, 47 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 1898, Eugene Atget / Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande, 47 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 1997, Christopher Rauschenberg

Christopher Rauschenberg‘s project “Rephotographing Atget”, in which 1997-8’s Paris is held next to the Paris between 1888 and 1927. The work was collected in a book, “Paris Changing,” published in 2007. On Rauschenberg’s website, he’s also published a gallery of images he feels are in the spirit of Atget’s imagery. Photographer Gerald M. Panter looks to have done just about the same thing. His rephotographs were made a little earlier than Rauschenberg’s, though they haven’t enjoyed the same recognition.

From New York Changing - Bowling Green, foot of Broadway - L: Berenice Abbot (1936), R: Douglas Lavere (1997)

And Douglas Levere has given the “Changing” treatment to Berenice Abbot’s 1930s pictures of New York City. The book “New York Changing” (Amazon)collects his photographs of scenes throughout the city alongside the earlier pictures. The Morning News published a short interview about the project and pictures in 2005.

Another such body of work is David W. Dunlap’s “Then/Now” series, pairing images he took for an illustrated guidebook in 1978 with rephotographs from 2008. Make sure to drag the slider in the middle of the images. Great (and thankfully judicious) use of flash design that. In a similar vein, Damon Winter photographed a project for the the New York Times called “Neighbors” in which he used double exposures to show the diversity of neighborhoods and areas of New York City; not quite rephotography, but close enough.

3 Responses to “The seige of Leningrad and other rephotography”

  1. Jeremy M. Lange

    Hi Scott,
    Good post and some interesting photos in the mix. I must say that the Damon Winter series was some of the best work I saw last year, in technique, execution and just the idea in general.
    One more rephotographed project is Antonin’s

    http://www.viiphoto.com/showstory.php?nID=343

    Be well
    Jeremy

  2. M. Scott Brauer

    Ahhh…very good. Before clicking the link, I thought it’d be the weird Abu Ghraib rephotography series he did a while back. Don’t really remember this one. And I think Stanmeyer revisited scenes of the 2005 tsunami a year later. I think I smell another post.

  3. Jeremy M. Lange

    Yeah, that one, the Abu Ghraib series, was a little odd, but maybe only because we are so used to seeing his reportage work that the existence of a more conceptual series in the same forum, the VII site, seemed a little misplaced, but the idea and emotion behind it was solid I thought, from reading the overview.
    The Czech series was a surprise for me, but very interesting I thought, glad you gave me a reason to look at it again.
    Post away, I want to see more. You seem to come up with some great out of the way stuff.

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