Past Meets Present in Rephotography

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By capturing a moment and preserving it, photography bridges the gap between “then” and “now.” But photoblogger Sergey Larenkov is among a new breed of photographers taking it one step further. Larenkov uses techniques of rephotography — taking new photos from the exact vantage point of older images, then digitally matching them up — to create composite pictures in which the past intrudes upon the present.

Focusing on events from the Second World War, such as the siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Larenkov’s haunting images contrast the grim determination of total warfare with relatively sedate street scenes of the present day. Ghostly tanks prowl a park alongside families with children; frostbitten people wander a street of ruined apartments while newer buildings emerge from the rubble. But it isn’t all dark: scenes of ordinary people going about their business in two different eras create a fascinating — and even charming — sense of unreality.

You can see more of Larenkov’s work on his Livejournal blog. If you’d like to know more about rephotography, Photoxels has a nice summary.

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