Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rephotography in the Black Hills

Recently, we were introduced to rephotography. 

Re-what? Re-photography!

It's a movement that asks people to seek out locations and landscapes that are documented in historic photographs and attempt to photograph them again trying to get the angle and distance accurately. It sounds easier than it actually is.

In the Black Hills there are lots of photos of historic mines and early settlements. It's really quite amazing since the history here is so young. I was able to locate some photographs of a homestead that is located along the old highway between Whitewood and Deadwood.

It's been renovated but not remodeled and today, it sits empty with the exception of the cattle who graze the fields.

The first step in the process is to print off the historic pictures- these serve as a reference.

Then I walked around and compared the building that stood before me and the image I was holding. I tried to find the location that the photographer was standing at when he snapped the first photographs. This is much harder than you'd think. And frustrating, too.

I had three photographs to recapture and I repeated the above steps with the next two. The whole process took me about an hour.  

At home, I uploaded the photos and started to look at my work. It hadn't gone as well as I'd hope, mostly because it was far more difficult then I had anticipated.
The next day, I drove into Lead to try it again at the Ft. Pierre Black Hills Roundhouse. They aren't so bad for a first attempt!

Once the new place has been photographed then it can be contributed to an online archive which specializes in rephotography. If you would like more information about Rephotography please follow these links: Third View, and Where in the Hills? These photos were submitted to Where in the Hills.

This was a fun first attempt. While searching the archives I came across a number pictures of places I am familiar with. Now that I've learned a few things I think the results will be better and it will become another hobby of ours. 

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