The re-photograph is a remarkable tribute to the passage of time and offers us a poignant insight into the development of places and their stories over the years. It’s a tribute to the enduring appeal of nostalgia and history, captured through the lens of contemporary photography juxtaposed with images from the past. The dedication and effort behind re-photographing, especially when it comes to places from a bygone era, is truly commendable.
The r/OldPhotosInRealLife subreddit serves as an incredible testament to this dedication. Thanks to the efforts of its users, we witness the transformation of landscapes, cities, and historical monuments, allowing us to appreciate the complexities of change and continuity.
These comparisons reflect a powerful story of growth, resilience, and adaptation. Consider, for example, the profound shift of the Arctic over more than a century, reflecting environmental changes and underscoring nature’s fragile balance. Or consider the charm of York’s Shambles, immortalized as Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series, a reminder of the enduring nature of historic sites amid modernization.
From the development of bustling metropolises such as Los Angeles and San Francisco to poignant reminders of historical events such as the trenches of World War I and the aftermath of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, rephotography embraces not only the physical changes but also the emotional resonance of these events. location.
It’s fascinating to see architectural styles, technological advances, and societal shifts juxtaposed through these visual time capsules. They offer a glimpse into the past while also showing the adaptability and progress of our world.
Check out some amazing examples of rephotography in action in the gallery below.
1. The Arctic: Comparison between now and 103 years ago
A century has passed, and what the Arctic looked like one hundred and thirty-three years ago is very different from what it is today. Comparative analysis reveals the profound impact of time on this pristine area. When old photos and current photos are compared, they tell a moving story of how the Arctic environment is changing. Retreating ice, changing terrain, and changing ecosystems are vividly depicted.
2. Diagon Alley in Harry Potter was inspired by York, UK’s The Shambles. Comparison of the present time with the end of the 19th century
A charming cobbled street called The Shambles in York, UK was the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books. A comparison between the late 19th century and the present demonstrates the timeless appeal of this historic site.
The comparison evokes the spirit of a bygone era and shows how well-preserved its wooden buildings, narrow streets, and small shops are. Although upgrades and signage have gradually changed over time, the charm and essence of this magical place remain, creating a captivating connection between the past and the present.
3. The formative years of Los Angeles compared to 2001
A remarkable development can be observed when comparing the early years of Los Angeles with the cityscape in 2001. The journey of this prosperous city from its early years to the beginning of the 21st century is a prime example of urban development and exponential growth.
The contrast highlights the increasing influence of technology, cultural diversity, and changes in the architectural landscape. Los Angeles, with its story of blending history and modernity, is a monument to the dynamics of progress and adaptation that grew from its humble beginnings as a pueblo to a huge cosmopolitan center.
4. San Francisco, California, 1920–2020
A photo comparison of San Francisco, California, shifted one century between 1920 and 2020, reveals a fascinating development. The difference shows how drastically the city has changed over time. From the bustling streets, historic landmarks, and historic architecture of the past to the modern skyline, technological innovations, and modern urban lifestyles of today, the parallel images show the city’s evolution over time, highlighting how history and progress coexist in the dynamism of San Francisco. country.
5. The evolution of this Georgian city
The development of this Georgian city reveals a rich tapestry of progress and transformation. This city has grown from humble beginnings to become a bustling hub that successfully blends historical significance with contemporary innovation. Thanks to economic growth, well-executed urban planning, and a strong sense of cultural identity, it has developed into a dynamic metropolis.
Once dominated by modest buildings, the city’s skyline is now home to modern architectural marvels that illustrate the city’s transformation from a sleepy village to a thriving hub of community, commerce, and culture. This development represents the city’s tenacity and flexibility in embracing change while respecting its history.
6. Durham in 1934 vs 2020: From Fascism to Kebab
The fascinating story of Durham then and now is captured in the transition from the fascist shadow to the vibrant variety of kebabs. The change demonstrates a remarkable transformation of the social, cultural, and gastronomic spheres.
Durham may have been overshadowed by political unrest and the rise of oppressive ideologies in 1934, but in 2020 the city’s cultural life is manifested in culinary fusion and celebrations of diverse tastes, signaling a shift towards inclusivity and openness. The contrast highlights the significant changes and Durham’s celebration of multiculturalism, a powerful testament to society’s adaptability and resilience.
7. Singapore in the past and present
The city-state has seen a remarkable transformation from its beginnings as a trading post to its current status as a global financial center and technological marvel. Singapore was formerly a prosperous port city with colonial influences. Today it is an ultra-modern metropolis with recognizable skyscrapers, creative urban planning, and a diverse population.
Singapore’s remarkable evolution over time is illustrated by juxtaposing its historical roots with its current skyline, which exemplifies the nation’s journey to economic prosperity, technological advancement, and a melting pot of traditions.
8. Cycling through Kreuzberg, Berlin (circa 1985 / 2018)
These images of Berlin’s Kreuzberg from around 1985 and 2018 show an interesting change in the urban and cultural landscape of the area. When the neighborhood first opened in the 1980s, it was a thriving community recognized for its counterculture and diverse population that served as a hub for alternative lifestyles and artistic expression.
In 2018, Kreuzberg has not lost its charm as a fascinating mosaic of creativity and history that combines modernity with bohemian origins. The character of the neighborhood has also changed, embracing its past and adapting to modern influences.
9. Chichen Itza, 1892–present
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichén Itzá is a fascinating representation of the architectural and cultural prowess of the ancient Maya. The historical majesty of the place and the effects of time and preservation can be strikingly observed through the contrasting depictions of then and now.
The contrast between the end of the 19th century and modern times shows the architectural preservation of the site, as well as the modifications, additions, and repairs that have ensured its cultural significance over the ages.
10. The trenches of the First World War, then and now
The story of the First World War trenches offers a poignant contrast between their terrifying pre-war existence and their transformation today. The contrast between their present state and their former status as entrenched battlefields, fraught with unfathomable difficulties, provides a grim but powerful testimony to the passage of time.
Formerly great agony, calculated military maneuvers and selflessness have turned into poignant symbols, often preserved as historical landmarks or memorials. Before and After provides a glimpse into the lasting effects of a significant period in human history by contrasting a difficult past with a solemn, remembered present.
11. Bishan Park: Metamorphosis in three decades. Top photo: 1988. Bottom photo: 2020
Striking photographs from 1988 and 2020 show the 30-year transformation of Bishan Park, a remarkable metamorphosis between then and now. The top image taken in 1988 shows a landscape from a bygone era, perhaps one that was more rustic and natural.
Looking at the 2020 image below, we can see how the park has changed over time. It now has more modern features, better landscaping, and possibly an urbanized setting. By juxtaposing these images, a remarkable visual story of urban development, environmental change, and the park’s response to changing community needs and preferences over three decades can be found.
12. Comparison between 1982 and 2020 in Utrecht, Netherlands. Converting the overpass to a canal
The transformation of Utrecht in the Netherlands between 1982 and 2020 is a prime example of extraordinary urban metamorphosis. A major change came when the city cleverly transformed a busy highway into a calm and accessible canal.
This significant modification offers a dramatic transition from vehicle dominance to a more pedestrian and environmental landscape, signifying a shift toward sustainable urban planning. The contrast between the two eras highlights the city’s ingenuity in infrastructure, as well as its commitment to flexibility and the preservation of the city’s historic charm within a cutting-edge, contemporary urban framework.
13. Pictures of Moscow taken twenty years ago
A comparison of the then and present development of Moscow reveals a city undergoing significant changes. The comparative photographs demonstrate the significant transformations that took place during this period and highlight the dynamic change in the city’s overall landscape, architecture, and urban development.
These juxtaposed images depict Moscow’s amazing journey through time, from the development of skylines to the modernization of infrastructure, showing how tradition and rapid progress coexist in a vibrant, ever-changing metropolis.
14. Banyan Tree Maui: From World War II to the Present
“A sentimental connection across generations is a banyan tree on Maui. The photo in the upper left corner was taken by my grandfather when he was stationed during World War II and has historical significance. Coincidentally, the bottom photo—which I took without knowing the image of my grandfather—brings the past and the present together beautifully in our family. This fortuitous coincidence not only reflects the timeless grandeur of the Banyan Tree but also provides a poignant connection between the past and the present, creating an unexpected yet heartfelt story that endures beyond time.”
15. New York’s Flatiron Building: 1917 versus 2012
A comparison of the Flatiron Building in New York between 1917 and 2012 tells a compelling story of the passage of time and provides an interesting insight into the evolution and continuity of architecture. The images capture the timeless beauty of this famous building that has stood the test of time and continues to mark the city’s evolution.
The facade of the Flatiron serves as a reminder of the city’s past and at the same time presents an alluring combination of these two eras. This highlights the durability and beauty of an architectural gem in the midst of New York’s ever-changing urban landscape.
16. Gate of St. Bartholomew the Great: Restored to its present form and revealed its Tudor facade in 1916 as a result of a WW1 Zeppelin raid.
The Gatehouse of St. Bartholomew the Great, an architectural gem from 1595, underwent an interesting transformation due to the influence of historical events. Its hidden half-timbered Tudor facade was revealed in 1916 after bricks were displaced by the Zeppelin bombing during WW1.
Following this breathtaking discovery, the gatehouse underwent renovations that preserved its Tudor charm and modernized it, creating a dramatic contrast between its wartime discovery and the painstakingly restored beauty on display today.
17. Atomic bomb, 75 years ago
Standing as a grim reminder of history, the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima stands 75 years after the catastrophic event. Once a thriving center of commerce and culture, this moving building now stands as a moving representation of peace and memory.
The skeletal remains of the dome, which escaped atomic bombing in 1945, remain a sobering reminder of the catastrophic effects of nuclear war. It serves as a symbol of hope as well as a memorial. We protest for world peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons, honoring history while promoting harmony in the future.
18. Singapore: 2000–Present Comparison
When Singapore’s current landscape is juxtaposed with that of the year 2000, an amazing transformation can be seen. What was once a thriving metropolis at the forefront of innovation has transformed into a bustling city that blends modernity and tradition.
Modern architectural marvels reshaped the skyline, reflecting the explosive urbanization and economic growth of the city-state. Singapore today has a strong infrastructure, a diverse range of cultures, and a thriving economy. representing its transformation from a historical city to a shining example of the future.
19. Norwegian Rysstad: 1888–2013
Rysstad, Norway, was compared in 1888 and 2013; it illustrates an interesting historical path. Changes in the way of life, architecture, and landscape of the community serve as a visual guide for the development. This analogy provides insight into the transformations that shaped the community. demonstrating the development, modernization, and adaptation that occurred in this Norwegian context over time.
20. From 1887 to 2014, Seljestadjuvet, Odda, Norway
A comparison of Seljestadjuvet in Odda, Norway between 1887 and 2014 reveals an amazingly consistent and preserved scene. Remarkably little seems to have changed in that time. depicting a landscape that does not appear to have been significantly altered by environmental change or human intervention.
The enduring quality of the site, with its reliable features and potentially unchanged surroundings, is a testament to the natural resilience of the region and the efforts made to maintain its appeal over time.
21. Paris, France’s Quai Des Nations: 1900–2017
From 1900 to 2017, the Quai Des Nations in Paris, France has seen substantial changes over a period of more than a century. This chronological sequence illustrates the transformation of the urban environment and the development of this famous riverside site.
A comparison of these periods shows changes in architectural styles, as well as potential changes in infrastructure and urban development. perhaps illustrating the development of the city and its adaptation to the times. The rich history and modernization of this Parisian waterfront can be seen through the contrast in style.
22. Ratajczak and Św. Marcin Street Intersection, Poznań, Poland: 1945–2017
Crossroads of Ratajczak and Św. Marcin Street in Poznań, Poland, underwent an interesting historical transformation between 1945 and 2017. This photographic journey documents the transformation of the cityscape, possibly highlighting urban development, post-war reconstruction, and the changing architectural scene.
The comparison provides a fascinating insight into the changes that have taken place over these decades. illustrating how the city recovered from the effects of war to become a thriving modern metropolis, it tells the story of resilience, development, and adaptation in the center of Poznań.
23. Ukrainian Pripyat, 1986–2016
A terrifying visual comparison of Pripyat, Ukraine in 1986 and 2016 tells the story of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and its devastation. The images show the devastating aftermath, overgrown surroundings, abandoned buildings, and the disturbing emptiness left behind by the tragedy.
The glaring disparity between these times shows how the tragic incident continues to have an impact. identifying Pripyat as a silent observer of a significant historical event. it acts as a reminder of what would happen to a once-prosperous city in the event of a nuclear disaster.
24. America’s Chaney Glacier, 1911–2005
A graphical comparison of data from 1911 to 2005 for Chaney Glacier in the United States tells a remarkable story of environmental change. The glacier’s dramatic retreat during this time is captured in these photographs, which highlight the effects of climate change on the environment.
The sharp decline in size provides a striking example of the far-reaching effects of global warming. highlighting how vulnerable glaciers are to these temperature changes. This analogy highlights the rapid decline of the glacier, which hints at a wider environmental problem and highlights the urgency of addressing and mitigating the effects of climate change on the fragile ecosystems that cover our planet.
25. Paris, France’s Moulin Rouge: 1900–2016
The Moulin Rouge in Paris, France has undergone a transformation that was photographed between 1900 and 2016 and shows how time has changed in the center of Montmartre. These images demonstrate how the famous cabaret establishment has changed over time, taking into account shifts in both its immediate surroundings and perhaps the urban landscape.
This analogy provides a glimpse into the famous establishment’s rich cultural past and its enduring appeal over time. capturing the city’s history and highlighting the ongoing evolution of this dynamic Parisian icon.
26. Steam Locomotive and Horse Carriage, Mont Saint-Michel, France: 1908-2016
A striking comparison of photos taken between 1908 and 2016 at Mont Saint-Michel in France offers a fascinating look at how transport has changed over time. The existence of a steam locomotive in 2016 and a horse-drawn carriage in 1908 illustrate the dramatic changes in mobility and technology over time.
This graphic comparison illustrates the development of transport techniques and at the same time shows how traditional means of transport have given way to more sophisticated ones over the course of history. provides an interesting insight into the changing transport landscape in this famous French location.
27. German Reichstag, 1945 — 2012
The German Reichstag underwent a dramatic transformation from 1945 to 2012. The country’s historical narrative captures a striking visual juxtaposition. representing a transition from the devastation of war to a path of rebirth and progress.
The images may show the devastation caused during World War II as opposed to the reconstruction and rebuilding projects carried out in the years that followed. This is a testament to German tenacity, architectural renaissance, and commitment to modernity while preserving its legacy.
28. From 1945 to 2017, Marcin Street, Poznań, Poland
Marcin Street in Poznań, Poland captures a compelling visual story of resilience and urban renewal from the rubble of post-war devastation to the bustling cityscape of 2017. The difference between the two years illustrates a substantial change. reflecting the efforts made to rebuild and rebuild the city after the devastation of World War II.
The development of the street depicts a moving path of renewal and progress in the historical and cultural landscape of Poznań, illuminating not only the renewal of architecture but also the rebirth of vibrant urban life.
29. From 1874 to 2016, 29. Nowomiejska Street, Łodź, Poland
From 1874 to 2016, the photographic chronicle of Nowomiejska Street in Lodz, Poland tells an engaging story of historical changes and urban development. The street has undergone an incredible transformation over time. perhaps see how the urban structure, architecture, and way of life in Łódź has changed. A visual comparison sheds light on the development of the city. symbolizing the transition from a bygone era to the current urban landscape and showing the adaptability, growth, and resilience of the city over time.
30. France St-Gervais-Et-St-Protais: 1918–2017
The history of St-Gervais-Et-St-Protais in France is fascinating to follow as it moves from the historical echoes of 1918 to the modern landscape of 2017. A visual comparison probably shows how the cityscape, infrastructure, and architecture have changed. illustrating the development of this charming French city.
The differences between the two years provide an insight into how St-Gervais-Et-St-Protais has changed and developed. it demonstrates the fusion of modernity and tradition that has shaped the visual story of the city over time.
A journey through these examples of rephotography is a testament to the dynamic nature of our world and its ever-evolving landscapes. From the transformation of the Arctic to the development of bustling cities like New York, Moscow, and Singapore, each comparison tells a unique story of change, adaptation, and resilience.
These then-and-now photographs offer a compelling glimpse into the passage of time, showing the impact of human progress, environmental change, and historical events on the places we inhabit. Whether it is the preservation of historical monuments, the urbanization of rural areas, or poignant commemorations of significant historical moments such as the First World War or the Pripyat nuclear disaster, each comparison reveals layers of history and transformation.
Through these reimagined images, we witness not only physical changes, but also cultural shifts, technological advances, and the complex balance between preserving heritage and embracing modernity. It is a visual narrative that honors the past while acknowledging the inevitability of change.
Finally, these comparisons encourage reflection on the interconnectedness of our past, present, and future. They emphasize the importance of preserving our heritage, learning from history, and adapting to the evolving needs of our communities, while celebrating the resilience and adaptability of human civilization.