Got the Picture
A recent upsurge in photo mash-ups propels pictorial time travel
Tech / 9 Aug 2011
Prior to the onset of the digital age, unearthing one’s photographic past was hindered by high costs and a dearth of accessible archiving tools. Now, though, a wave of retroreminiscence, stoked by committed teams of web developers leveraging ever-advancing technology, affords people the opportunity to re-live times gone by and, beyond that, find out exactly how they stack up against the present.
: Ever wonder what New York’s Flatiron Building looked like a century ago? Now, you can find out. With the Historypin mobile app (Android-ready, iOS version forthcoming), a user merely waves a smartphone through the air to unleash superimposed, historical photos of their immediate surroundings. In addition to the more than 50,000 pieces of geo-tagged content crowdsourced from more than 20,000 users, Historypin features compelling content contributions from partners like the Museum of the City of New York. Also accessible through the Historypin website, new features include tagged audio and video clips, a satellite view map, and an easy-to-use resizing tool to pin photos with accuracy and finesse.
Dear Photograph
: What do you get when you combine vintage photography with user-generated blogging? A nostalgia-studded website featuring pictures of pictures “from the past in the present.” (Try saying that ten times fast.) Twenty-one-year-old Taylor Jones conceived the idea while randomly holding up an old picture of his brother in his current surroundings, but he never expected his blog to grow into the international sensation that it has become, having now been featured on ABC News,, CBS News, and several other media outlets. The site now accepts new contributions daily and has even been listed, by at least one celebrity, as a favorite way of eradicating boredom.
Looking Into the Past
: Looking Into the Past is a community-driven Flickr pool showcasing photo mash-ups from nearly 4,000 members and counting. Similar to Dear Photograph, the community serves as a hub for site specific, vintage-modern photo juxtapositions that can be posted in real time. Offspring galleries, such as one from user edrabbit in which he selects and organizes his favorites, lend a more thoughtfully curated experience. Some users have even taken it to the next level by transforming their works into commercial enterprises. For example, prints of Toronto Before’s mash-ups can be custom ordered for purchase via his website. With today’s familiarity and yesterday’s memories, the past has never looked so good.
©The Intelligence Group