Know Where You Stand: A Mix of Modern Scenes and Historical Photos

Hindenberg photo of man and dog

The work of Dutch historian, Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse, which brought us those haunting pictures in the photo series called The Ghosts of History, was brilliant in blending World War 2 pictures and present images of the exact same locations. The phantom like images of the soldiers seemed to eerily reach back through time to once again walk the same streets.

There is also the work found in the French news website Rue89 of lens man Audrey Cerdan and writer Pascal Riche, recreating precise angles and positions they found on century old images. The two men came up with photos, replicating the perspective of the hundred-year-old counterpart pictures. Aligning both photographs precisely and using a digital slider, they come up with an entertaining then and now show.

Another such project blending images from the past with the present emerge from photographer Seth Taras. In 2010, Taras created photographs for a global marketing campaign mounted by the History Channel tagged Know Where You Stand.

hitler in Paris

Using the now familiar “then and now” theme, Taras took photos at locations where major historical events occurred, and then combined old photos showing those places when the momentous event actually took place. The twist to the “then and now” theme is just as riveting as earlier interpretations of the concept. Included in the picture series are the 1989 fall of the Berlin wall, Hitler touring Paris and standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in 1940, Normandy beach in 1944 with Allied soldiers storming the coast, and the Hindenburg helplessly going up in smoke. The series is perhaps the most captivating yet, as the old original images are exceptionally familiar photos that represent the turbulent 20th century.

photo of berlin landmark

A self-taught American artist, Seth Taras is one of Luerzer’s Archive’s 200 Best Photographers Worldwide, and has won several international awards including a Cannes Lion for Know Where You Stand. The photo series has been published in 130 countries. Taras comes from a fine pedigree of artists and artisans throughout modern history.

soldiers storming normandy

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.