A few weeks ago I saw this gallery, and was immediately fascinated by the concept. One of the wonders of photography is that it gives you a chance to preserve something, to lock a moment in time, so that someday when things are gone people can look back and see what was there. Ever since I was little photography has seemed magical to me because of this, and I've had a camera since I was six or so because of this.
Most of the time it seems like my photographic skill hasn't progressed much since the six year old level, but I keep trying anyway.
The more I looked at that gallery, the more I wanted to try that kind of a photo, but I needed some older photos to draw from. Using someone else's photo in your photo, though, seems a little sketchy to me. Do you need their permission? Do you have to acknowledge that you used it? What if you can't figure out who took it? I don't know how copyright laws work, so I was a little worried to just start printing out someone else's work and then going to town. Instead, I looked through my own photographs and decided on a couple of likely candidates:
This is a picture from a few years ago of my friends Kim and Kevin. They were in town for a conference, and we hung out for a couple of days. During the mini-tour of campus I gave them, I took that picture at the Torchbearer statue. The advantages to using that picture, at least to me, were that I knew exactly where I'd taken it, it was taken in a different season, and it had an obvious landmark to focus on. I printed myself a copy and went back to the statue a couple of times to give it a try.
It turned out to be a hell of a lot harder than it looked.
Once I figured out how to line everything up, I had about twenty tries where either this happened:
with the background in focus and the picture blurry or I shifted my hand or the camera a millimeter and the lines didn't match up anymore. I never got one with the bricks, the statue, the steps, and the lightpole in the background all matched up at the same time, but this one is the best of a bad lot, attempted on two different days:
Not awful, but I'm still not happy with it. My irritation with that picture, though, pales in comparison to the nightmare that working with this one turned out to be:
It doesn't look that bad, right? I know exactly where that corner is, there are multiple curbs in that picture to line up with, and I already had all that practice with the other picture, so it should have been easier.
Yeah. Right. I failed to take into account that when I took that picture I was apparently standing in a magical wormhole where the laws of space and time were suspended.
None of the lines in that picture match up with anything in real life. If the curb in the front lines up, the one in the back doesn't:
If the curb in the back lines up, the one in the front doesn't:
Oh, and the little sidewalk corner there? That NEVER lines up. I tried it standing on the grass, on the sidewalk, tilting the camera, tilting the photo, leaning, nothing worked. Like I said, the day I took that picture was apparently a special "No Physics Saturday!" or cosmic conjunction or something, because the angles and lines are impossible to duplicate. This is the closest I got, and I'm still not happy:
The back curbs, the tree, the building, and part of the front curb line up, and that's going to have to be good enough, because this project stopped being fun about ten minutes before I took that picture.
I bet you could do the whole thing really easily in Photoshop, though.