Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Twenty Fifth: 400 Block Then & Then

The Story:

While searching the historical museum's archives for my Then & Now: Wausau series - I came across quite a few images of Downtown Wausau's 400 Block.  However, I discovered soemthing I never even considered or imagined!  First I found an old 1890's photo of the 400 block - but then shortly thereafter I came across another 400 block image from the 1920's - taken from EXACTLY the same perspective, height, and angle (which is the #1 priority when creating a Then & Now).  Given that tehse images are 30+ Years apart - I can't even begin to explain how rare of a find this was.

So I decided to take a 'Then & Then' approach - and weaved the two historic images together - creating a truly unique one of a kind piece for our collection!

Twenty Forth - Barstow Scene

This image was interesting to me because the original image seems to be a very popular image with the Eau Claire Community.  You can see it for sale as post card and prints ad a variety of dowtown stores.  This is why I think people will find this interesting, as it allows people who are aware of the original image to see the transformation of the Barstow over time.  This is a blend of 1925 and 2012!

My favorite part of this image is the people along the sidewalk on the left walking up towards the man with the bike, walking up to them.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Twenty Third: Abraham Lincoln Monument - Bascom Hall - Madison, WI 1928/2012

This one was really fun for me to re-photograph.  These kind of shots make me very happy as the environment and atmosphere allowed me to take as much time as I wanted, and allowed me to really size up the situation and really make the proper alignments.  The most exciting part of the post production of this piece was 'painting' through the years across the status of ol' Abe.  The statue looks the same as it always has, i'd imagine, however - Bascom Hall - seemed to have changed dramatically.  I was hoping to be able to re-create an old image of Bascom Hall, but it seemed to have changed so drastically that it wasn't worth the logistics.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dear: Then & Now Customers...

Just in time for the Holidays and BLACK Friday!

Now through the end of the year we are cutting our prices 20% on all 16" or larger!  Think of us when searching for that unique gift for that someone that may live in one of the cities listed.  Check us out at www.thenandnowart.com !!



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Twenty Second: The Salon, Spa and Fitness Studio - Wausau, WI - 1968/2012

Kristy - owner of The Salon, Spa & Fitness Studio at 530 McClellan Street in Wausau - commissioned me to do a Then & Now of her building!  This one was the most drastic perspective and distortion level change I have ever done, the reason being is from the exact location the old photographer was standing, you can barely even see the building at all, as there is a huge tree over hanging in the front yard.  So what I had to do was shoot from a much lower respective, about 10 feet to the left - so using what I have learned from my experience with this process, what i actually did was flip flopped sides of the lenses to try to make up for that gap in perspective and distortion change.  What this means technically, is for the right side of the image, i used the left side of my lens - Top of image, the bottom part of my lens.  This allowed me to greatly close that gap and allow me to fine-tune it in post production!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Twenty First: State Street - Capitol View - Madison, WI 1939/2012

I decided to make a 2 day trip to Madison one of these last weekends solely focused on Then & Now's.  I spent some time in the beautiful building that houses the Wisconsin State Historical Museum....just some amazing architecture to gawk at.  I begun my research and came across another re-photographer warrior's book named Double Take: A Rephotographic survey of Madison, Wisconsin - by photographer Zane Williams; this book helped me immensely with my research, solely for the reason that it allowed me to see, without being there, what is actually there now, and get an idea of what is possible, and what images would be best for my style of Then & Now.  

Once scouting on location for the Now shot, it was actually particularly difficult as I only had the digital version on my iPhone screen, in the bright daylight, I waited for the sun to be in just the right position, to allow the shadow cast on the dome of the Capitol to line up.  This was a very exciting part of the post production when I was able to fade the two times over the Capitol, splitting the statues and the dome itself into a blend of black and white and color - its difficult to decipher which is which.  This image is also great as it shows a 50/50 blend of Then & Now's architecture on each side of the image.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Work in Progress

So I made a trip to madison recently, and collected some material to work on for the next batch of the Then & Now Series.  Here's one i'm currently working on...

Lincoln Statue - UW of Madison Campus - Madison, Wisconsin

Monday, September 17, 2012

Then & Now Art Collection available on Etsy

Check out our Etsy online store ThenAndNowArt and start your Art Collection today! Custom sizes are available upon request. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where to next?

I need a new city to use as my next project target...I was thinking Madison, or Milwaukee.  Any ideas?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Twentieth: 600 Block - Wausau WI 1940's/2012

I also love this 600 block because of the busy-ness as well.  Also what is so interesting is the corner building has in the remote past burned down and is now where the patio of The Back When Cafe.  This one was satisfying to me because the time of day was accurately matched, and the shadows seemed to just overlap themselves! 

Nineteenth: 500 Block #2 - Wausau, Wisconsin - 1940's/2012

This image is very interesting because its very busy with life.  Theres multiple people walkings from both time periods, walkings along side each other in front of which is now La Prima Deli.  This was one was difficult at first to balance because the entire block along the right side is what is now the entire First American Center - which they also changed the lay out of the road as well.  It is now a lot skinnier than it once was, as it is now a 1 way.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Eighteenth - Chippewa Falls, Spring St 1896/2012

(4 of 4)

This image has now become my absolute favorite, hands down.  I didn't expect this one to work out at all actually, because a couple of the buildings are no longer there, and the ones that have seem to have been refaced a number of times.  Also given that there wasn't much of a side street back then, and that it looks to be a sidewalk (to their standards) i really didn't think things were going to line up.  That is until one day when I decided i would give it a try to try and line them up.  Sure enough, it lined up better than I had expected, which was when i noticed that some of the buildings were actually the same buildings, just refinished.

This one is so interesting to me because of the people, and their characteristics.  Its a great image, in that everyone seems to be posing in a thought out manner...watch how their shadows cast but don't overlap.  Most everyone stood still enough to capture the image, except 2 of the people who seemed to have moved.  Even the horse stood in place.  This one is also really great to me because of it's age.  It always seems like the older the Then image is, the more interesting.  This is a blend of 1896/2012 - about 116 years in transformation!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fifteenth: McDonnell High School/Heyde Center

(3 of 4)

Back in the Early 1900's, this building was home to McDonnell High School.  These days it is known as the Heyde Center for the Arts.  Its a beautiful building, interior and exterior.  It really has not changed much at all.  The stairway was rebuilt, and the building that sits next to it seems to have changed, but thats about it.

This one to date is the most accurately rephotographed Then & Now I have in my collection.  This one doesn't get as much public rave as some of the other pieces, but this type are my personal favorite.  Its possible to layer the brick in such a way that it skips generations of times per brick.  The windows lined up perfectly, so it was kind of fun to play with the gradient fade from gray -> blue sky reflection.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Seventeenth: Bridge St looking South - Chippewa Falls, WI

(2 of 4)

Bridge St looking South - was a difficult one to rephotograph.  It seems like the wider the angle lens they used back in the early 1900's, then the more difficult it is to match the old barrel distortion.  Every lens creates barrel distortion, but back in the 1920's - lens optics were different than they are now, so imitating that level of distortion with a new lens is quite a challenge.  Not impossible though.

My favorite part of this image is in the Right Center - I actually successfully blended an Oldsmobile Alero with a Ford Model T.  The rear wheel well seemed to match up perfectly!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sixteenth: Bridge St looking North - Chippewa Falls, WI

(1 of 4)

Bridge St looking north was a lot of fun for me to do.  It took several attempts to get the scaling right when I was out there on that hot sunny day.  Capturing the NOW shot required me to stand out in the middle of traffic and compose and focus very quickly.  So I would wait for a red light, and wait for a gap in cars, and walk out into the street to peer through my view finder and judge the proximity of my location to the photographer's in 1913.  After I thought I was in the right position,  I actually stood on the sidewalk and waited for a car of interest to pull up to the stop light, and wait.  I wonder if they were wondering what I was doing photographing the back of their car.  This one gets paired along with Bridge St looking South - both of which feature my logo as the cars' license plates.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Early 1900's Pilot - Restoration

Again, this was an ASAP restoration job - from about 2006.  I just love the old war ones!

104th Medical - 1942 Restoration

This restoration was a project I worked on for ASAP Photo & Camera out of Greenville, North Carolina.  This project was completed back in 2006 - I just recently acquired a disk of some really old work - I decided to share this one because I thoroughly enjoyed restoring this one, as it was quite a challenge since it was torn in 3 pieces.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Then & Now Photography also offers a unique service of Photograph Restoration.  Over time, our favorite photographs fall victim to the elements - Humidity, UV rays, Mishandling, Accidental Damage - and often are considered a tragic event - most people don't consider that photographs can be digital restored to their original condition (often, they are even more sharp and clear).

Photo Restoration can provide a very unique gift idea for the holidays, or even a tear-jerker surprise to the elderly generation, when they are finally able to view their memories clearer than ever before.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Wausau - Then & Now Series is on permanent display in the Washington Square Mall in Downtown Wausau!  Looks great!  Thank you Mark Craig and Compass Properties!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Myra and Baby Nolan - Then & Now

Myra was guinea pig when it came to a Then & Now concept with portraiture.  She was an excellent subject!  She came to the studio ready to rock, and thankfully came totally prepared for the second shoot - after baby Nolan was born.  The Nolan and the arrows are both drawn onto a chalkboard wall.  After I had both the maternity and then the newborn photograph, it was all just a matter of making the arrows balance with the rest of the image.

I am actively seeking dedicated families that would be interested in working with me on a number of other ideas I have for ways to implement the Then & Now concept into portraiture.  Please contact me at 715.514.9052 or ThenandNowPhotography@gmail.com - if you are interested and we can discuss opportunities and ideas!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fourteenth: Washington Square Block - Wausau, WI

This one was my 4th and final image of the series.  I love all 4 that I completed, but the Washington Square Block really hit home to me.  I love how the canopies match up, and how it really shows with a 50/50 gradient just how the Heinemann Building has not changed.  Interesting tidbit about the Heinemann building, is that it was owned by the Heinemann Brothers, and was the first building that had electricity in Wausau.

Thirteenth: 400 Block #1 - Wausau, WI

The 400 block of downtown Wausau, Wisconsin, to me is the central point of the city.  It is unique feature to find, in any city, in my opinion.  So i particularly liked this block, and decided to cover it in two different directions. The first one, 400 Block #1 is featuring the block looking south, and #2 is featuring the block looking north.  What I really thought was interesting about this one is that 3rd st is now a one way going past the 400 block, and about 100 years ago, it was a 2 way thoroughfare.  With the DO NOT ENTER signs staring at me from the NOW images, I thought it would be most interesting to have Model T's from the THEN image, Entering into the DO NOT ENTER.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Twelfth: 400 Block #2 - Wausau, WI

Wausau 400 block #2.  Its labeled number 2 but I actually finished this one first.  This is by far one of the most active pieces of mine.  Theres activity everywhere.  What I really like about this is the DO NOT ENTER signs, because 3rd is now a one way street, but back in the early 1900s, it was a two way, and you can see old Model T's driving through the the do not enter signs.  Its amazing to see how busy some of these towns were back then, some even more so than today.

Eleventh: 500 Block - Wausau, WI

This one was the first wausau one that I rephotographed.  I liked this one because I've always thought that that red telephone booth was interesting.  Also, used to live in the apartment there to the left, above la prima deli.  It was neat to see that that building hasn't change at all and that the windows lined up perfectly!  Another notable hurdle I had to jump with this, was that the street was a lot wider back then, so the street poles kept getting in the way, especially smack dab in the middle of the Janke Book Store sign.  So I actually rebuilt most of the letters via photoshop, to get rid of the distractive elements in the image.

Tenth: A Fitger 2 (Duluth, MN)

A. Fitger 2 happened at the same time as #1.  I found the original photo as a large 30x40 print in the hallway of the brewery.  This one was tricky to photographs because there was a mix of cold and warm light temperatures falling on it.  So again I had to do some technical maneuvering to be able to capture it.  The post production one to this one I really enjoyed, but also was very time consuming.  You can't see it now, but right in the middle there was another tree - but it seemed to affect the transition from then to now...so I decided to take the pain staking time to remove the entire tree!  Talk about tedious reconstruction!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Featured Artist at Mabel Tainter - Menomonie, WI

The Historical Art of Jacob Sieg
June 1 – July 15, 2012

Artist Reception Saturday, June 16, 2012 ~ 5:30pm-7:30pm
30 min. presentation at 6:30pm in the Gallery

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ninth: A Fitger 1 (Duluth, MN)

We decided to head up to Duluth one weekend on a Photo Excursion.  It was a great time, and I actually captured what I needed for four Then & Nows.  However I have only completed 2 of them.  Its quite funny how I captured the original images for A. Fitger Brewery.  This one, was particularly interesting because I actually reproduced it within a display case, behind glass, with glare up the yang.  Using a circular polarizer on the end of my macro lens I was able to diminish the glare tremendously, the rest of it I just removed via Photoshop.  This one - was amazing, because it was at the time, the most accurate one I re-photographed!  I couldn't wait to get home, so I actually created a rough draft later in the hotel room!  This one was really fun to blend, because I was actually "weaving" the brick!  It lined up so well, I could pick and choose individual bricks to bring through from the Then to the Now and vice versa.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eighth: Downtown Panoramic

The Eau Claire Downtown Panoramic....one that has remained relatively unseen by the public.  Really only a few people have seen this image.  This image actually required me to shoot 5 photos, kind of on a pivot in the middle of Grand Ave.  Since I don't have a panoramic camera, it was required for me to shoot 5 separate images, at 11mm focal length.  Not only that, but this one took some doing to really even locate what street is being shown.  What this is, is - the long stretch running left to right is actually both S. Barstow, looking North, and looking South.  Straight ahead is Grand Avenue.  This was once called the "Four Corners" back in the early 1900s.  This was a happening place back then.  Doesn't seem so much now. 

Blending these 6 images as one was really a lot more simpler than I had anticipated.  After the 3rd time re-photographing the Panoramic, I finally nailed it dead on, and just about every line and building lined up perfectly!  Its always a great feeling when they line up so well because it really is then just like painting time periods over one another.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Seventh: Mabel Tainter Theater

Mabel Tainter Theater...a piece commissioned by Mayo Health Care System for the Dialysis Center in Menomonie, WI.  This one was also a struggle to pull off.  Maybe the hardest and most difficult, logistically speaking.  Acquiring the original took matters beyond what I have experienced before.  Without going into details, lets just say that some historical societies should work on a better organizational method.

Arriving in Menomonie, I had zero experience in the town.  So everything was new and alien to me.  After finding the Theater, the difficult part was again finding the exact location the original photographer once had.  The iPad is a handy tool to have.  I often will put the digitized version of the original photo onto the iPad after I restore it, that way I can really take my time with the vantage point.  This particular one was a pain, because there was a large UW Stout sign in the way, so my only option was to stand in front of the sign to photograph.  Sometimes you just have to make do.

Sixth: Corner of Eau Claire St & S. Barstow

This image has become a favorite amongst the community.  The building is recognizable among just about anyone who lives in EC or has ever been there.  It sticks out amongst the architecture in the downtown area.  It was once the Chippewa Valley Bank - and is now the site of numerous businesses such as Volume One Magazine, Stones Throw Pub, and others.  When I came across the original image in the museum's archives.  I knew this one would be a great piece!

When I left the studio to photograph this, I instantly regretted it because it was a frigid day in February.  There wasn't snow on the ground, but the temperature and the wind made it a miserable day.  However the image does not reflect this uncomfortable weather.  This one was particularly difficult to rephotograph, because the original photographer had stood where there is now a large building.  I leaned against the building to get my shot, which wasnt quite perfect, so later I had to adjust the lens perspective in Photoshop CS4.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fifth: Schofield Hall

Schofield Hall - this one was a huge surprise for me, on all levels.  I executed this one in a haste by photographing multiple angles while I was there, because it just so happens that the entire campus lawn is now covered in large trees.  The entire process from driving to the CV Historic Museum -> finding and reproducing the Schofield Hall THEN Image -> Driving to Schofield Hall > Re-photographing took all but about 2 hours - which is very quick, in comparison to some of my other projects.  But then came the post production, and it was particularly difficult to find an artistic flow and feel when you have trees everywhere.  Trees have a hard and rough pattern, which makes them particularly difficult to blend into other textures in the surroundings, which now has become a common quote of mine "Its either the entire tree, or no tree".  You can actually see this implemented in just about every one of my pieces.

Fourth: Phoenix Park Area

The Phoenix Park Area...a client favorite...was a really fun one to do.  This one actually took quite a bit of work and I took some dangerous measures to accomplish.  This required me to cross the Chippewa River to the far bank.  Then find the precise area the other photographer had been, but keep in mind, water levels change over time.  It just so happened that the photographer a hundred years ago was standing right about where the water began.  I literally had to scale down the hill, tree by tree, and once I got to the water's edge, had to climb a tree out over the water, and lean in to make it straight.  All with the Then photograph folded up for reference in my hoody pocket.  Definitely worth it.

Third: 202-204 N. Barstow St

This piece was exceptionally difficult, i thought - at the time - because the Now is actually an empty dirt parking lot.  I worked this way in several directions trying to make it balance and be more interesting, but there was simply nothing to play with along the left side but dirt and sky.  My favorite part, is the man standing out in the Now road.  Before ordering, this piece was by far my most reluctant piece.  Except when I received the canvas gallery wrap...and was astonished.  To date, this piece still remains my favorite printed, because the people are just so interesting, and as a large print, in so much fine detail.

Second: 308 N. Barstow St

This one was special for me at the time because it was the block with our studio's location, there under the drugstore sign.  That was Saeryn Studios.  Saeryn was the beginning of my Eau Claire endeavor, that ultimately led me to the Then & Now Concept.  Across the street is now a single story, boring brick building.  Its sometimes fun and sad to imagine the changes that Eau Claire has went through, not necessarily for the better, either.

The Mona Lisa really stands out to me.  One week I put the art display piece we had printed of it, and put it in the display window.  It always stopped passer-bys instantly when they saw that they were walking by a photo of what they had just walked past, present and past.

First: 12 S. Barstow St

This image was the very first Then & Now I completed.  Surprisingly it's still one of my favorites.  This one was particularly difficult, because it was my first time delving into re-photography (the art of rephotographing an image accurately).  The strategy of blending I learned after completing this piece became the framework of the entire series.  However each piece I learn how to implement a new ideas or visual nuance, this piece has just about everything I could have hoped for.  Color, contrast, mystique, lines (that line up, lol), etc.  

This one is also very interesting to me, and causes me to wonder if the original photographer, had ever fathomed that his photograph would be apart of something so unique.  From the research I had done at the museum, I came to realize that the man who photographed this image was a professional photographer, and his studio (Isaac's Photography) is right next to the Model T - and am assuming that was his car as well!  Its amazing the little stories you pull out of some of these images after seeing them for so long during the post production process.  You have to come to understand that back in the late 1800's - early 1900's, it was extremely rare and expensive to be a photographer, they had just begun to mass produce film, and it was expensive and inaccurate.