Michael Ashley and Ruth Tringham

Re-photography and staging of Ansel Adams photographs of Berkeley and beyond.

We are interested in looking at the photographs taken by Ansel Adams of the Berkeley campus (and possibly further afield) and doing re-photography of these same photographs to compare, rethink and recontextualize the choices and conditions of the late 1960's with our present and forecast future. In anticipation of working with the Fiat Lux On the Same Page program, we've already experimented with GigaPan technology to re-stage the Cal marching band shot taken on Sproul Plaza. The final composite image is comprised of hundreds of photographs in an attempt to recreate the resolution and feel of Adams' camera. But rephotography can be achieved with 35 mm DSLR or an iPhone camera, with some practice and guidance. The challenge is to be able to get the exact point of view taken by the original photographer.

Once the photograph is taken, Adams' photograph can be layered on top of or below the new photograph in Photoshop or other image software. Sergey Larenkov, a master of computational rephotography, uses masking effects so that parts of the earlier historic image penetrate, or intrude onto the new photograph. The nature of the masking depends on the story being told through the layering of past and present. This technique can produce evocative re-compositions that are multi-perspective and invite the viewer to think beyond either the 'old' or 'new' frame.

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