My father, Harry Rowed, was a prolific editorial and commercial Canadian photographer who left me with a large number of high-quality historical negatives dating mostly from 1936 through the 1960s. I’m the process of organizing and scanning batches of these and organizing exhibitions and sales of prints. After using regular scanners for years I switched to photographing the negatives using a DSLR (mostly Nikon D800) with a macro lens. My workflow is entirely in Linux, using mostly RawTherapee, Gimp and Hugin.
Lately I’ve become interested in working on “then and now” photos, taking shots today from the same locations as the originals. One example is this shot of my daughter in 2017 beside my mother in 1947 – a grandmother – granddaughter shot separated by 70 years.
To find the location I had my father’s shot on my phone and hiked over the mountain until the vertical and horizontal alignments matched with the original. I then fine tuned it by moving the camera and adjusting the focal length until the images approximately matched. The original was a 3x4 inch B&W negative and the “now” shot was with a D800 and a 24-70 2.8 Nikkor, which seemed to match fairly well set to about 35mm.
I now want to do a series of “then and now” shots of his gorgeous 6x6 cm negatives of Puerto Vallarta taken from 1953 to 1956. My goal is to have the alignment as accurate as possible, hopefully to produce a video with slow transitions from the “then” to the “now”, and perhaps to produce a book of these images. I think that lens distortions can be corrected with Hugin.
The question is how to get a achieve such a close match to make this possible. My ideas are:
Put the “then” shot onto the camera’s SD card and bring it up on the LCD. Put a piece of clear acetate transparency film over the LCD, draw the outline of buildings etc onto the acetate, then match the “now” image using live view.
Print the “then” image on clear acetate, hold it up and move around until the “now” scene is aligned with the “then”.
Have a laptop while shooting so the images can be checked for accuracy using transpaency in layers on Gimp. This could be done as a final step with other methods to make sure they will blend okay.
Any thoughts on this? Thanks.