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Archive for Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Introducing the Dear Lawrence community photo project: We need your help!

Entries accepted through August 15

This is the corner of Seventh and New Hampshire streets as it was sometime around 1911. The building was once a post office. I removed the print from the newsroom of the Lawrence Journal-World with the help of Trevan McGee and Kevin Anderson.

This is the corner of Seventh and New Hampshire streets as it was sometime around 1911. The building was once a post office. I removed the print from the newsroom of the Lawrence Journal-World with the help of Trevan McGee and Kevin Anderson.

July 13, 2011

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A few weeks back I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a link to the Dear Photograph project which was shared by several of my friends. If you haven't seen it yet, go to dearphotograph.com. It's worth a long look.

People bring old photographs to the exact locations where they were shot years ago. Then, quite literally, you take a picture of that old picture in the location as it looks today. We're excited to announce a Lawrence community project to do the same thing in our community. We're calling it Dear Lawrence, but more about that in a minute.

One of the coolest things about the Dear Photograph idea is you don't have to know any of the people in any of the photos to feel the sense of nostalgia that old photos bring. It's a tribute to memories, but also a tribute to photographs as physical relics of those memories. I've emailed, tweeted and "Facebooked" photos a hundred or a thousand times recently, but I can't remember the last time I made a print.

Looking through the site, certain submissions concentrate on portraying the changing landscape, while others highlight people we've lost or places that have gone away. Some of the most effective are those that create a feeling of perseverance — by showing just how little has changed in the scenery.

In light of the popularity of the project we're organizing a Lawrence edition, and we need your help. LJWorld.com and The Lawrence Journal-World are currently taking submissions for the "Dear Lawrence Project," which will be modeled after Dear Photograph. In addition to posting the submissions in a photo gallery on LJWorld.com and on Facebook, we will choose and print selected entries that best convey a sense of nostalgia, change or perseverance. We're also organizing a show of featured photographs working at the News Center, 645 New Hampshire, during Final Fridays on Aug. 26, 2011. We'll highlight contributions from our own photographers, community photographers and those taken by members of the community.

To submit, email high-resolution photographs along with your name to dearlawrence@ljworld.com or post them on our Facebook page. Please provide a few lines of caption info to provide some context and also to help people understand what has changed. You could also include the emotions the photo evokes in you. Don't be afraid to make it personal. They are your photographs.

There aren't really any rules and the photos don't have to be from Lawrence. Most of you will have some connection to Lawrence or live within close proximity, but if not, that's OK too. You'll just have to travel farther than others to see your work displayed!

Our primary requirement is that the photos be shot in the same location where they were originally taken. Not everything has to line up exactly and in many cases it won't matter how hard you try. Trust me. We do ask that the use of Photoshop be kept to a minimum; cropping and a bit of contrast and color toning is OK. Cloning and other altering techniques are frowned upon. We're going by the honor system, but use your best judgement.

We will be accepting submissions from right now until 6 p.m. on Aug. 15. If you submit through Facebook, we may contact you for more info in the event that we choose your image or images for the show. If you email the submission, make sure to include your name somewhere in the body of the email.

Enough. Good luck and have fun!

Comments

Nick Krug 2 years, 9 months ago

A few tips I've found thus far for anyone wishing to try: First, I recommend using a wide angle to do the re-shooting. Standard polaroid sizes or smaller are usually the easiest to work with. In most cases it's usually a matter of first figuring out the correct angle in which the original photo was shot, I tend to look at buildings and sidewalks to get a good idea. Then, hold the old photo in your hand, focus on it, and walk forward or backward until the scale of the handheld image looks like it is fitting in with respect to the present day scene in the background. Then overlay the handheld image within the scene and shoot. It takes some work and the challenge is part of it. Rarely does it ever align perfectly. Feel free to email me with any questions and I'll do my best to help. nkrug@ljworld.com

Nick

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sulliedotcom 2 years, 9 months ago

Is this restricted to just the downtown area?

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sunflowerlaura 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm looking forward to seeing more!

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jgier 2 years, 9 months ago

This post office was built by J.D. Bowersock, right?

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rockchalker52 2 years, 9 months ago

Alvin Howell was a great guy. He told me, when I mentioned the design, that he came up with the McGrew logo on their real estate signs. I had always thought it was patterned after the way a door looks on an early model 'vette.

Hooray for redheads - and Pywacket.

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James Roper 2 years, 9 months ago

Despite not having any Pulitzer-worthy images to add to this project, it might be more encouraging if the World Company made explicit its non-ownership of the images, if true and if possible.

More importantly: Hey Nick, what print size and focal lengths work best for this project? They look pretty simple, but getting all of the elements to align correctly might be more of a pain than it appears. Any tips?

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The_Original_Bob 2 years, 9 months ago

You done good, Therxbandit.

/high fives

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therxbandit 2 years, 9 months ago

Woah woah woah everybody.

Let's slow down.

That's my girlfriend in the picture...

CAN I GET A HIGH FIVE, ANYONE?! /highfive

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Pywacket 2 years, 9 months ago

I have some rather slutty-looking shots of myself in my prime, lolling provocatively on the train engine in the park--back in the day when you could climb all over it.

I'd have to hold one of those photos up by the stupid fence that now surrounds the train if I wanted to use it for the project. I had forgotten all about those shots, which were taken by a boyfriend. They would have to be found in some random shoebox. The red-hair fans would rejoice, I'm sure.

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labmonkey 2 years, 9 months ago

jkealing-

A suggestion... more redheads on the front page. And as a matter of fact, in this contest, more preference should be given to shots with good looking redheads in them (not fat ginger ones mind you).

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Multidisciplinary 2 years, 9 months ago

I was just introduced to this site last night. I've got a lot of old Lawrence photos, but most places are now gone, so I don't have a point of reference. Not to mention the money I'd spend in gas to get back there. :)

But if I 'could' locate the places, it would be just too cool. And how many shots do people take trying to line things up/distance from...etc.

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HollisBrown 2 years, 9 months ago

It could be Julianne Moore, Annette O'Toole, or Marilu Henner. Not crazy about redheads. Bonnie Raitt is a good call. She was married to that geek in "Caddyshack". I think he's hanging out in the "Where Are They Now" file with C. Thomas Howell.

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HollisBrown 2 years, 9 months ago

A few years ago I met a dear old guy named Alvin Howell. I think he passed away not too long ago. I went to his shop in the basement of this office on Iowa St. It was like stepping back in time. No computers, just a bunch of old school drafting equipment and stuff like that. Turns out he knew several people in my family. He used to do everything from office stationary for KU and many local businesses to sign painting, logos, architectural drawings, you name it. I went there to get something laminated and ended up hanging around for 2 hours. He gave me a beautiful copy of a painting of the Campinille that he did. I bet somebody has tons of his great photos of old Lawrence.

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HollisBrown 2 years, 9 months ago

The guy on the left either has an Iphone in his pocket or the redhead gave him a little squeeze on the butt as she walked by.

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The_Original_Bob 2 years, 9 months ago

"Is that Rebekah Brooks?"

Well done, sir. Neko Case would have also been accepted.

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Erin Graham 2 years, 9 months ago

I love that website!! What a great idea for the community! If I had anything worthwhile to contribute, I certainly would. Best of luck with the project!

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thebcman 2 years, 9 months ago

To heck with the old pictures, show more of the redhead!

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

The photographer Mark Klett has done this for years out in the Southwest. Great stuff. Having people submit their own takes on this theme in and around Lawrence is a good concept that I hope is so successful JK will change his mind and produce a book.

He can then offer either a discount to those who sent in images, or perhaps a share of the profits, since we all know how amazingly profitable books of contemporary photography can be. : )

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George_Braziller 2 years, 9 months ago

This isn't a new concept. Re-photographing the same location years later has been done for decades

Then after all the photos are submitted I'm sure the World Company will produce a book with all the photos it gets to use for free.

I'll pass.

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