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


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 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. 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 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 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!


George_Braziller 6 years, 11 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.

Jonathan Kealing 6 years, 11 months ago

We have no intentions to make a book, but we will be publishing them on our website and Facebook page, and exhibiting them at Final Fridays. And, as we said, this isn't our idea. But we thought it was cool enough to try locally. But we certainly understand if you'd rather not take part.

George_Braziller 6 years, 11 months ago

If you're publishing them on your website, Facebook page, and exhibiting them at Final Fridays you're still getting free use of other people's work.

Erin Graham 6 years, 11 months ago

Don't like it? Don't submit anything. There are plenty of others that don't mind sharing.

George_Braziller 6 years, 11 months ago

Share away and let the Journal-World use your photos as they wish. I don't plan to submit anything.

RKLOG 6 years, 10 months ago

How about not submitting anything here as well?

Jack Hope III 6 years, 11 months ago

AND STAY OFF MY LAWN! Darn kids with your cameras and your over-sized black and whit photos of stuff.

beatrice 6 years, 11 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. : )

Erin Graham 6 years, 11 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!

Jonathan Kealing 6 years, 11 months ago

Don't be afraid to just grab something and give it a shot. I've got a photo of myself with two of my siblings laying on Campanile Hill from when I was about 8. I'm going to rephotograph that, I think. I have no idea if it'll be any good.

Bill Lee 6 years, 11 months ago

C. Thomas Howell has been on TV's "Southland" since 2009 and will be in next year's movie "The Amazing Spider-Man."

labmonkey 6 years, 11 months ago


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).

Jonathan Kealing 6 years, 11 months ago

Well, it would be pretty cool to see the train in the element it was meant to be experience. See if you can find them and take one or two!

therxbandit 6 years, 11 months ago

Woah woah woah everybody.

Let's slow down.

That's my girlfriend in the picture...


James Roper 6 years, 11 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?

Nick Krug 6 years, 11 months ago

Wide angles seem to be the way to go. If you can pull it off with a longer lens then please let me know how . It does take some physical maneuvering (I was standing in the middle of the street at 10th and Vermont yesterday trying to shoot one). As far as ownership goes, the photographers submitting the images retain the ownership, but if you submit to the project, then you are granting us permission to use them in the Dear Lawrence online gallery and possibly in the show.

Nick Krug 6 years, 11 months ago

Also on print size, Just standard horizontals and verts will likely work best. The bigger the file size the better when submitting. We (the Journal-World) will take care of printing the images that get selected for the show so don't worry about making prints for us.

Nick Krug

Terry Sexton 6 years, 11 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.

jgier 6 years, 11 months ago

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

sulliedotcom 6 years, 11 months ago

Is this restricted to just the downtown area?

Nick Krug 6 years, 11 months ago

Sullie, There aren't any restrictions as to where the photos need to come from. They don't even have to be shot in Lawrence. Our staff has been shooting quite a bit of old historic photos to start off with. Most of them came from downtown, but we're encouraging everyone to get into their own photo albums and try it out with old pictures of themselves or relatives or maybe a home they grew up in (just examples). I just re-shot a picture of one of my former cats. Hope this helps. There's about three weeks left at this point if you want to try it out and submit. Good luck

Nick Krug 6 years, 11 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.


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