Photographer Turns the Then & Now Trend on Its Head, Holds Up Photos of the ‘Future’


Always fascinated by the then and now series that make their way across the Web, photographer Samantha Decker wanted to give it a shot herself. The thing was, she didn’t want to do the exact same thing everyone else was doing.

That’s how she settled on a reality-altering series by the name of Now & Then: Seeing the Future from the Past.

Rather than taking the usual “hold an old photo up over the current scene” approach, Decker decided to use a bit of Photoshop trickery to turn the perspective on its head — she holds up a present-day shot agains a background scene from a time long past.


As to how she went about creating these images, we caught up with Decker and asked her to explain:

My hand is meant to be in the scene from the past, therefore I tinted or colored it for each photo to match the scene. Before creating the scenes, I photographed my hand against a white background (to make it easier to mask), and gathered public domain photos from WikiMedia Commons that were similar to photos I already had.

From there, she combined the photographs she captured from current scenes with the composited archival images. What she’s left with is a rather unique take on a genre of photography that we’ve featured many times before:


Image credits: Then Photo by Tom Simpson












To see more Decker’s work, be sure to visit her website, give her page a ‘like’ on Facebook, or following her over on Flickr by clicking on the corresponding link.

Image credits: Images by Samantha Decker and used with permission. All ‘then’ photos are in the public domain unless otherwise stated.

  • Chris Saucier

    Meh, I don’t think this is very cool at all. It’s not very creative to just flip-flop a popular meme, and the execution here isn’t very skilled (to put it politely). Also there’s no real photography here. The image of the hand is the same in all images just scaled and flipped.

  • Dino Traite


  • Dino Traite

    Yeah, I agree. It’s very “eh.”

  • ShellyKenrickicb

    I saw the receipt of $5294 , I accept that my sister was like they say
    actually receiving money part time on their apple laptop. . there friends
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  • Toby Hawkins

    I think he needs to clip his nails next time.

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    It doesn’t seem all that standout-ish. Just more of the same. And I like it. Though, the hand is a bit much.

  • homopunk84 .

    Oh how ORIGINAL. Thanks petapixel. *sarcasm*

  • Phil Hearing


  • Phil Ruberry

    Nope its still a `Then and Now Series`.
    After all, every photo you take is from the past!

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  • Keith Goldstein

    I always applaud creativity, but one here needs to acknowledge Ken Josephson – “…..recognized as an early and influential practitioner
    of Conceptual photography. His black and white images famously layer
    pictures within pictures, focusing on the act of picture-making,
    offering playful commentary on photographic truth and illusion, and
    using the photograph itself to question the veracity of the medium.”

  • RawAllison

    I was kind of underwhelmed. Perhaps if she did something with these that made the “flip flopping” more meaningful… The original idea has a lot of nostalgia and poignance but I don’t get anything from this take on the idea.