re.photos is a new website decided to helping people create and share then-and-now photos. The site helps you automatically align before-and-after photos to show how things have changed over time. Known as “rephotography,” this is the act of taking a photo of a scene that has already been photographed some time ago.
The project was created by Oliver Vornberger, a retired Professor of computer science at the University of Osnabrück in Germany.
“Two years ago I searched for a topic that would keep me busy in my upcoming retirement,” Vornberger tells PetaPixel. “So together with my students I started a project about rephotography.”
The website allows you to upload both a “before” shot and an “after” shot. You can then put 4 colored markers onto the images to show the computer which particular spots match. It will then align the two photos, allowing for an exact comparison to be made.
Vornberger said that there is another student working on the project now who is aiming to update the algorithm to remove the need for such markers.
For those looking to create before-and-after comparisons, the challenge is finding the exact spot to capture the subsequent photo from. To solve this, Re.Photos is currently developing a smartphone app that will use the device’s camera to locate the optimum shooting angle for an “after” shot.
If you don’t have a historical photo to compare with, there are plenty of Creative Commons images available on Google or Flickr, as well as lots in the Public Domain, that you can use to create such a comparison.
Head on over to re.photos to get started in browsing its treasure trove of then-and-now photos or to begin creating your own.