San Francsico's Past and Present Erupt In These Stunning Composite Images

Behold
The Photo Blog
Nov. 7 2012 7:00 AM

San Francisco's Past and Present Erupt In These Stunning Composite Images

Behold is Slate's brand-new photo blog. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @beholdphotos and on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here.

Through a new collaboration, Behold will occasionally feature content from Christopher Jobson's wonderful site, Colossal.

A woman opens the door to her Mercedes on Sacramento Street while horses killed by falling rubble lie in the street.
A woman opens the door to her Mercedes on Sacramento Street while horses killed by falling rubble lie in the street

Shawn Clover.

In this series of carefully Photoshopped images, photographer Shawn Clover created composite photographs that blend historical scenes from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake with his own present-day captures of the same locations.

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A number of other artists have created similar images, most notably Sergey Larenkov’s Ghosts of WWII, but Clover really seems to have put in extreme amounts of effort trying to determine how each photograph precisely overlaps with the other, resulting in some fascinating interactions between past and present.

Clover’s work is broken into two parts: Part 1 was created in 2010, and Part 2 was completed in August.

Pedestrians cross Jones Street toward a pile of rubble on Market Street. The Hibernia Bank building is burned out, but still standing strong.
Pedestrians cross Jones Street toward a pile of rubble on Market Street. The Hibernia Bank building is burned out, but still standing strong.

Shawn Clover.

Happy tourists pass by the Fairmont Hotel, which still stands, but is destroyed inside from the fires.
Happy tourists pass by the Fairmont Hotel, which still stands, but is destroyed inside from the fires.

Shawn Clover.

Shawn Clover's composite photographs blend scenes from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and present day.
Passing cable cars offer a view of the destruction of California Street. Old St. Marys Cathedral has escaped destruction.

Shawn Clover.

Horse carriages and cars park in front of Lafayette Park while a destroyed city looms in the background.
Horse carriages and cars park in front of Lafayette Park while a destroyed city looms in the background.

Shawn Clover.

Cars travel down S. Van Ness, which has buckled after the quake.
Cars travel down S. Van Ness, which has buckled after the quake.

Shawn Clover.

People walk through rubble on Geary Street.
People walk through rubble on Geary Street.

Shawn Clover.

A woman walks dangerously close to a pit of rubble on Fifth Street by the U.S. Mint. The Mint has done a remarkable job surviving the quake.
A woman walks dangerously close to a pit of rubble on Fifth Street by the U.S. Mint. The Mint has done a remarkable job surviving the quake.

Shawn Clover.

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Christopher Jobson is founder and editor of the art and design blog Colossal. He lives and works in Chicago and has also contributed to Wired magazine and Designboom.com.

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