The love for photography and history combines to create timeless vintage art. A Reddit community, called ‘Old Photos In Real Life’ is celebrating this contrast between the past and modern life. It features photos from both the past and present, comparing them side by side in order for everyone to truly get how deep some of the changes go.
Scroll down for the best pics featured by ‘Old Photos In Real Life,’ and remember to upvote the ones that impressed you the most. Tell us all about your favorite pics and why you enjoyed them in the comment section at the bottom of this list.
We got in touch with moderator u/Npbugati who told us all about the history of r/OldPhotosInRealLife, how they created a ‘ghost’ bot to help moderate the community, and why the subreddit is important to them.
Scroll down to read the interview with them.
Moderator u/Npbugati was kind enough to tell us about the entire inspiration behind the subreddit. “Much like many other subreddits created here on Reddit, this subreddit spawned from a comment thread in another unrelated subreddit where a set of images was posted on another subreddit,” they said, drawing attention to something that has happened time and time again.
“A friend of mine from high school (who has since deleted his account) originally created the subreddit and added me as a moderator. The first post on the subreddit can be found here and is the image that spawned its creation,” they shared with us.
According to the Redditor, their role as moderators is usually pretty hands-off. “We want to allow the community’s upvotes to provide most of the encouragement to keep posts high quality,” they said that they trust the community. However, in some cases, the mods inevitably have to get involved for everyone’s sake.
Here’s A Wonderful 1915 Pasadena Craftsmen Located In Bunglsow Heaven That I Had The Pleasure Of Purchasing And Restoring A Few Years Back. Although This House Was Only 950 Sqft It Took Nearly 2 Years To Complete The Renovations Due To Working With The Pasadena Historical Society And City Permitting
Chróstnik Palace 2009 vs. 2021. Chróstnik, Lubin County, Poland.
“Sometimes, we will have posts that encourage some user to act out in the comments or become overly political or rude. In times like these, we will step in and moderate as necessary to keep the comment section positive. As I am a software developer, I have created a ‘ghost’ bot of my own that monitors every post and every comment made on the subreddit, scanning for potential issues and even specific keywords, and will create custom reports for us. This bot does not have moderator status itself to keep its identity completely private and its actions invisible,” they told Bored Panda about how they’ve made their own easier by using their real-life skills.
For the moderator, it’s the historical, architectural, and even scientific aspects of the photo comparisons that keep them passionate about the entire community and the photos posted. “I of course think that it is important for us to have a great understanding of history and its importance to how we function today. I also just find the preservation of these ancient buildings and structures into modern-day very interesting to look at and research more as they are posted.”
They continued: “Even if a user is not involved in the related history, the comparisons of the effect that rebuilding and expansion of locations over time can be amazing to compare.”
Borodyanka, Ukraine – Before The War And Today
Railway Station In Okhtyrka, Ukraine
Meanwhile, photographer Dominic shared his opinion on rephotography. “I think that comparing the same place in different years is fascinating. It can show great progress in an area of the world or how things may have not changed for the better. It’s just really cool to see how a place looked before in comparison to now,” photographer Dominic shared his thoughts with Bored Panda.
Bored Panda was interested to get the photography expert’s opinion on the technical side of things, too. We asked Dominic how to get the biggest amount of detail in our snaps.
Moore Hall, Ireland, 1800s vs. Today
Odessa, Ukraine 1942- And Today
Newcastle Castle, UK – 1895 To 2022
“Increasing detail really comes down to the equipment being used. While there are editing techniques to bring out more detail, you need a good baseline to start with,” he explained that every photographer should focus on the gear first and software second.
Dominic shared that, in his opinion, mirrorless cameras (aka digital single-lens mirrorless or electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens cameras) have been a major recent breakthrough in photography technology. “I cannot say how soon I will be buying one, but I do believe there is a solid outlook for the future of these cameras,” he said.
For The First Time In 76 Years, Wwii Veteran Robert White Stands In The Vicinity In Which He Landed After Jumping Into Germany In March Of 1945. He Was As A Paratrooper With The 17th Airborne Division.
A 3.300-Year-Old Chariot Bridge Is Still In Use Today. The Arkadiko Bridge Was Built Between 1300 And 1190 Bce, Making It One Of The Oldest Still-Used Arch Bridges Still In Existence. It Was Built On A Road That Linked Tiryns To Epidaurus, And Was Part Of A Larger Military Road System.
Tunnel Rock At Sequoia National Park, 1952 And 2020
The r/OldPhotosInRealLife community is made up of 626k members and counting. The subreddit has been active since 2016 and runs a tight ship with regard to the content posted. For instance, they ask their members to, at most, make a single post each day.
“To reduce spam and karma farming in general, do not post more than once a day. If you fail to follow this rule the posts will be removed and you may receive a temporary or permanent ban,” the mods stress that quality is more important than quantity.
Bhitargaon Temple, Kanpur, India. 1875 And 2011. Built In 5th Century Ce And Renovated By British In 1901. It’s The Oldest Surviving Brick Structure In India
The Arch Of Ctesiphon As It May Have Appeared In 600ad. Compared To Its Remaining Ruins Today In Iraq
Before And After Boston’s Big Dig, 1980s vs. Now
What’s more, the moderators ask the members of the community to be excellent and polite to each other. There’s no room for rudeness when there are so many fantastic photos to enjoy.
Rephotography can be as varied as the photographers who snap the pictures. For instance, some professionals make sure to take the photo in the same location during the same season and similar time of day, from the same angle and using the same framing.
Naturally, that requires a lot of research and lots of hours spent examining a particular historical photo in minute detail.
Washington Square Arch In NYC
The Monstrosity That Was The Kowloon Walled City
Wrocław 1945 And 2022
Others, however, take a more relaxed approach when it comes to ‘then and now’ pictures. For them, the location and the approximate similar angle are more important than everything else. Whether you go for a thoroughly analytical or more chill rephotography philosophy comes down to personal taste and differences in character.
Rephotography isn’t just great to look at, it provides real-world value. For example, scientists can compare photos to see how erosion affects the land in a particular location. Meanwhile, sociologists can compare photos to understand social change better.
Scientific value aside, when we can directly compare historical photos, we can track change and understand—in great detail—the events that happened in the past. That way, we can have a firm grasp of the truth and avoid fake news, misinformation, and historical revisionism.
Panch Ratha Monument, Mahabalipuram, India. Monolithic Temples Sculptured From Granite Rocks Between 630 – 668 Ce. 1825 Sketch By J. Braddock J. Gantz And Now. It’s A Unesco World Heritage Site.
Circa 1803 Hope Plantation, Windsor, North Carolina Before And After Restoration
The Lincoln Memorial In 1920 Before The Reflecting Pool Was Built.
Joseph M. Pierre, a professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, previously explained to Bored Panda why some people believe in conspiracy theories, how they’re tied to historical events, and which events appear to attract more lies than others.
According to the professor of psychiatry, people in the past were just as smart as we are now. And, with a few exceptions, a similar part of society tends to believe in conspiracies throughout history, no matter the time period. But the less safe people feel, generally, the more conspiracies thrive.
Captured Japanese Mini Submarine In The Aleutian Islands, 1943 And 2021
Same Car 1988 vs. 2021, Somewhere In Japan
Bok Tower (Built 1929) And Today …
“The only spike [in believing in conspiracies] from the 20th Century occurred during the 1950’s communist ‘red scare,’” Professor Pierre said. However, this doesn’t change the fact that some conspiracy theorists choose specific historical events over and over again for whatever social or political aims they have in mind.
“It is true that certain historical events do tend to attract conspiracy theories and there is evidence that times of societal upheaval or crisis when people are feeling unsafe and desperate for clarity offer a kind of fertile soil for conspiracy theory beliefs,” the expert revealed.
Times Square A Few Years Apart
The Mahabodhi Temple At Bodh Gaya, India, As Seen From A Second Century Plaque And How It Looks Like Today
Manhattan, 1931 To 2018
“Over the past 60 years, the assassination of JFK, the death of Princess Diana, and 9/11 are the most obvious examples of national traumas surrounded by conspiracy theory beliefs,” the psychology professor told Bored Panda.
“We should acknowledge that many conspiracy theories, like the idea that the Earth is flat, aren’t really based on any kind of obvious traumatic event,” he added that not all conspiracies or instances of fake news are associated with traumatic events.
Unknowingly Captured The Same Image In 2020 That My Dad Took On Vacation Back In 1965 – Shenandoah Np
Sas-Bahu Temple, Gwalior Fort, Gwalior, India. 1869 And 2019. The Temple Was Built In 1093.
Chernobyl Power Plant Control Room In 1986 And Now
“People who believe in conspiracy theories are also often attracted to the Manichean narratives that conspiracy theories offer, involving battles of good and evil pitting against each other in an almost apocalyptic fashion. So, it should come as no surprise that conspiracy theories might sprout up from World War II—a real-life apocalyptic battle between good and evil,” the expert told us.
Clifton Rocks Railway, Clifton, Bristol. 1905 And Today
Family Farmhouse 1912-2022 (I’d Especially Like To Note That The Green Bench Has Been On The Front Porch For At Least 110 Years)
Edinburgh Princes Street, 1996 – Now
Hiking On The Faroes Guided By The Old Cairns
Nickelodeon Studios In The 90’s vs. The Same Building Today