Photographer Peter Macdiarmid has created these incredible composites, matching up his recent photos with archival stills from World War One, 100 years ago. We caught up with him this week to find out what it takes to put a project of this scale together.
I started the project in October 2013 by conducting weeks of research and looking through around 30,000 images in the Getty Images Archive. Most importantly, I was looking for archive World War images, with points of reference of landscape or architectural details, which might still be in existence. I then used Google Street View and Google Earth to see if the modern day location matched up. This was invaluable especially for locations in France and Belgium. I was already familiar with the locations in London and the UK, but I visited France and Belgium seven or eight times and travelled around 1500 miles to prepare the features for our centenary coverage.
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You need an eye for detail to be able to locate the exact shooting position to create the final matchup. I shot the modern day locations with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a 24-70mm zoom lens. Matching 100 year old film formats and the lenses used by early 20th century photographers was a challenge.
One of the images in the video piece of the destroyed German airplanes at Place de la Concorde in Paris, particularly stands out. In order to get all the lines of the buildings and the wall of The Jardin des Tuileries accurately matched up, I realised that I must have been standing within a couple of metres from where the original photographer, Maurice-Louis Branger would have been standing. As a photographer it was fascinating to be able to stand in the footprints of photographers who recorded history from 100 years ago.
Watch the video:
For Extensive Archival coverage of World War 1, click HERE
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