Brilliant blending of photos of Paris from 1914 & 2013

This one is hard to explain. So I took a quick video to show you, then I highly recommend you go over to the Web site and check it out for yourself. In a nutshell, the Web site Rue 89 took old iconic photos of Paris, and using the Web, blended them with modern photos of the same location.

Again, you need to check out the video, and then the site, to fully appreciate it.

Oh, and let me just say, Paris in the early 1900s looks like a painting of Paris in the early 1900s.  Those colors.  I always imagined some of the old paintings were somewhat glorified, for lack of a better word – embellished.  I honestly didn’t realize that those colors were real.  Must have been stunning.  Kind of sad to see the modern photos, for me at least.

This would be a neat idea for someone to replicate in really any city of the word, but NYC, Chicago and other iconic cities would be especially interesting. What would really be neat would be to get famous old photos from each place and THEN redo the images of today. Might be an issue with copyright, using the old photos. But it would be a neat project.

Excuse the first 7 seconds of the video, I was hunting for my mouse :)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • hollywoodstein

    But I do miss her green faery.

  • hollywoodstein

    There was an old Swiss woman I knew who made her own absinthe, the wormwood part of which seemed to be the least squirrelly part of it.
    I don’t miss her she was a witch.

  • hollywoodstein

    Moi? Why ever would you say that?

  • hollywoodstein

    They seem to not share on what photography software is used on this blog. I think it’s a trade secret.

  • Stay away from any chartreuse liquids!

  • I particularly liked the signage.

  • Paris has become the Elgin Marbles of cities—-no color.

  • HeartlandLiberal

    The second half of the video is the best comparison. I am reminded of the year we lived in Germany many decades ago. We traveled through many of the famous towns and cities, especially in the southern half of the country, and the colors of the buildings to this day are like what you see in your video from Paris of 100 years ago. Only they have been that way, with constant renewal and maintenance (and rebuilding after being reduced to rubble in WWII) since the late Middle Ages. We loved that year in Germany, which fortunately did include 10 days to get a taste of Paris during one month during which we drove all over Europe in a beat up old VW. This was back in the early 70’s. What software did you use to produce the video? As a retiree, I am working on photography projects. I have always done still photography, but am about to learn how to create time lapse and other videos.

  • hollywoodstein

    vins et liqueurs, i’m there.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I passed it on to a friend who did her graduate work on the architecture of 19th century parisian brothels :)

  • Randy

    The lettering was easier on the eyes back then, that’s for sure!

  • Tatts

    I’m struck by how few trees are in the old photos. It’s the same here in Philly; there are trees everywhere now, on all the streets, but not in the old photos (not even back in the 1950).

    I never knew about autochrome color photography until I read that article (with the help of Google translate).

  • UncleBucky


  • Drew2u

    I thought you’d like that. It’s a beautiful solemnity.

    As I was trying to find out where I saw that series, I came across this picture:

    The one title: “Birch Trees Growing in Decayed Books, Detroit Public Schools Book Depository, 2009”

  • Holy cow, that’s amazing. Thanks for posting that.

  • Drew2u
  • That’s what I mean. I know it sounds stupid to say it looks like the old photos, but I always figured the old photos were glamorized or whatever. It’s flashier then!

  • I always pictured the buildings being more drab in the past than they are now. This was a great lesson, thanks.

  • Isn’t it neat – would be really fun to try it out in our own towns.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    very cool, thanks

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