In our latest blog post, Queen Street volunteer Gabriella De Rosa explains how we used Photoshop to create effective then and now images of Wolverhampton’s historic Queen Street.
Wolverhampton’s Queen Street retains many of its historic buildings. While the various owners and occupiers have changed over time, many of the architectural details have endured. As part of the Queen Street Heritage Project, a group of local volunteers used Photoshop to blend old photographs of Queen Street with photographs of the current streetscape.
We began by using the Black Country History online catalogue to research old photographs of Queen Street and made several trips to Wolverhampton City Archives to view their fantastic photographic collection. Fortunately, there are numerous photographs of Queen Street taken over the course of the late-19th and 20th century.
Armed with a selection of our favourite photographs, we visited Queen Street and tried to recapture the photographs, taking great care to match the positioning and angles as closely as possible.
Back at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, we used Photoshop to layer the new photographs over the top of the original images. We carefully blended the two photographs together to create effective then and now images.
You can present the same photographs in various ways depending on the area you want to highlight.
We also used colour to contrast between old and the new.
There are numerous buildings in Queen Street that have not changed a great deal over time. In these instances, we focused on the details in the photographs such as the people and transport to illustrate the passing of time.
We also created brief animations which show the current streetscape gradually fading into the old photograph.
You can see the final results of our image blending on our Facebook page. Thank you to our friends at Wolverhampton City Archive for providing access to their fantastic photographic collection and thank you to local photograph Dave Clare for providing additional Queen Street photographs.
A selection of the then and now photographs are on display in the ‘Walk Along Queen Street’ exhibition which runs until October 2018 at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.