• The Planting/Print Room at Olmsted NHS

    Frederick Law Olmsted

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

Past & Present Photo Project

Recreate a historic photo of an Omsted designed landscape! We explored parks in the Emerald Necklace in Boston with a camera and a print of a historic photo from that park. We hope this comparison of old and new photos sparks thinking about the ways landscapes change over time as well as the relationship between people and their landscapes. We invite you to help us create a richer exploration by adding photos of your own. Try a "photo in a photo" or just try to find the exact spot a photo was taken and snap a shot.

 
 
Three photos from our Past & Present photoset on flickr
 

How to Join in the Project

1) Find a historic photo on our Olmsted Archives flickr pages where we have posted sets of historic photos from a number of parks.

2) Take a printed photo to the park or take a phone or tablet with internet access to the archives page.

3) Find the spot where the historic photo was taken and snap your own photo. Try a "photo in a photo" or just take a photo that shows the same view as the historic photo.

4) Upload your photos to the Olmsted National Historic Site Group on flickr. Please include the job number from the historic photo. If you would like, include caption information about your experience.

 
A ranger takes a "photo in a photo"

Tips for taking "photos in photos"

-Print large versions of the photo. We found that a 10"x 16" size worked well.

-Crop photos down to an interesting feature.

-Pick photos that have an elements which may show some continuity between photos, such as the contour of the land, a body of water, or a man made structure.

Did You Know?

JC Olmsted

Frederick Law Olmsted married his brother John’s widow. His nephew, John Charles, became his step-son and eventual partner in the firm.