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View Full Version : Matching historic photographs - how to?


sundialsvc4
11-27-2009, 12:09 PM
I have built several models of a historic iron-furnace based on [url="http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer/"HAER[/url] drawings. Since measured front- and side-projections are available (and I have visited and measured the site myself), I know these models are "correct."

I'm trying to "match" historic photographs to these models, and I'm having "an interesting time" doing that. It's becoming rather an interesting exercise, and I'd like to know what others do and/or what has been written on the subject. I'd like to be able to do it without standing at the site with a camera (large-format or otherwise), because one cannot always do that.

For the historic photo, obviously you don't know just where the photographer was standing, nor what camera parameters were used. Often it was a large-format (bellows) camera in the hands of a competent shooter who knew how to avoid diverging-lines and so on... i.e. the orthographic projection. You can "put yourself in the mind of the shooter," if you've done such photography yourself. But lens selection, position, and so on are unknown.

It seems to me that you have to do most of the "matching" purely by-eye. And so, I am wondering what other people have learned to do . . . how one might derive information from the photo that can then be used to match it. Or simply, if anyone has a "procedure" that works well for them.

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