“And the streets don’t change But maybe the names”
– “Patience,” G N’R
If corporations are people, so are cities. They evolve and change, while always maintaining core elements, their singularity. No two cities are exactly alike, and no city remains the same as the years and generations pass. Just like people, cities have their own personality, swagger (or lack thereof) and demeanor, a case of urban natural selection where the city itself forms a more perfect union with the human economy around it–or at least it should.
“He was so much the picture of different kinds of assimilation,” Christopher Hitchens wrote, “that it was almost a case of multiple personalities.”
So it is with Norfolk, we realize, looking through these Augmented Reality photos by Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority staff photographer Casey Scalf. Even as Norfolk has changed, taking on whole different personalities through the years, it has remained essentially, at its core, that unique place that is our home.
As part of a partnership with NRHA, we are running a series of photos from their archives. We talked with Scalf about what she learned putting these shots together, the reaction of the public, and her thoughts on the most romantic view in Downtown Norfolk.
AltDaily: We love this series. Tell us about your inspiration for bringing together the past and present in this way.
Casey Scalf: The augmented reality photographs, in which a past-era photo is inserted in the center of a present-day photo of the same area, makes the transformation of time all the more apparent and breathtaking to the viewer. It captures the evolution of Norfolk.
It seems pretty clear that you had fun doing this. Did you get any curious reactions when people saw you taking a picture of a picture?
I would get strange looks when I was standing in the middle of a street holding up a photo in one hand and a camera in the other. I had a couple people come up to me and say, “I know what you’re doing! I’ve seen it on the internet! It’s so cool!”
Norfolk has evolved so much in the last 100 years. If you could magically bring one building that had been torn down back to life, which would you choose?
Some of the old firehouses would have really been great to include in the augmented reality photos.