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Environmental rephotography Visually mapping time, change and experience

Chapter in book
Authors Tyrone Martinsson
Mark Klett
Published in Joni Adamson & Michael Davis (eds), Humanities for the Environment - Integrating knowledge, forging new constellations of practice
Pages 120-146
ISBN 9781138188167
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London
Publication year 2016
Published at Valand Academy
Pages 120-146
Language en
Keywords Environmental Humanities, Environmental Photography, Climate Change, photography
Subject categories Visual Arts, Other Humanities not elsewhere specified


Repeat photography, or “rephotography,” is among the most important photographic techniques to address time, change, and perception. One or more photographs made at different times are repeated to form points of comparison, anchoring historical documents with physical locations. Rephotography forms a dialogue with time, history, and memory. The results can contribute to our understanding of the past, affecting decisions regarding the paths we choose to take into the future. This chapter will explore the process of rephotography by looking at how it was used in several studies. First, three projects identify physical and cultural changes in the American West. The methods involved are described and illustrate what can be learned from rephotographs. The second part of this chapter describes a project documenting environmental concerns from the arctic, illustrating in dramatic fashion how rephotographs are used to record receding glaciers and the effects of climate change. These projects involve a merger of creative practice, research and scientific interpretation. Taken together they present examples of how rephotography can be used to examine the environment and human interventions, providing perspectives on both time and change.

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