Repeat photography

Sometimes abbreviated RP, repeat photography is the art and science of precisely retaking historical photographs in order to document, analyze and understand change. We prioritize well-captured and reliably relocated scenes, offering opportunities to examine successional change in vegetational communities, and in some cases landform evolution.

Three reports from my 2004-&-2005 RP project with naturalist Kathy Hocker can be downloaded from JuneauNature. Two are daily journals, for 2005 aerial and ground-based missions, respectively. The third is a more comprehensive discussion of RP-art-&-science, with many examples from our archives. It includes before-after pairs from year-1 (2004) when we spent much of the project on home grounds of Áak’w & T’aakú Aaní, working out protocols before the more wide-ranging year-2.

Abandoned gold-rush town of Dyea, near Skagway. 2005 retake of 1899 photo, by Kathy Hocker and Karl Gurcke.

‘Construction’ note:

In the original 2014 version of this RP page we embedded an interactive map, hosted by ESRI’s ArcGISonline showing locations of historic photos—both ground-based (red triangles) and aerial obliques (black arrows)—Symbols pointed in direction each photo was taken. Clicking on an arrow opened a pop-up with info about the photo and a thumbnail. Clicking on that thumbnail opened a medium-resolution view.

Initially developed and supported by the Southeast Alaska GIS Library, that map portal was ‘unplugged’ in 2019. One of my goals for JuneauNature is a much expanded assortment of ‘arc-online’ windows, using ESRI’s extraordinary tools for cartography and storytelling. Sorry, for this lapse, and here’s hoping it’s only a brief one, soon to be remedied with even cooler displays.

In this section

Albatross retraced

If Harriman had been serious About 120 years ago the steamer Albatross conducted watershed surveys, interviews and salmon distribution studies…

2019; updated 2023 | Richard Carstensen | 60 pages

Repeat photography Part-2: ground-based

Retakes field journals, 2005 season Summarizing the Repeat Photography Project for 2005, Kathy Hocker and I divided our field reports…

2005, 2nd ed 2013 | Richard Carstensen & Kathy Hocker | 40 pages

Repeat photography Part-1: aerials

Retakes field journals, 2005 season Summarizing the Repeat Photography Project, Kathy Hocker and I divided our reports into 2 parts:…

2005; 2nd ed, 2013 | Richard Carstensen & Kathy Hocker | 39 pages

Meadow fire at Eagle Beach

Burn succession, Asx‘ée, twisted tree On May 9th, 2020, some camper-kids with lighters ignited a pretty dramatic grassfire at Crow…

2020 | Richard Carstensen | 14-page journal, 6-minute slideshow

Seasonal re-photography

Repeat photography for study of seasonal change Until 1988 I abstained from cameras, content with pencil sketching and pen-&-ink illustration.…

2020 | Richard Carstensen | 3.5 minute video & 63-page pdf

2005 Spring newsletter: Then and now

Repeat photography as a naturalist’s tool Kathy Hocker wrote this Discoveries feature midway through our 2004-to-06 Repeat Photography. On completion,…

Spring 2005 | Kathy Hocker | 7 pages

Sydney Laurence in Áak’w Aaní

Part of a 2012 slide show for Juneau-Douglas City Museum on Alaskan landscape painter Sydney Laurence. I co-presented with Mike…

2012 | Richard Carstensen | 17 minutes

Historical aerials of Southeast communities

In 2011, Cathy Pohl and I received a drive with 22,000 scanned air photos taken by the Navy in 1948.…

2011 | Richard Carstensen | 35 minutes

1867-2017: 150 years of change

Background paper for 3 banners commissioned by the Juneau Douglas City Museum, showing changes to iconic landscapes of Áak’w Aaní…

2017 | Richard Carstensen | 41 Pages

Asx’ée (Eagle Beach) maps & historical series

I created an early version of this compilation while still living at the Scout camp at Asx’ée, twisted tree (Eagle River),…

2020 | Richard Carstensen | 38 pages

Repeat photography summary report

Documenting change through repeat photography in Southeast Alaska Carefully framed retakes of historical photographs documenting vegetation and landform change in…

2005: 2nd ed, 2013 | Richard Carstensen, Kathy Hocker | 39 pages