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Hiking on the Faroes guided by the old cairns. Rephotographed on my rephotographic expedition to the Faroes.

What is rephotography?

In rephotography historical images are photographed again from the same location and the same view as the historic image. Finding this location and view can be a challenge.

The first rephotographs are only several years younger than the first photographs. Originally scientific rephotography was used in glacial science located in the Italian Alps. Rephotographing glaciers in regular intervals from fixed positions allows to observe and measure the growth and shrinkage of the glaciers.

Nowadays, rephotography is applied in many scientific contexts measuring changes over time and comparing present and past: landscape change, ecological change, climate change, urban development, but also development and aging of humans and animals. But rephotography is no longer limited to the scientific context: It is employed in arts, culture, and education. It can be used on a global scale visualising climate change, local showing the history of a town or house, or even personal documenting pregnancy or the development of a child. And of course rephotography is a hobby connecting the past with the present and oneself to the historic explorers, photographers, and artists.


On the following pages you will find information on rephotographic collections my own rephotographic expedition to the Faroe Islands and on methods and techniques in rephotography.


On rephotography, the web portal for rephotgraphy and on image registration for rephotography, that is the proper alignment of historic image and rephotograph, several papers were published:

High accurate rephotographic image registration by attention masks. Enabling intention-driven rephotographic image registration with interactive areas of interest masks.
A. Schaffland and J. Schöning, 2024, IEEE Access, vol. 12, pp. 7519-7530, 2024, DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2024.3350514
Climate change combat and disaster management with, the web portal for rephotography
A. Schaffland, J. Schöning, O. Vornberger, and G. Heidemani, 2022, IEEE International Humanitarian Technology Conference (IHTC), pp. 69-72, DOI: 10.1109/ihtc56573.2022.9998370
Heritage and repeat photography: Techniques, management, applications, and publications
A. Schaffland and G. Heidemann, 2022, Heritage, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 4267-4305, DOI: 10.3390/heritage5040220
New interactive methods for image registration with applications in repeat photography
A. Schaffland, T. Bui, O. Vornberger, and G. Heidemann, 2020, Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Structuring and Understanding of Multimedia HeritAge Contents, New York, NY, USA: ACM, pp. 41-48, DOI: 10.1145/3423323.3425749
An interactive web application for the creation, organization, and visualization of repeat photographs
A. Schaffland, O. Vornberger, and G. Heidemann, 2019, 1st Workshop on Structuring and Understanding of Multimedia heritAge Contents (SUMAC '19), New York, NY, USA: ACM, pp. 47-54, DOI: 10.1145/3347317.3357247
All publications can be accessed at my page at the Osnabrück University.