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Old crime scenes mashed up in New York City: Then & Now photos


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Photographer Marc A. Hermann creates “New York City: Then & Now” photos, revealing what old crime scenes would look like in the modern background.

Then-and-now photos are welcomed by photography fans. It is always nice to see what a place used to look like and how it has evolved over the years. Sometimes the backgrounds are very similar and there are no major distinctions, while in other cases  you could swear that you look at entirely different areas.

Photographer Marc A. Hermann puts old crime scene photos in the modern background

Since most then-and-now projects are based on the same idea, Marc A. Hermann has decided to come up with an unique image collection that would put him in the history of photography forever.

The photographer has decided to combine vintage photos of crime scenes with modern backgrounds. The images come from the New York Daily News chronicles and they were taken between the 1930s and the 1960s, when crimes occurred very often.

Crimes committed by the so-called “Murder, Inc” were the photographer’s source of inspiration

Marc A. Hermann says that he has been an admirer of the work done by Joeri Teeuwisse and Sergei Larenkov, who have provided then-and-now photos of World War II sites. However, he was quickly reminded that the United States was troubled by “local battlefields” in the 1930s, back when “Murder, Inc” was striking fear in American hearts.

Murder, Inc is the name given by the press to the American Mafia, which is thought to have been responsible for up to 1,000 “contract assassinations”.

The New York City: Then & Now photo project does not consist solely of crimes committed by the mafia. One iconic photo depicts a woman, named Josephine Dexidor, holding her boyfriend after he was shot by her spouse.

“New York City: Then & Now” project required Hermann to match the angle and scale of the vintage images

Blending in old and new photos is not very easy. Marc A. Hermann has been forced to match the angle as well as the scale of the vintage photos. This is not something that anybody can do, considering the fact that multiple things have changed in the meantime.

The biggest problem does not consist of the new buildings, is it about the photography format. Back in the day, photographers were shooting with 4×5-inch film cameras and mostly 127mm and 135mm lenses. Now, this technique has been replaced by 35mm-format DSLRs.

Hermann is currently an editor and photographer for the New York Daily News. Plenty of his images are available at his personal website, where viewers can also learn a thing or two about photography.

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