1906 Earthquake And Today’s San Francisco blended photographs

Photographer Shawn Clover came up with idea to collect historical photographs of tragic 1906 San Francisco earthquake and blend them together with today’s San Francisco photos. Most of these photographs end up with digital cutting room floor, because there is no chance to get the same photo today, because of various new buildings, trees and other structures.

Nevertheless the main photographer goal was to stand in the exact spot where original photograph was taken.  This was not that easy how it could look like. Doing this needs to take into account equivalent focal length, how the lens was shifted, light conditions. Just moving one step changes everything. Photographer took plenty of shots to make these amazing and accurately blended San Francisco photographs.

At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, San Franciscans woke up to a quick jolt. For the next 25 seconds, all was silent. And then it hit hard–42 seconds of intense shaking. Buildings fell, sinkholes in the streets opened up, railroad tracks bent, and collapsing bricks crushed cable cars sheltered for the night in the cable car barn. But the real damage had not even begun. It was the out-of-control fires that did 90% of the destruction to San Francisco. Over 30 fires, caused by ruptured gas mains, destroyed approximately 25,000 buildings on 490 city blocks. Worst of all, many were started when firefighters, untrained in the use of dynamite, attempted to demolish buildings to create firebreaks, which resulted in the destruction of more than 50% of the buildings that would have otherwise survived. The dynamited buildings themselves often caught fire. In all, the fires burned for four days and nights.

Photo credit: Shawn Clover