John Bennett, award-winning Lincoln photographer and owner of Light and Dreams Photography, has made over 600 ‘timeshift videos’ which merge old and new images of the same places around the city to showcase the rich heritage of our area and how it has evolved over the years.
What started as an experiment soon turned into a substantial project for John, and he has no intentions of slowing down. Originally, he blended still images together showing half old and half new, but he eventually progressed into creating videos where the images fade into each other. “It started as a personal challenge in photoshop one day when I noticed that the Bracebridge tram shed was still on Newark Road” John recalls, “I took a photo of the new building and edited it, so it was half the old photo and half the new. People seemed to like it, so I did still half and half photos for a year and then decided to make short videos merging the two together, which worked better than I thought!”
John has been creating these videos for three years, and although he thought the project would run out of steam quickly, he continues to have a great influx of people sending across old photos to recreate into his timeshift videos.
“I’m interested in both photography and local history,” John explains, “so this project combines both of those. I’ve always tried to do different sorts of things as a photographer, and this entails different types of photography all the time; although the editing is similar, the subject matter can’t be more varied really.”
Lincoln is blessed with a rich heritage, and it is something we as a community are always keen to preserve; these videos act as yet another way of ensuring future generations do not forget what was and offer an opportunity to look back and learn about what life was like within the city throughout the decades. “History is such a big part of our lives in Lincoln, we are literally walking in the steps of Romans wherever we go. I think maybe that means we are slightly more aware and in tune with our heritage than other places.”
John’s favourite images are those in which people feature. “They tend to be more interesting to me – you can look into the faces of people from hundreds of years ago and wonder what lives they had and what they had to live through, and even if their descendants are still around now.”
There seems to be no slowing down with John’s timeshift videos, and as he regularly has requests to do so, he is considering creating a live show with a Q&A and slideshow sometime in the future.
If you would like to find out more about John and his work, you can visit johnloguk.smugmug.com or search Light and Dreams Photography on YouTube to watch his timeshift videos.