North Carolina Then & Now Presentation

Publicity announcement for North Carolina Then & Now program:

In 2005, Kevin Adams embarked on the most educational and rewarding project of his career. With 750 historical photographs in hand—culled from some 50,000 he had reviewed at archives across the state—Adams journeyed across North Carolina to rephotograph the scenes for a modern perspective. His goal was not merely to present a contemporary portrayal of the historical images, but rather to walk in the original photographer's shoes, to place his camera at the precise location from which the old image was made. In the resulting image pairs, Adams wanted the viewer to see exactly the changes that have occurred since the historical photographer stood in the same spot.

To realize this goal required painstaking historical research and a meticulous approach to the rephotography. Once he had determined the approximate locations from where to shoot—a task unachievable for many of the photographs—Adams had to endure some rather unpleasant situations to get the shot. To make some of the rephotographs, Adams set up his tripod in the middle of busy streets with cars and trucks whizzing by only inches away. Some shots required hanging over the roofs of tall buildings. The most difficult of the photos were those shot from airplanes. As Adams says, trying to place a camera in the precise location of one used to shoot a decades-old photograph is difficult enough while using a tripod. Trying to determine this location while moving 80 miles per hour in a small plane, all the time fighting the urge to hurl lunch, is quite another!

In the end, Adams created over 125 rephotographs that are reproduced side-by-side with the historical images in the large-format book North Carolina Then & Now. The before-and-after image pairs cover every geographical region of the state and include street scenes, waterfalls, buildings, landscapes, roads, and much more. The collection provides a compelling look at the changes—some good, some bad, all striking—that have occurred in the Tarheel State over the past 150 years.

Come join Kevin as he presents photographs and relates experiences from this two-year journey across the Tarheel State. You’ll be shocked and saddened, amazed and delighted. You’re sure to laugh and you might even cry as you experience North Carolina, then and now.