One thing I have learned to love about photography is going back to a spot and taking the same photo. Seeing how much has changed in the months or even years of absence.

I received a comment from Bob on a recent post, telling me of his desire to document the city that he lives in because cities are always changing. An example he used was NYC and his visit in 2008, and the huge changes that city has seen over recent decades.

It took me back to my first NYC visit in 2008 also. At the time Ground Zero was still surrounded in mesh, I managed to find a couple of gaps in the fencing and saw how the renovation was progressing.


The skyline was absent of the two World Trade Center towers, but still beautiful.


Skip to 2011, ready to fly home after a year working in Texas. I see One World Trade Center rising above the surrounding buildings.


And how it looks today (photo credit at bottom of post).


I haven’t looked through my NYC photos in ages. I noticed just how bad the quality of the photos are by today’s standards (even then my camera wasn’t the best, using a basic phone camera most of the time) and how much photography has improved since then.

And now anyone can create great before/after photo albums of their favourite places, with cameras picking up so much detail. Below is a small example of this, taking a shot of the London Eye from the same underpass in Summer and Winter.

You would be forgiven for thinking the winter shot is first with the grey skies, however the trees give the season away. The first shot was taken last month, during lockdown with the streets empty.


The next shot was in Winter, coats are worn and trees are bare. It was pre-lockdown, so people are enjoying the freedom they didn’t know would be taken away in just a few weeks. A city sightseeing bus circles the city, I haven’t seen these in months.


It isn’t often we look back in history for an easier time. But this year is certainly an exception.



Last NYC skyline photo by Mike C. Valdivia on Unsplash



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20 thoughts

  1. I love these photos. I have a fondness for older grittier photos, I find they often have more texture, even if they aren’t more technically beautiful. But the ones of the London eye are very stunning. This whole post makes me crave for days when I can go exploring and take more photos. (I’m still battling illness).

    1. I know what you mean, it really helps us to remember the age in which it was taken, too. A way to remember the good old days 🙂

      I am sorry to read you’re still battling illness, I do hope that you recover soon. I hope your week improves, and keep us updated!

      Thank you for reading and the comments.

  2. But sometimes it is quite disappointing to return to a place that was previously idyllic but has been ruined by excessive tourism in the meantime (cf. my post “Paradises Lost”. But you are right that it can be very interesting to see how cities have changed.

    1. It can be, especially if the area gets damaged as a result too. Places of outstanding natural beauty for example. I do love to visit somewhere that I consider a ‘hidden gem’ and hate when I know it is hidden no more!!

      Thanks William for the comments.

      1. Few hidden gems anymore: if a lot of tourists haven’t already visited, there’s probably a reason (e.g., diseases, terrorism or just plain too difficult to get to).

    1. More to come Pat, I hope you won’t get bored haha.

      I am trying to look into it and see why it is happening… it could just be a temporary bug, you never know. Lets see over the next few days I guess, I will try to get answers and maybe it will sort itself out!

    1. Thanks Nads, it is true, always good to make the most of any situation. We will have some interesting photos to look back on I am sure!

    1. Always good to escape into a photo! This is why I love old photos, for that time travelling feel you mention. Glad you like the shot Teri 🙂

  3. One of the reasons I was looking forward for my return trip to Panama in April. Heard I would have been surprised to see the development. They now have a subway. Great perspective.

    1. Oh yeah? Big developments then. Always nice to hear of somewhere getting the investment and development when needed. Pleased to hear!

  4. I like your new bio photo at the end 🙂 I know what you mean about improvements in photography– I don’t think I’d share any photos now that I took back in the 2000s (at least not without a disclaimer!)

    1. Thank you! 😀 really happy you like it. I felt I needed to show my face eventually haha.

      You should add old photos sometimes too, its like a little bit of history 🙂

  5. Very interesting! I drive a cab around NYC and the most common question people ask me is about the attractions.

    1. Thank you for reading! And thank you for sharing, being a cab driver in NYC must be interesting… not to mention busy! You must have to keep up to date with all the new attractions that spring up (such as the Vessel that I would like to visit) as well as know all about the classic ones. I hope work has been good during the lockdown period, stay safe!

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