On my recent stay in Miami, I was going to be at a loose end on a Friday. I had booked an airboat to go out in the everglades in the afternoon but hadn’t really thought much about what I’d do in the morning. When we entered our hotel, a photo hanging on one of the walls of our suite gave met the answer. The photo was of three buildings clearly on Ocean Drive. The photo had no attribution that I could find and my wife told me the other rooms she’d stayed at in that particular hotel had the same image on the walls. Initially I thought it was quite old but then noticed the 1990′s era Mercedes E190 parked on the street.
So on the Friday morning I duly set out to take a series of images and I’ve posted many these last few days. Thing was, I forgot to even take and iPhone snap of my inspiration so when I got to the location, I didn’t compose it properly. The next day, my wife and I went to the beach nearby so I had a second chance, except I only had my Canon S100 with me. I did have a better chance of getting the right angle but it was early afternoon when I got there and the light was terrible. Below is my black and white version and below that my color version.
It’s kind of like one of those ‘spot the difference’ quizzes. Looking at the lamp post as a fixed object, it would appear that all the current day palm trees are new. The tree to the left of the lamp post is shorter than the one that used to be there and closer to the lamp post while the bent tree left is definitely there and there didn’t used to be a tree to the right of the lamp post. Meanwhile, the trees on the far side of the road are much taller now but appear to be the same ones. The flag pole no longer tops off the Park Central while the Imperial has gained a whole new cluster of awnings out front. The Mercedes has been replaced by a Hummer, the city has added a trash can and a parking meter and the bicycle rack is a little further to the right than where the bike was parked in the 1990′s version.
I’ve long found it interesting to compare ‘Then and Now’ photos. There was recently an iReport on CNN where a man had a photo take of himself on Westminster Bridge in London where his father had posed for a photo in WWII. For that man it had helped form a bond and helped him know he was truly following in his father’s footsteps. Maybe in 20 years I’ll come back and shoot this again. Or maybe the file format I’m using will not longer be readable and I’ll no longer have the ‘Then’ version. Who knows?