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'Old Vs New' Photography Challenge

Techniques > 'Old Vs New' Photography Challenge

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Category: General Photography

Photographing The Theme 'Old Vs New' - Looking for a new photography subject/theme to photograph? Well head out with the theme 'old vs new' in your head and see what you can capture.

Print Article Jargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off

America - old and new buildings

Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk


  • Any camera, be it a DSLR or compact camera, can be used for this technique
  • Tripod – not essential but handy when photographing buildings. If you do take one make it light as it'll soon get heavy after carrying it around for a few hours.


The idea of shooting old and new can be applied to various subject matter but one of the easiest ways to find subjects which can be used to interpret the theme is in the city. In most cities new buildings are going up around older structures all of the time so it won't take you long to find a vantage point that gives you the chance to capture something new and something old in one frame.

Keep It Simple

The key to doing the successfully is shooting in a way where the person looking at your shot will understand what you were trying to do without you having to explain it to them. One of the easiest ways to do this is eliminate as much of what's surrounding your old and new items as possible. This means cropping in with your lens or using your editing software to remove some of the distracting objects once you're back at your computer.

Where To Start

Out in your town/city it's probably easier to look at buildings as a whole first, searching for old structures that stand next to or across from new structures made of metal and glass. How about looking for new shops in old buildings such as the stalls in Camden's stable market? Or looking for building sites where new buildings are getting created in front of structures that have stood for a long time.

After photographing whole buildings look a little closer for reflections of old brick work in glass or new signs sat next to or even on older structures. You could try having a look through archives or even your relatives' photo albums to see if you can find shots of buildings you can go and re create now and sit them alongside each other to show how much/little it's changed.

What Else Is There To Photograph?

People - Look for young and old people, a grandparent sat with their grandchildren for example.

Vehicles – Look for an older car sat in a line of more modern models or how about shooting a scrap yard with the piles of old, rusted cars and the employee's newer cars out the front? Don't enter the scrap yard though, just shoot from the road.

Technology -  Try shooting someone sat talking on a smart phone with an old fashioned telephone in the background. If you have an old games console in your loft, get it out and try a few still life shots of it next to a Playstation, Xbox or a Wii.

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