There’s just something about comparing the past and present through photography that is incredibly endearing and whimsical. Then and Now photography is a fun, beautiful style of photography that’ll give your modern photographs a unique vintage touch. It’s become increasingly popular as people have been recreating old pictures to show the progression of time.

Today, I’m going to show you how to use the BeFunky Photo Editor to create a blast from the past: a Then and Now photograph that’ll honor both the past and the present.

Finding Your Inspiration

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have always been interested in the history of the city. There are certain images that are just quintessentially San Francisco, so I decided to draw inspiration from its various landmarks and famous imagery. Lucky for me (and everyone else, honestly), the British Library has released over a million (a million!) historical photos and images from around the world through Flickr that are free to the public to use and admire. So, I took to their Flickr album and searched “San Francisco” and found a beautiful image of the Cliff House and Seal Rocks from San Francisco’s infamous Ocean Beach.

Cliff House British Library

This equipped me with just the inspiration I needed to create a Then and Now photo, so I shot out to Ocean Beach with my sister and took a ton of photos on my phone in an attempt to recreate the image from the British Museum.

Cliff House Modern
Like I needed an excuse for a day at the beach.

Fortunately, we were graced with a beautifully clear winter day, and I got the perfect shot!

Making the Magic Happen

The first step I take is to upload my modern picture that will serve as my backdrop to the Photo Editor. Then, I go to “Layer Manager,” click “Add layer,” and upload my vintage picture.

Then and Now 1

Next, I adjust the size and opacity of my second picture to help me with the positioning of the layers.

Then and Now 2

After that, I click on the “Cutout” tool to cut out Seal Rocks and the Cliff House. To do this, I use the lasso shape and the “Feather” tool, which gives it a blended look, at 100%.

Then and Now cutout1

Once I have my cutout the way I want it to look, I save it and head back to my original picture.

Then and Now cutout2

This is when I adjust the size of my cutout to fit my original picture and blend the old image with the new one.

Then and Now 3

To add more aspects of the vintage picture, I go to “Cutout” again and use the “paint” option under “Shape Selection” and the “Feather” tool to cut out the sun and some of the clouds.

Then and Now cutout3

Then and Now cutout 4

I do the same repositioning of this cutout as I did with the first one, but this time I put it in the top left corner.

Last but not least, I use the “Sharpen” tool at 20% to make my final edit more crisp, and flatten my layers to make the cutouts and original image look more seamless together.

then and now FINAL

Voila! It looks like these two images were made to be put together to create this unique photo. The waves of the past and the waves of the future meld together beautifully to reflect the collision of the past and present to show that, while everything changes, there are some things that will always stay the same.

Ready to create a work of art that’s a blast from the past?

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