Reedy Falls composites and Wilkins house

Now that I know how to make composite photos with a photo editor, I had to find another subject. Going through the old photos posted by Greenville History Tours to their Facebook page, I found several I thought would make good subjects. Three photos involved students from Greenville Women's College sketching at Reedy Falls, now part of Falls Park on the Reedy. I had to try one of these photos next.

While I was plotting this adventure, the campaign that began in late January to save the Wilkins house from demolition became a big story. Whatever it's eventual fate, I had to check it out and it was only a short distance away from the park.

Reedy Falls

I chose this 1903 photo of students from a Greenville Women's College sketching class at the waterfall to composite. The building at the top right is Camperdown Mill #2.

I shot many potential backgrounds different slightly in position and focal length, using a "hard copy" as a "low tech" guide. Many of the photos had kids in them climbing the rocks in the river or running around. I thought it'd be interesting and a bit creepy to composite the kids into the same photo with the ladies. Unfortunately, I couldn't make the idea work. The ladies and the kids always ended up on top of each other. Instead I went with this kid-free photo as my background (after cropping):

I made the composite in Photoshop Elements and after a good bit a fiddling came up with an image that I think works. I keyed on the shape of the rocks at the top of the waterfall and a rock in both photos over by the ruins of the Camperdown Mill #2.

Another photo on my shortlist to composite was this 1902 photo, also of a sketching class from Greenville Women's College:

But Tom Taylor got here first, however, so I didn't spend much time on this attempt. I had planned on doing just the 1903 photo, but I thought it might be interesting to compare my version to his.

This is my composite:

and his composite:

The two came out very similar, as expected. The biggest difference I see is the interesting change in the light between a sunny and overcast day.

I did take a few photos of the park, including a photo sphere under Liberty Bridge, but I had to move along. My parking space was time-limited and my time was almost up.

io9, a site covering science and science-fiction, shared some amazing examples of this type of photography in Time-Traveling Photographs Reveal History in the Present.

I've added my photos to an album on Flickr and an album on Google+.

Wilkins House

The Wilkins house is, for now anyway, located at 1004 Augusta Street. This Italianate house was built in 1876 for William T. Wilkins, who moved to Greenville after becoming a successful businessman in New York.
Wilkins house - covered in vines
This property was recently sold to a developer who plans to build something else here, and planned to tear this house down. In response, The Palmetto Trust for Historical Preservation launched an effort to save the house and move it to a nearby location.

So far, they've raised enough money to move the house, but they still need money to preserve the house at its new location. Their pamphlet provides more detail on the history of the house and nice photos off the interior.

I thought it'd be interesting for the future to take photos from various distances and angles so someone in the future (myself included maybe?) could make a composite photo of this location.

I've added my possible composite backgrounds to an album on Flickr and an album on Google+.


I had an interesting morning down at the park and the Wilkins house. I have a few more idea for composites and some vacation time coming up, so I may be back again before it gets too warm for me to explore.

Goodbye Ms Kitty. I'll miss you little buddy. :(


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