Ghosts of WWII: Sergey Larenkov's Photoshopped historic photos blend past with present

Russian photographer (and Photoshopper) Sergey Larenkov merges WWII-era photos with contemporary shots of identical locations in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Leningrad, and other European cities, to haunting effect. Many entries filled with images in sets organized by city at his livejournal.

(via, via Todd Lappin).

Update: Oops, Cory blogged this artist's work some 8 months ago, but I'll go ahead and leave mine up, since the livejournal includes new work, and this post points to an English-language explanation that wasn't available before.


  1. i don’t recall where i read this (maybe here at BB??), but you can do the same for your own cities and with your own photos at

    i love this idea, and i never get tired of these, no matter who does it. it sure helps bring history alive.

      1. lol.

        I do find with the submitterator that I’m getting confused about where I read what. I’m used to reading down the front page until I get to an article I’ve read before. Except that now there still may be articles below that which I haven’t read.

        Do love that submitterator though…

  2. I guess I’m just a photoshop snob but I found the execution pretty clumsy. Well, the final execution (blending, comping, positioning)…

    …which is a shame because I’m sure that finding the same position and focal length and etc would be very difficult, and the amount of other required research and time and trial and error must have been substantial!

  3. Xeni, thanks for posting that. To me, there’s something eerie and haunting about those pictures, and I’m glad for the chance to have seen them.

  4. @ franko:
    depends on the city, though. my hometown got so bombed in WW2, the main road today was just the first path in the rubble that english tanks cleared after the invasion (the town was just unlucky to be rather close to a big railway hub – bombers got so scared by the flak that they dropped their load early on the small town. or they had some left and dropped it on the way back).

    this technique would have its benefits in projects like this too (i think it was on BB as well):

    about old train stations in the US. how they looked and how the places look today.

    did someone give it a shot in portraits? i mean young and old?

  5. Having lived both in Berlin and Vienna, I find these images especially haunting. Like ghosts, but none whose visits you might enjoy. They’ll probably haunt me all day long.

  6. Leningrad, the image with those little kids got me. Seeing little ones that young in such a setting terrified me.

    I need a unicron chaser.

  7. This would make a very cool layer for Google Earth, especially if others contributed outside of Sergey’s area.

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