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Then & Now: Behind the Photo Shoots

THEN: NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY; NOW: ERIC CACHINERO

THEN: NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY; NOW: ERIC CACHINERO

Photographers tell the experiences and challenges of recreating historical photos.

By Nevada Magazine

When we set out to recreate historical photographs, we knew it would be a challenge. How much has changed? How much has stayed the same? Would we end up driving hundreds of miles only to find the photograph unattainable, or would it look not much different than 100 years ago?
This project was incredibly rewarding, and presented an interesting look at the state. If you would like to read the story first, click here to learn about these historical places. Below, you’ll find an account of how we got each of the photos. Enjoy.

Nevada State Capitol, Carson City
By Eric Cachinero

Working in Carson City, I often walk past this historic building. Though its impressive architecture and generally inviting campus never cease to amaze me, I never realized how little has changed in the nearly 150 years since the building was constructed. I visited the steps and began snapping photos until I was satisfied with my results. It wasn’t until I got back to the office and lined the photos up that I realized the modern photo lines up almost perfectly with the historical one. We laid the historical photo on top and decided it would make the perfect opening spread for the Feature.

Caliente Railroad Depot
By Eric Cachinero

FRANK SCOTT COLLECTION

FRANK SCOTT COLLECTION

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

My first time ever visiting Caliente was to take this photo. As I pulled into the small railroad town, it didn’t take me long to find the depot. As I drove up, however, I thought I had run into a major problem: construction. Trucks and ladders covered the front of the depot, and I was certain that I arrived for my photo on the worst day possible. Luckily, the depot staff told me that the trucks were simply removing Christmas lights and would soon be finishing up. The delay allowed me enough time to head over to Kershaw-Ryan State Park—a very great choice. After I finished exploring the park, I headed back to the railroad depot and was able to capture this shot.

Belmont Courthouse
By Greg McKay

MRS. DELLA DODSON COLLECTION

MRS. DELLA DODSON COLLECTION

GREG MCKAY

GREG MCKAY

Photographer Greg McKay was very spot-on with his recreation of this historical Belmont Courthouse photo. The detail in this photo makes is incredible. Notice the color of the horses in the old photo, and then take a look at the Toyota FJ Cruisers in the new photo. Notice any similarities?

Colorado River
By Nancy Good

NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

NANCY GOOD

NANCY GOOD

Las Vegas Photographer Nancy Good took on this assignment with surprising excitement. We were, after all, asking her to drive to find a location in southern Nevada we weren’t sure still existed today. Nancy responded with this incredibly shot. “For accuracy’s sake, I locked in on the distant mountain line…the only issues I ran into were changes in the shoreline elevations to allow me to get this perspective from about 10 feet higher or 10 feet back,” Nancy says. “120 years or so of erosion and usage does change the landscape! But, as we’re documenting actual before and after conditions, this is an accurate representation of the perspective as it exists now.”

Rhyolite Bottle House
By Eric Cachinero

NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

When I pulled up to the bottle house, I could immediately tell there was going to be a major problem preventing me from capturing the exact perspective as the original photo: a tree. Sure enough, a small tree has grown almost exactly in the spot that the original photo was taken, stopping me from getting the perfect shot. I managed to snap a couple, and thought that they did not do the photo justice. After about 250 shots of a close-up tree, I decided to drop on the other side of the tree and managed to get a photo from a different perspective.

Goldfield
By Eric Cachinero

NORTHEASTERN NEVADA MUSEUM

NORTHEASTERN NEVADA MUSEUM

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

The feeling while taking this photo was incredibly. Everything looked the same, save the power lines and a tree or two. Take a look at the small house between the two buildings. More than 100 years and the house and chimney still look nearly the same. It’s tough not to feel transported back in time while in Goldfield. These photos give an excellent example of that.

Tonopah
By Eric Cachinero

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO LIBRARY

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

This was by far my favorite photo of this project. This one actually took me two different sessions to get. The friendly staff at the Tonopah Historic Mining Park actually took me out into the park to try to get the correct perspective. I finally found it by walking out across some old mining equipment (not recommended). The fact that I was elevated about 20 feet to get this photo means that either the ground has changed quite a bit since the original was taken, or the structure that I walked on has existed in its place to this day.

Historic Boulder Theatre
By Nancy Good

LAS VEGAS NEWS BUREAU COLLECTION

LAS VEGAS NEWS BUREAU COLLECTION

NANCY GOOD

NANCY GOOD

Another example of impressive architecture, the Historic Boulder Theatre still looks remarkably similar to this day, although the cars in the foreground do not. “I shot this a couple of times due to additions to the building itself,” Nancy says. “I had hoped to stand a bit further back to exactly match perspective, but there was another building in the way that obscured half the theater.”

Eureka Opera House
By Eric Cachinero

EUREKA SENTINEL MUSEUM

EUREKA SENTINEL MUSEUM

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

The sun shining in through the doors in this photograph made it the most challenging to get. Though the railing and several other aspects of this historic theater have changed throughout the years, it is still very impressive. One can’t help but feel incredible energy when stepping into the theater and thinking about all of the emotion that has occurred within its walls. This is truly a unique place.

Winnemucca
By Megg Mueller

NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

MEGG MUELLER

MEGG MUELLER

A lot has changed in Winnemucca over the years, which made this photo difficult to get. Managing Editor Megg Mueller says she tried many different angles while dodging cars to get this shot. The cars give another interesting element to these photos, as a way to see how much has changed over the years.

Helen Stewart Ranch
By Nancy Good

university of las vegas library

university of las vegas library

NANCY GOOD

NANCY GOOD

“Researching the site, along with help from the Old Mormon Fort rangers, I shot this from the only spot on the grounds that would allow this comparable perspective,” Nancy says. “To get far enough away to exactly capture it, I would have been in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard outside a fence (obscuring the scene). As the ranch house is no longer there, but remains of the stone fence and the old fort are, I locked in on the stone fence remains, which you can see in the old photo (behind the heads of the two individuals standing next to the creek mid-right). You can also see the end of the old fort just to the right of the old stone fence, along with remains of the old ranch house (adobe bricks) on the ground of my image (mid-left).”

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