State Library of South Australia

Transitions 1914-2014

Date: 31 October 2014 to 1 December 2014

Location: A feature exhibition in Your Hub, ground floor Spence Building at the State Library

Note: Open every day except public holidays

Transitions 1914 2014

Take a step back in time and look in on Australian streets as they were 100 years ago.

In these unique digital montages, Australian people of 1914 mingle with their 21st century counterparts on streets that retain an uncanny resemblance to the way they were.

Australians, seemingly oblivious to the impending war, stand on street corners chatting, their lives merged with their modern counterparts who scurry about their business.

The original photographs were taken around 1914 on glass plate negatives.

Eleven images are from the State Library collections, three featuring images of Darwin and eight featuring images of Adelaide and surrounds.

The photographers used large format field cameras, propped on the back of trucks, or standing precariously on shop awnings - unrestricted by modern OHS laws.

To match the perspective and view of the old cameras, the modern scenes were created from a mash-up of three to five photographs taken on a digital camera.

Each image has been hand-blended from the old and new to create individual digital montages bringing together the lives of Australian people going about their daily routines despite the separation of a century of history.

The experience of "being Australian" had not yet been defined on the battlefields of Gallipoli and the Western Front; Australia was about to change in unimaginable ways when these photographs were taken, but in some ways, as the montages suggest, perhaps Australia has not changed that much.

The photographer, John Donegan is a Walkley Award winning photo-journalist with over thirty years' experience in print and digital publishing. John is currently the Multi Platform Reporter for 702 ABC - Sydney.

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