A new photography exhibit opens this week at the Wabaunsee County Historical Society Museum in Alma, featuring the work of Kansas photographer and designer, Tom Parish. Kratzer and Parish: Volland Then and Now. A Re-Photography Exhibit by Tom Parish features thirteen ghostly photographs of Volland, Kansas which merge black-and-white photos containing faces and places from the past with vivid color views of Volland, today.
Parish’s images are a product of carefully planning and execution by the Flint Hills photographer who photographs current landscape views from the exact perspective and position that Volland shopkeeper and photographer, Otto Kratzer took a century ago. Parish selected a score of century-old photographic images by Kratzer and positioned his digital Nikon camera carefully to capture the current view in those same locations.
Many of Parish’s photographs exhibit an ultra-wide perspective, a technique achieved by creating multiple images, often six or eight photos taken from the single location. Then, Parish digitally “stitches” the photographs together, seamlessly, to create an extremely sharp, vivid wide-angle view as the eye would see. Once the landscape or background photograph is created, Parish then overlays the historic image over the modern photo, matching the details of buildings brick-by-brick and board-by-board.
In the thirteen photographs included in Parish’s show, eerie images of people and places from Volland’s past appear as a part of the modern landscape, providing a clear window to the ghost town’s history. Before coming to the museum gallery, Parish’s re-photography show was featured at The Volland Store gallery.
Parish is well-known for his 360-degree view photography of underground caves and cellars in the Flint Hills.