Saturday, 22 October 2016

Sarajevo: before and after photos

Bombed-out Dobrinja suburb, Sarajevo 1997
1997 disaster zone to 2016 suburb without blast holes, landmines and booby traps. 
I went to Sarajevo just after the war in 1997 with my mate Angus who had been invited to stay in the city's first Internet cafe, The Avatar.

Angus was there to interview the cafe's owner, Morgan Sowden, for Internet Magazine. I was just there for the ride.

Panorama of the Avatar Internet Cafe, Sarajevo 1997
It was a memorable week in an effortlessly cool city (which it still is). I was in a manic phase experimenting with QuickTime Virtual Reality and so I spent my time taking panoramas of, mostly, bomb damage.

19 years on and as Jo and I drove into the city this week it suddenly occurred to me to recreate those panoramas.

In 1997 I had a glorious photographic team: a Nikon FE, a Nikkor architectural 18mm lens, a QTVR parallax rig, Manfrotto tripod, and my friend Glen masterfully stitching all the pictures together. The panorama-creation process, including sending the 35mm Kodachrome off for processing, took three weeks.

Photographer selfie
This time around the quality can't compare but at least each panorama only took a couple of hours to create.

So there are odd artefacts in the new panoramas if you look, but it was worth the effort. I tried to find the exact tripod spot each time (not always successfully as you will see).

It was an entertaining and sometimes emotional job, especially the City Hall interior - what an incredible restoration, which was finished only two years ago.

The panoramas are thumbnailed below. They link through to the full sizes and captions on the Flickr album.

Shelled bus

The Avatar Cafe

Burnt-out National Library

Shelled skyscrapers

City centre

Outside the burnt-out library

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