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Ipswich then and now

The view up Nicholas St towards Brisbane St with a curious mix of old and new. It is now the Ipswich Mall, featuring a futurescope at the top of the photo.
The view up Nicholas St towards Brisbane St with a curious mix of old and new. It is now the Ipswich Mall, featuring a futurescope at the top of the photo. Jason McNamara

A SPECIAL album of images has blended the old with the new and provided a wonderful link between Ipswich's past and present.

Ipswich photographer Jason McNamara calls his album Ipswich Leftovers, and it's full of photos showing what has changed and what hasn't.

"I've always had a passion for Ipswich history and photography, so I've combined the two to show people what buildings Ipswich used to have," Mr McNamara said.

He said that creating the images gave him a lasting and totally different view of the city he grew up in and loves.

"When I look at those photos and I walk down the street, I can't help but think of that man standing against that wall, or there was a lady leaving the bank," he said.

"It changes the way you look at the whole CBD. It gets you thinking of history and heritage.

"To think I walk down there every day to have coffee, and those people in the photo were walking down there 100 years ago. It changes the way you look at everyday life.

"To know that I'm standing in exactly the same spot as a photographer 100 years ago is pretty mind-blowing as well."

Standing in the same spot as the original photographer was crucial to the authenticity of the project.

Sometimes that was more difficult than at other times.

Mr McNamara used his iPad to show photos from the Picture Ipswich website to help him line up his camera angles with key points on a building.

"Then it's a matter of putting the photos on top of each other on Photoshop and removing the parts I want to remove and reveal what I want to reveal," he said.

"That's the bit I love, too. I feel like I'm some sort of magician who's making things appear - suddenly there's a car in front of the post office from the 1950s.

"Some of the shots I do I have to get in the middle of the road. In those days you could set the camera up on a tripod and click away because you weren't worried about getting run over by a car doing 60km an hour.

"Most of the shots are taken at crossings, so I have to wait for the light to change, get in and take the shot, then get out of the way before the lights change again.

"The hardest ones are the buildings that don't exist anymore.

"There's one I shot of the old fire station at the Top of Town next to the Anglican church and I have to line up the shot with buildings in the background that still exist."

A keen amateur archeologist, he said there were many more buildings he wanted to photograph and create wonderful new images with.

Topics:  history, images, ipswich


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