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Make your own "Then and now" image

Published @ 2013-08-10

In recent years, Then and Now photos have gained great popularity. You can make yours! Here's your step by step list on how to get the desired result. Making your Then and Now photo in 10 steps
  • 1) pick your old family photo you want to recreate
  • 2) scan this photo, crop and save to disk
  • 3) gather all family members posing in the old photo
  • 4) dig up your cloth drawer and try to dress like you did decades ago
  • 5) return to old scene
  • 6) assume same position as in old photograph
  • 7) make photo - this time you won't have to scan it :)
  • 8) crop new photo to similar size as the old one
  • 9) merge them with a photo editor tool
  • 10) save, upload to Facebook and bask in your own glory
Of course, some of these points might be impossible to achieve. It's all about the fun, don't worry too much about being perfect. The hardes parts are the technical ones. For scanning and cropping you can use AutoSplitter of course but the photo merging is a harder nut to crack.

The best free tool I can recommend is's editor. This is a simplified online PhotoShop clone. Go there and choose "open image from computer". Then open both the scanned and freshly taken photo from your computer. The scanned and cropped one is likely going to be much smaller. Check the status bar text of the scanned photo in pixlr. You will see the photo size there. Take note of it and try to crop and resize the fresh photograph to a similar size.

Now create a new image (File/New image) big enough to put both your photos side-by-side. For example if your photos are sized 800x1000px and 900x1100px then you should make a 1600x1100 one. Go to your old photo, select all (Ctrl+A), copy (Ctrl+C), switch to the new, empty image and paste it (Ctrl+V). Do the same with the new photo as well. Now you should have both photos pasted into the new image. See the Layers toolbox at the right side of the browser window. Both pictures are residing in a separate layer. Click a layer to select it, then you can move around the selected photo freely. Adjust position of both photos as needed. When it's done, select the Crop tool (left-topmost tool on the "Tools" toolbox on the left side) and highlight the whole area that contains the photos: leave out the white background bits - these will happen for sure. Press enter, save the image and you're done.

Congrats on your own Then-and-now masterpiece :)
Categories: photo scanning, fun

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