Second Story Man - Dick Ainsworth

Second Story Man

This collection of 8" x 12" images captures a unique view of buildings in small towns throughout the American midwest as they were one hundred years ago. While the look at street level frequently changes, the second story of these same buildings often remains as initially constructed, giving me an opportunity to visually reconstruct the past.

Second Story Man Gallery

This gallery from a more extensive collection of images illustrates the wide variety of changes that have occurred, though the original construction remains. 

Creating Second Story Man 

Darlington, Wisconsin, is typical of countless towns throughout the midwest. Today our interest is entirely at street level, featuring businesses and storefronts added over the last couple of decades.

When viewing this same street, I focus my attention and my cameras at the second story level which remains much as it was constructed initially, giving me a different and more exciting perspective.

When I shoot buildings from street level, the perspective as shown in this example is correct, even though it looks somewhat distorted in a photo. I prefer capturing images as if I were standing at the second story level and looking directly at the buildings from the front.  

There are two steps in transforming the street view to the second story view. I frame the subject so that I capture a larger image to permit cropping and other manipulation. Later, in the lab, I use computer processing techniques to rotate and transform the image so that it appears "normal." This combination of computer and photographic skills developed expressly for the Second Story Man takes my creative efforts to a new dimension.

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