August's Awesome Ottawa award goes to Alexandre Laquerre to support the continued development of Ottawa Past & Present, a website which juxtaposes urban archival photos against ones taken in the present day. By dragging a slider back and forth, viewers can closely compare how a particular spot once looked with Alexandre's recreation of the original shot.
"With the site," explains Alexandre, "I want to show how Ottawa has evolved (or regressed) over the last 100 years. I question the decisions what were made and shaped the Ottawa that we know today. To have the most impact," he continues, "I try to be as accurate as I can between the original archival photo and the one I shoot. It is not a particularly verbose site, but I think the comparisons speak for themselves."
Alexandre currently has more than 300 comparisons on the fully bilingual website, and shoots new ones weekly. The award from Awesome Ottawa will help pay the fees for accessing photos from the City of Ottawa's archives, and also offset part of the cost of a tilt-shift lens, which will allow him to more faithfully recreate the composition of some of the archive photos.
Alexandre is an engineer working in nanotechnology, and moved from Quebec City to Ottawa in 2006. "I have a real passion for urbanism and photography," he says. "I live downtown. I am not a fan of the suburbs."
Funded by Ottawa (August 2013)