Image Comparison Page

by Tim Urbaniak

  As we browsed through the collection of Dudley White photographs in preparation for the grant submittal, some images stood out immediately. These were familiar places, recognizable places, locations that, for the most part, had remained unchanged between Dudley's time and mine. As a digital photographer, I became interested in comparing images from the past to images of the current time and that concept was successfully included in the original grant.

  The comparisons reveal a variety of information including vegetation pattern changes over the years, urban developments, and riverbed natural processes. The original images also serve as a template for viewscape re-creation using current digital imaging technology.

  'Chasing Dudley' around Montana introduced me to a man that I could never meet. Using copies of his photos, I have stood on the same rocks, sat on the same tree, watched the same river and, probably, shared some of the same thoughts about outdoor Montana. The more I visited the same places he had been, the more I realized our commonalties. We both tend to travel with cameras. We both have more pictures of our friends than of ourselves. We are both avocational students of Montana history.

  Montana is still there for the explorer, a target-rich environment for the photographer, replete with oft-visited locations that always feel like the 'first time'. You, Dudley and I, documenting our time, leaving tracks into the future.


wpe7.jpg (90351 bytes) 


Icefall on the Stillwater River - Note the locations of the rocks in the riverbed.

wpe5.jpg (69379 bytes)

Stillwater River near Beehive - Note the trees along the left side of the river in the newer image.                             

wpe8.jpg (67406 bytes)

Although this ranch house in the Stillwater Valley has changed owners, the view has remained the same.

wpe14.jpg (54391 bytes)

This view of the Mystic Lake Reservoir provides an opportunity to compare the density of the forest from 80 years ago to today

wpe19.jpg (79735 bytes)

Hiking along the Stillwater Trail, this scenic waterfall is a natural stopping point for the weary traveler.

wpe1.jpg (62426 bytes)

On top of Beartooth Pass this scenic mountain remains largely unchanged over the years.


wpe2.jpg (52090 bytes)

Snow on the Beartooth Highway varies from year to year, but drought in the late 1990's has severely reduced snowpack.

wpe4.jpg (47690 bytes)

The 'viewing point' heading up Beartooth Pass has been remodeled over the years, but the view remains spectacular.

wpe9.jpg (48405 bytes)

This recognizable outcrop in the Stillwater River Valley has witnessed many changes in agricultural methods.

wpeA.jpg (45741 bytes)

Twin Lakes outside of Red Lodge shows little change along the lake, but mountain tops in the distance show an increase in tree density.