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Inner-city Transformations Captured in Time-lapse Photography by Camilo José Vergara

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Focusing on poor and segregated neighborhoods across America, Camilo José Vergara has photographed transforming cities for more than half of his life.  For maximum impact to illustrate changes, Vergara photographs the same intersections in cities known for their dilapidation and growth of gentrification such as New York, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles as well as many others. His series "Tracking Time" is an ongoing series.

Ransom Gillis Mansion, Alfred at John R St., Detroit, shown in 1993, 2000, 2002, 2012, 2015 and again in 2015. 

Vyse Ave. at East 178th St., Bronx, New York, shown in 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1993 and 2013.

Taken from the Huffington Post:

"Vergara differentiates his work from photographs that are meant to stand alone and “astonish” a viewer. Instead, his work is best digested a dozen or a couple hundred images at a time. He sees himself as an archivist, both creating the original documents and then curating them.

“You find meaning in some aggregate images, and that’s what I’ve done all my life,” Vergara said. “That’s the great function of photography, is that it’s not so much focused on the extraordinary — it’s the everyday.”

Vergara’s entire collection is a portrait of decline and renewal at both a neighborhood and national level, one that particularly resonates as many cities grapple with rapid gentrification and the displacement of long-time residents and small businesses. His method of time-lapse photography has created a record of those everyday surroundings that might otherwise be lost."

New St. and Newark St., Newark, New Jersey, shown in 1980, 1981, 1985, 1987, 2014, 2015.

Things disappear so quickly,” he said. “And then you realize … your city doesn’t look like that anymore.

Views Along Fern St., Camden, New Jersey, shown in 1979, 1988, 1997, 2004, 2009 and 2014.

To see more city transformations by Camilo José Vergara please visit