June 4, 2021 5.42 pm This story is over 13 months old

Then & Now: Lincoln photographer showcases the city’s transformation over the decades

His before and after time lapses are proving a big hit

A lifelong photographer has been wowing people with his time-lapse photos of Lincoln, highlighting the changes the city has seen through the years.

John Bennett runs Light and Dreams Photography, and has been snapshotting the city of Lincoln for the last 12 years.

The idea for his time shifts came out of the blue while he was working on commissions from local tourist boards and magazines in Lincolnshire.

An old picture of the Bracebridge trams on Newark Road inspired John’s time shifts. | Photo: Light and Dreams Photography

“I saw an old photo of the Bracebridge tram sheds on Newark Road, and realised the the building was still there as a furniture store,” said John, recalling the moment he came up with the idea of doing time shifts.

“I’d driven or walked past it so many times and had no idea of it’s history. I decided to set myself the challenge of getting a new photo of the building from the same angle, and seeing if I could combine them somehow.

Broadgate looks very different, but the buildings still stand proud. | Photo: Light and Dreams Photography

“At that time I had no idea how to merge videos, so I merged the two photos to create a single still image. It worked pretty well, and seemed to be quite popular, so I set about doing more around town.”

Since then, John has uploaded over 200 time shift videos to his YouTube channel, which have amassed almost 150,000 views collectively.

Brayford Pool has been revamped over the years, but the cathedral is as beautiful as ever! | Photo: Light and Dreams Photography

He told The Lincolnite: “Starting a YouTube channel just seemed the best way to showpiece the time shift videos, and also some of my more mainstream photographic work.

“So there are some tuition videos, travelogue type videos, still image compilations, as well as the time shifts.”

Far more shops on the junction at Lincoln High Street and Tentercroft Street. | Photo: Light and Dreams Photography

He has shown before and after pictures of some of Lincoln’s most well-known places, including the Arboretum, Hartsholme Country Park and the Bailgate.

John said that he hopes to continue capturing the development of Lincoln as years go by, as well as branching out of the city and checking out other areas in the county.

Plenty of people still roamed the High Street back then, but there wasn’t a Primark in those days! | Photo: Light and Dreams Photography

When asked what his favourite work so far has been, John said: “My favourite places for time shifts are probably Brayford Pool and the High Street, because there have been so many changes in those areas.

“I love old photos with lots of people in them going about their daily lives.”

John published a book called Lincoln Time Shifts under the Light and Dreams Photography moniker, and you can buy it for £22.87.

As well as this, he has made a calendar with some of his time shifts, which will be on sale again later in the year.