Reading the Landscape in Antler, North Dakota: Repeat Photography in an Atrophying Northern Plains Town

Reference work entry


This study presents repeat photography as an effective method to construct a narrative of change for a cultural landscape. The technique of repeat photography is the process of revisiting the vantage point of a historic photograph and capturing a contemporary image. This chapter focuses on the town of Antler, North Dakota, which has lost more than 85% of its population in the last 50 years (the 2016 estimated population was 25). Repeat photography with eleven historic photographs in Antler began to uncover a story of abandonment and change over the last century. It is this telling of a story through photography that situates our chapter in a book regarding language. In addition to exploring some of the region’s precursors to population decline, previous scholarship using repeat photography is presented along with a methodological framework for anyone interested in conducting similar studies elsewhere.


Repeat photography Rural geography Historical geography Qualitative methods North Dakota Great Plains 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyFrostburg State UniversityFrostburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

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