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Faking It, Old School.
August 30, 2012 5:41 AM   Subscribe

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop is a new display coming to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It features some fantastic historical photoshops composites, multiple exposures, forced perspectives, and other clever camera trickery, and they've released a preview of some of the images they'll be hosting.

[Some linked above]

Two-Headed Man
Dream No. 1: 'Electrical Appliances for the Home'
Man Juggling His Own Head
Lenin and Stalin
A Powerful Collision
Aberdeen Portraits No. 1
The Vision (May be NSFW)
Hearst Over The People
Room with Eye
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec as Artist and Model
Man on Rooftop with Eleven Men in Formation on His Shoulders
Dirigible Docked on Empire State Building
Fading Away
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Cloud Study

[via]
posted by quin (19 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
This book is pretty essential to the idea ( and funny! Note the Stalin entallening)
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Two-Headed Man" looks to me like a prop texture from Fallout: New Vegas or Starship Titanic.
posted by clorox at 5:50 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not historic, but relevant (no Photoshop).
posted by nathancaswell at 5:51 AM on August 30, 2012


Weegee did a lot of photo manipulation.
posted by Mikon6 at 6:00 AM on August 30, 2012


Nothing on Playboy? They spent a small fortune on retouching every month. (When Bob Guccione founded Penthouse, he couldn't afford the photo retouchers that Hugh Hefner used, so he put all of his early pictorials in soft-focus by the low-tech technique of smearing Vaseline on the camera lens.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:34 AM on August 30, 2012


One of the very early uses of photo-manipulation was to prove it could be just as "artistic" as painting, meaning the photographer could get each element in the photo "perfect" and arranged just like he wanted and then cut up a bunch of photos and carefully re-arrange them into a whole scene that resembled the then dominate form of social narrative painting (where every element in the painting was supposed to inform you to the narrative) and not merely "document a scene".
posted by The Whelk at 6:36 AM on August 30, 2012


Here's some background on Dirigible Docked on the Empire State Building.
posted by Huck500 at 6:40 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


That NSFW would be a lot more helpful above the fold, since it's linked there too, don't you think?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:41 AM on August 30, 2012


Fake. Totally shooped.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:45 AM on August 30, 2012


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Man Juggling his own Head look so much like what a photoshop/after effects novice does when they first start using the program.

Room With Eye would be a prior attempt, before they realized how tedious it was to lasso around the eyelashes (the novice does not know how to mask yet).
posted by postcommunism at 6:46 AM on August 30, 2012


I met a guy who said in the 70s he was employed by the Pittsburgh Press to retouch news photos by hand. The main job was to remove the men with long hair and the women with miniskirts from all of the news coverage.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:53 AM on August 30, 2012


No Jerry Uelsmann?
posted by pjern at 6:54 AM on August 30, 2012


Horace Rumpole : don't you think?

I do. Thanks to cortex for getting that corrected.
posted by quin at 7:16 AM on August 30, 2012


This book is pretty essential to the idea ( and funny! Note the Stalin entallening)

The Commissar Vanishes is one of my favorite things to show people.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:56 AM on August 30, 2012


So many old photographs, to me, look like illustrations.
posted by owtytrof at 8:30 AM on August 30, 2012


These photos are exactly why I don't want to see the special effects in pre-cgi movies to be redone. They may not be as perfect or as polished, but the artistry with the tools they had is remarkable.

The "Man on Rooftop with Eleven Men in Formation on His Shoulders" and "Hearst Over The People" are striking images, as is "Dream No. 1: 'Electrical Appliances for the Home'".
posted by jb at 8:36 AM on August 30, 2012


That Lenin and Stalin picture looks just like one of the "incredibly realistic pencil drawing"s that get posted from time to time.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:14 AM on August 30, 2012


Where's the J.K. Potter artwork?
posted by asfuller at 9:48 AM on August 30, 2012


Jerry Uelsmann is mentioned in the article, but I couldn't find any pics in the exhibit. Here's one of my favourites (unfortunately not on display).

I studied with one of Uelsmann's students... I guess that makes him my grandpa.
posted by phliar at 3:38 PM on August 30, 2012


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