Pictures don't lie
March 16, 2009 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Photomontage timeline, 1850-2007. Spirit photography, trick photography, comic montages, Photoshop, etc.

I only wish you could enlarge these images.

But I'm glad to have learned about the Cottingley Fairies.
posted by Miko (16 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
This is completely awesome, thanks Miko.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:35 AM on March 16, 2009

"Poe's works, along with de Sade and the recovery of European folk/fairy tales, became the seeds of a sophisticated gothic imagination (there had been an unsophisticated pre-1848 literature of 'Penny Dreadfuls' and a brief British craze for horror stage shows)"

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:41 AM on March 16, 2009

Wow, didn't know that "Two Ways of Life" took six weeks to do. Makes you wonder what photographers of that era could do with modern techniques.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM on March 16, 2009

Lewis Carroll was a photographer?! Alice in Wonderland makes a lot more sense now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:49 AM on March 16, 2009

Nice post, but boy-oh-boy do I hate side scrolling.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:57 AM on March 16, 2009

I knew Carroll was a photographer. But why does that make Alice in Wonderland make sense?
posted by DU at 11:06 AM on March 16, 2009

Great stuff Miko. I had no idea photomontage had a "proper" history. I'll still be here at the end of the week. ( you might like to ask one of the Mods to correct your title typo; they can delete this as well then )
posted by adamvasco at 11:08 AM on March 16, 2009

Argh, didn't see that, thanks adamvasco.
posted by Miko at 11:49 AM on March 16, 2009

Nice concept. However, it seems to me that, if one is creating a website focusing on fantastic trick photography, you'd include links to larger versions of the teeny, tiny thumbnails.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:50 AM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yup. That is cool.
posted by MarshallPoe at 12:03 PM on March 16, 2009

Also: Museum of Hoaxes photo database.
posted by starman at 12:08 PM on March 16, 2009

What's most interesting about the Cottingley fairies is what a crappy hoax it is, to our eyes. I mean "look--fairies look just like they do in the children's book illustrations: i.e. two-dimensional paintings!" And yet perfectly rational adults were quite taken in by them, and even those who were skeptical often found them eerily 'realistic.'

I'm often reminded, when I think about the Cottingley fairies--of Edison's famous "Tone Tests" where he would pit his newly invented phonograph against the real singers he had recorded on concert stages. To imagine this now is to imagine a laughably unequal contest in which we hear the full richness of the real voice (these were mostly opera singers, used to filling a concert hall) with the scratchy, squawky, reedy sound of the earliest recordings. But back then many people were willing, at least, to say that they couldn't distinguish which was the record and which the real singer, and everybody apparently came away impressed with the lifelike quality of the recordings.

Just shows how "learned" seeing and hearing are, I guess.
posted by yoink at 4:31 PM on March 16, 2009

As a collage/photomontage artist, I find this to be totally awesome in almost every way. Almost. The only fault has nothing to do with side-scrolling...

posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:29 PM on March 16, 2009

Ok, getting to the Dada period and there's no mention of Hannah Höch. I don't know if this site and I can be friends any more.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:32 PM on March 16, 2009

I can't fathom why the pictures aren't bigger, either. It's frustrating.
posted by Miko at 7:39 PM on March 16, 2009

This is fantastic. Though, more than anything, I wish there were links to all the newer work that was posted.

Makes you wonder what photographers of that era could do with modern techniques.

Eh ... probably more of the same, they'd just be done sooner.
posted by squeak at 8:50 PM on March 16, 2009

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