Photoshopped Photos From Before the Days of Photoshop

Although Adobe Photoshop’s introduction in 1990 spawned the term “Photoshopping”, the manipulation of photos has been around pretty much as long as photography itself. To show this fact, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will be holding an exhibition titled, “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop.” The show will feature 200 ‘shopped photographs created between the 1840s and the 1990s, providing a glimpse into how photographers of old use their work to humor and deceive.

Techniques used include multiple exposure photography (in which the same piece of film is exposed with multiple shots), combination printing (in which a single print is exposed by multiple films), photomontage, overpainting, and retouching on the negative or print.

The photographs in the exhibition will be divided into seven different sections, titled “Picture Perfect”, “Artifice in the Name of Art”, “Politics and Persuasion”, “Novelties and Amusements”, “Pictures in Print”, “Mind’s Eye”, and “Protoshop”.

Here’s a small sampling of the images found in the exhibition:

If you’d like to check it out in person, the show runs from October 11, 2012 through January 27, 2013.

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop (via HuffPo)

  • sierrarobba

    Non of these maintain double xposure at all.

  • apodeictic

    You know there are 195 other photographs in the exhibition, right?

  • PhotoStorys

    Awesome. Who needs photoshop then!

  • Mark Wheadon

    The top image reminds me of one I did in the film days — cut out a figure from a 6×4 print carefully using a scalpel, then place her in a new out-of-scale scene (in a beer glass on a kitchen worktop in my case:-), then photograph the new scene. The end result was convincing.

  • Rigel Egan

    it’s called ‘superimposition’. work on your dictionary vocabulary.

  • Robby Cornish

    this is witchcraft!

  • Michael Dixon-Brooks

    Back in the 80s & 90s at the photos studio I worked, at the graphic artists dudes did a lot of actual airbrushing of photos which we then copied to make prints for press releases etc. Was always impressed at the level of work involved, yes, nowadays a lot quicker to “shop” it, but impressive back then nonetheless.

  • Kathleen O’Donnell

    I worked back in the day printmaking in a lab in Troy MI. I could spend easily 3 hours making multiple exposures on 1 sheet of transparency film. Flashing color, adding glows, dropping in text as well as multiple images, all pin registered. After processing came color correcting and evaluation. Then back to the dark. When it was right. Large prints murals for advertising were made. That was the way it was done back then.

  • sierrarobba

    THESE pictures in this page :)