Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before The Era Of Photoshop

Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990, ushering in a new age of tampering with photography.

Yet the history of manipulated photos stretches back over a century before the dawn of Adobe’s software.

In the good old days before airbrushing a zit or sharpening a blurred figure was just a mouse-click away, the task of transforming an image was an art form.

Techniques included multiple exposure photographs, in which a photographer took a number of pictures on a single negative, and combination printing, in which one added many negatives to make a single print.

These techniques are complex, but not nearly as much as the reasoning that would lead one to manipulate an otherwise truthful photograph.

The following photographs were part of the exhibition displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art called “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop” .

Some of the picture are extremely bizarre but nevertheless fascinating.

Dream No. 1: “Electrical Appliances for the Home” (1950)

 Dream No. 1: “Electrical Appliances for the Home” (1950)


 The Vision (Orpheus Scene) (1907)


 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec as Artist and Model (1892)


Hearst Over the People (1939)


 Lenin and Stalin in Gorky (1949)


 Man Juggling His Own Head (1880)


 Dirigible Docked on Empire State Building (1930)


 Room with an eye (1930)


See more: Metropolitan Museum Of Art