Analogue Photoshop?

This week we started a trial – photographing some Glass Lantern Slides for the Towards Dolly Project, & one of the first images we took showed that there is nothing new under the sun…

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GB 237 Coll-1434 (Box 4), Roslin Glass Slides. The Drop Scene Two Miles Up the Wanganui River, New Zealand. Photograph of a Maori girl standing on a canoe at ‘the drop scene two miles up the Wanganui River’ in New Zealand in the late 19th or early 20th century. In the background there is another canoe, jungle and mountains.

Although this slide was produced in the early 20th C, there is clear evidence of photo manipulation. Once we zoomed in on the image it became clear that the Maori Girl in her Canoe on New Zealand’s Wanganui River was in fact a fraud! Sunlight doesn’t often come from 2 directions, nor does perspective suddenly alter proportions (compare the girl’s canoe with the smaller canoe behind her). Furthermore, she has the classic ‘cut-out’ look of early photo-montages. Despite this, on the small 8cm x 8cm original, it is hard to spot at a glance- one of the unexpected bonuses of digitisation is the ability to zoom in on small details.

Click on the image below to see a larger version.0055382f

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One thought on “Analogue Photoshop?

  1. Shumi says:

    Wow even that ancient time there was a term photo manipulation to deceive the eyes! But the larger version of this image does show that its not real!

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