Life without computers forced ingenuity. Long before Photoshop, as early as the 1850s, photographers were experimenting and producing images that boggle the mind.
You had to get fairly creative if you wanted to shock and impress back in the day. Multiple exposures were used to create those ‘spirit photos’ of yesteryear where it looks like some lost soul is posing for the camera. Other analog ‘tools’ included combination printing, photomontage, and overpainting.
But soon photo manipulation took off, as Mashable writer Amanda Uren explains:
The artistic community also took up photo manipulation, for instance, with the creation of narrative images. Later it was adopted by the constructivist movement in Russia in the 1920s, and then again by the surrealists.
Political figures (ahem, Stalin, Jong-il, Jong-un, the list goes on) have even gone as far as erasing certain people from photographs.
These days we can create everything with Photoshop, even bears with beaks. But in order to appreciate the photo editing software of today, we must first appreciate the efforts others made decades ago.
Here are some photos that were photoshopped before Photoshop.