We are all familiar with the concept of photo editing thanks to the many photo editing tools and apps like photoshop. We can not only change the lighting and color of the picture, we can also add or take away parts of pictures, or combine several photos into one. You might think these photo editing is relatively new, but as I learned from Faking It, photo editing has been used for long time.
Faking It is a free app from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a companion app for the exhibit Faking It – Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop at the museum.
The app shows to the readers some historical photos that are altered with different techniques. Some modifications are done for political reasons, some are edited due to photo technique limits, some are just for artistic expressions.
Each picture has a detailed explanation on why and how the picture is edited, and readers can see the before and after comparisons.
For example, the photo shown in the picture above, Sherman and His Generals, was taken in 1865, and it was altered. Can you tell where? and can you guess why? Hint: the biggest change from the original one was adding a person. Can you tell which general was added later?
There are many interesting historical photos in the app: Elvis Presley’s G.I. Haircut, the image of German prisoners of the war at Stalingrad – the battle that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany, the family in front of Niagara Falls taken in 1905, …
Through the app, readers are not only learning the history, but also art and photo techniques. it can serve as interesting educational materials for kids for history, art, and technology.
If you like to look at the photos on bigger screen, you can see the same content on the exhibition’s website.
Faking It By The Metropolitan Museum of Art is available on iPad, it is free.
Update: the app is not on App Store anymore. Please visit the exhibit website instead.