HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE PICTURES (Sep, 1955)

This stuff was a bit harder before photoshop.

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HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE PICTURES

LAUGH-PROVOKING trick pictures are fun to make and more fun to show. Contrary to popular belief, such pictures can be produced by the amateur photographer, even though he has only limited equipment. Trick shots involve two steps: cutouts and pasteups. The equipment required for them, in addition to a camera and enlarger, is a sharp knife, a sheet of clear glass large enough to hold an 8 x 10 glossy print, and a piece of heavy cardboard of the same size.

The basic print on which the cut is later pasted is made first. See step 1 on the opposite page, and photo B above. This should be a sharp print with good middle tones. Use a ruler on this print to determine the exact size of the cutout needed. Next place the cutout negative, step 2, and photo A, in the enlarger and adjust the size of the cutout image to suit. The print should be made on single-weight glossy paper. Using an old magazine as a cutting board, cut carefully along the outline of the subject, step 3. Slant the knife away from the subject so that blade undercuts the edge.

The basic print is now placed on the cardboard, the cutout is arranged in place, and the sheet of glass is clamped over the combination, as in step 4. The last step, 5, is to photograph the composite picture. Two lights (house lamps of 150 watts will do) in reflectors are used, one on each side of the camera. The composite is propped up against a solid support, and a check should be made to see that the glass is not reflecting the light. The camera height is adjusted until the lens is 2 or 3 in. above the center of the picture, and then tilted slightly downward until the picture is centered on the ground glass. With a lens opening of f:8, use an exposure of 1/25 sec. if the camera is 2 ft. from the subject; 1/10 sec. at 3 ft.; or 1/5 sec. at 4 ft. On cameras having no focus control, use an inexpensive portrait lens. * * *

21 comments
  1. MAKE: Blog says: July 30, 20064:08 pm

    HOW TO – Make incredible pictures (without Photoshop)…

    Old camera tricks from pre-PhotoShop/GiMP days – Link…….

  2. Andy says: July 30, 20065:55 pm

    The only thing that’s missing is the shadow cast by the fish. I bet there was an ad in the back of that Popular Mechanics for an X-acto knife “shadow plugin” or something. No photoshop, indeed.

  3. Shadyman says: July 30, 20066:22 pm

    Or that the kid would need to be Popeye to lift that fish.

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  5. Digital Traveler says: August 8, 200612:16 am

    I remember making pin-hole cameras with my students when I taught school. They were so amazed. This page is sweet.

  6. JD on EP says: August 9, 20064:46 pm

    Photoshop 0.0…

    Photoshop 0.0: I’m swiping this title from Victor Mitnick on the Dreamweaver team, who sent the link around on internal email earlier this week. It’s an appropriate title. Everything still comes back to careful selection sets anyhow, regardless of wh…

  7. APhotoADay News says: August 17, 20069:53 am

    Make Incredible Pictures!…

    In light of the recent digital alteration scandals (see the August 2006 entry in this History of Digital Tampering in the Media, Politics, and Law) that have been widely debated in the photojournalism community, as well as the national media,……

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    Fauxtography.

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