Galton and composite photography

Galton was keen to exploit new technologies for his research. He developed the technique of composite photography in a (failed) attempt to isolate the physical characteristics that define particular ‘types’ of criminal and people with mental and physical illnesses.

This technique involved creating multiple exposures on the same photographic plate. He noticed that these composite portraits were more attractive than any individual member, and this has generated a large body of research on human attractiveness and averageness one hundred years later. 

With the advent of computer technology during the early 1990s, Galton's composite technique has been adopted and greatly improved using computer graphics software. 



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