Skip to main content

Who would you go back in time to grab a selfie with?

Image by Flora Borsi

We've all wondered which historical figure we'd snap a selfie with if we could travel in time. It's a line of thought that then leads to further questions such as, how would you explain the concept of a selfie to Queen Victoria? And how long would it take to get burned as a witch if you were waving one of today's best camera phones around in medieval England?

Luckily, time travel doesn't exist yet, and if it's going to be invented then those future time travellers are doing a really good job of keeping a low profile. However, the lack of workable time travel hasn't stopped Hungarian fine art photographer Flora Borsi from making her own set of selfies with some of the biggest names from the 20th century, and they all look amazing.

Flora Borsi with Marilyn Monroe

Flora Borsi pasted herself into shots of iconic 20th century figures; image by Borsi

This isn't the first time that Flora's mucked around with the spacetime continuum; back in 2013 she created a series of pictures called Time Travel, in which she used Photoshop CC to paste herself into assorted vintage photos, snapping the likes of Elvis, Andy Warhol and Harold Lloyd. And her latest set of photos, entitled Selfie, is a much more ambitious project.

To create these causality-breaking shots, she had to find the right photos of well-known stars, scientists and artists, and then add herself seamlessly to the shot to create that perfect selfie; and that was the really hard bit.

Flora Borsi with Gandhi

Lots of effort went into getting all the details exactly right; image by Borsi

Flora started out by researching the appropriate fashion and hair styles for the time and place of her chosen photos, then she had to analyse each picture's lighting, perspective, depth, gamma, noise type and jpeg artifacts. "After this," she explains, "I took matching photos with the same technical criteria and digitally 'destroyed' my self-portraits."

The results are stunning; it's usually easy to spot something anachronistic pasted into an old photograph or stock art, because inevitably some little detail will have been overlooked, but Flora gone the extra mile to ensure that everything fits perfectly, whether she's pulling faces with Audrey Hepburn or hanging out with Sigmund Freud.

Flora Borsi with Audrey Hepburn

Who wouldn't want to have snapped this selfie with Audrey? Image by Borsi

She estimates that she went back to each image about a hundred times before she was happy with it, and even how she's not entirely satisfied: "I couldn't make it look like as it was originally shot like this," she says. "I guess this maybe happens because of the 'selfie' pose, my mind subconsciously knows that it couldn't have happened like this, that's why I find this series even more interesting!"

You can find Flora's full set of time travelling selfies here.

Related articles:

Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, cat-wrangler and occasional street performer who's written for a multitude of publications over the past quarter of a century, including Creative Bloq, T3, PC Gamer and a whole load of long-dead print magazines.