Photomontage, photoediting and stuff.

Posted: January 12, 2011 in Random facts and WTFs, Software, Technology

Today, it’s hard to find a person who hasn’t heard of Photoshop, a brilliant piece of software for editing and adjusting images. Though, not many people know that the craft of photo-editing has been existing long before the introduction of Adobe Photoshop in 1989.

Watch this demonstration of digital photo-restoration techniques developed by Soviet engineers and programmers in 1986. You don’t have to speak Russian in order to understand what’s going on in there. The video shows the process of scanning the image, digitally removing scratches and then printing it back.

Moreover, different photo editing and restoration techniques have been known to Humanity long before the invention of computers.

Back in the old days, you had to have a decent knowledge of Chemistry in order to be able to do photo-editing. People were manipulating different chemical components during the film development to change the brightness, contrast and other parameters AFTER the image has been already taken with a camera.

Different photo-montage techniques have also been practiced since the middle of XIX century. Probably the most well known of them was combination printing, a process of printing an image from two or more different negatives.

For example, that’s a famous work of an English photographer Henry Robinson, Fading Away, in which he depicted a young girl who is dying from tuberculosis. The image is a combination of five different photos (negatives). The work was released in 1858.

Another epic example from that era is a work of Oscar Rejlander, Two Ways of Life, in which he used 32 (!) different negatives.

***

Back in those days, the process of developing one work could take days, weeks or even months. You had to be pretty rich and Chemistry savvy to allow yourself to play with such stuff.

Fortunately, today, the progress has brought us to the point when every single monkey who has even the basic Photoshop skills can spend only a few hours to produce shit like this…

… or this…

 

 

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