A HISTORY OF PHOTO RETOUCHING

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It is no wonder that we can do whatever we want with a photo today. It is incredible how far the technology went. Photos are being modified and retouched mainly with Photoshop. Now, hold your horses, it was not always like this. Back in the day, they used various manual techniques, water and chemical baths. Remember the dark rooms? They helped save a sensitive film from damaging. Of course, it was not an easy job, but the picture had a very fine texture. Even though it was a time consuming job, they mastered it. They edited and changed photos manually: they pieced together the negatives, edited them with ink, paint or air brush.

Remove a person from a photo? Piece of cake: back then and today, as well. In the political world, this was a very famous thing to do. Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung easily erased a fell from grace person that was in the same photo with them. For instance, Stalin is much known for deleting once-important figures in the Soviet Union from pictures. Or, he simply ordered to destroy the films (Leon Trotsky and Nikolai Yezhov were among the influential politicians who had the same destiny).

A very good example of photo retouching is one of the former USA presidents. Abraham Lincoln’s head was placed a top of another man’s body in the 5-dollar bill. This fact was discovered in 1860, in the United States of America and is the perfect model for a composite photograph: the president’s head was cut from one picture and stitched on a new body. Smooth and fine ink saved the day and created a very dramatic position of the president. We did take all these techniques and applied them to the digital era. We still do it. We cannot know for sure if, in our political system, they use these techniques for the same reasons, but we are certain that such actions are very easy to perform. After all, this is 2014.

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