art, art photography, combination printing, conceptual photography, darkroom, film photography, fine art, masters of photography, photo manipulation, photography, photomanipulation, photomontage, photoshop
If you think that Photoshop has changed everything, maybe you need to be introduced to the masters of the darkroom. Before the digital era, skilled photographers did dodge and burn like we do it now digitally, they did combine several negative plates in order to make a new photograph, they did airbrush, literally, to paint or ink over retouched areas, they did mask, they did erase unwanted objects or shapes, they scratched, they painted and drew over the photographs to add details to overexposed areas for example. Photo manipulation has existed nearly since the invention of photography, earlier examples being from the Victorian era. Spirit photography, fantastic creepy photography, people with their heads off, were all the rage back then. Then surrealists and the dada movement used photomanipulation a lot. Propaganda used it a lot too and some dictators erased people they didn’t like from the pictures for example. Then advertising and fashion photography needed this art from the early stage.
So, take a tour.. here are 20 photos, altered or manipulated before the digital era and the widespread use of Photoshop.