Secrets in the Darkroom

20 best photo manipulations before 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.

Hippolyte Bayard – Self Portrait as a Drowned Man 1840


Unknown - Victorian head off photography
Unknown – Victorian head off photography
Oscar Gustave Rejlander – Two Ways of Life 1857
victorian spirit photography
Unknown – Victorian spirit photography
Fading_Away Robinson
Henry Peach Robinson – Fading Away 1858
maurice-guilbert_henri-de-toulouse-lautrec 1892
Maurice Guibert – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec as Artist and Model 1892
Camille Silvy River Scene 1858
Camille Silvy – River Scene 1858
Henry_Peach_Robinson When_the_Day's_Work_is_Done
Henry Peach Robinson – When Day’s Work is Done 1877
Edouard Baldus Cloitre st Trophime, Arles 1861
Edouard Baldus – Cloitre St Trophime, Arles 1861
Edward J Steichen The Pond Moonrise 1904
Edward J. Steichen – The Pond, Moonrise 1904
ingre-s-violin man ray 1924
Man Ray – Ingre’s Violin 1924
Howard S Redell Woman in Champagne Glass 1930
Howard S. Redell – Woman in Champagne Glass 1930
George Platt Lynes The Sleepwalker 1935
George Platt Lynes – The Sleepwalker 1935
edmund teske
Edmund Teske – Madison Grammar School Demolition 1937
ClarenceJohnLaughlin Elegy for Moss Land
Clarence John Laughlin – Elegy for Moss Land 1947
Grete Stern 1948-Sin-titulo_jpg
Grete Stern – Untitled 1948
Jerry Uelsmann – Untitled 1969
Zuzanka's Night Window, 1979, by Jan Saudek
Jan Saudek – Zuzanka’s Night Window 1979
Tsunehisa Kumura 1979
Tsunehisa Kumura – Untitled 1979
Jerry Uelsmann – Untitled 1982


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s