It's nothing new
The old masters manipulated their pictures as they developed film, and printed to achieve the results they wanted. Today we do esentially the same things in a computer. Picture by Ansel Adams.
Check out our photo manipulation page on our blog, Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind
How it was done then
ontrary to popular misconceptions, photo manipulation is nothing new. The way it is done is; The old black and white masters juggled negative development time, chemistry, and temperature to influence the appearance of their work.
They would do the same to their prints while adding "dodging" — reducing enlarger exposure to parts of the print, and "burning" — increasing enlarger exposure to other parts of the print — to their litany of revisions.
Their commercial photographer colleagues would use these tricks as well and if necessary, would sometimes employ the services of skilled airbrush artists, many of whom could perform visual miracles.
How it's done now
In the digital age, photo manipulation is no longer in the darkroom, but on the desktop. There are any number of programs available to manipulate images, but the most popular, and deservedly so, is Adobe Photoshop.® This is the software we use. It is professional software and definitely not user-friendly until one achieves a level of comfort. Then it becomes second nature.
Telling the story better
t the professional level, very few if any images are output to the final product without some sort of manipulation. In most cases, the intent of this manipulation is not to deceive the viewer, but to present a cleaner image which tells its story better. It's essentially the same process used by wordsmiths to edit their stories, except in this case, we are juggling pixels, levels, and colors rather than words, sentences and paragraphs.
We provide provide one or more of the following photo manipulation (post-processing) to the pictures we shoot for you. We will also provide these services on pictures you take or pictures you have that need help:
- Color correction
- Exposure levels and curves
- Background replacement
- Element replacement (heads, eyes, books, and other odd and assorted ill-reproduced image parts)
- Collage construction