'The Authenticity of Images & the history of photo manipulation techniques’


On Thursday 10th of February Makenzie Cool of McTears Auctioneers gave the club an excellent talk on the history of manipulating photographs, what we now call post processing or editing. She demonstrated that ‘photo manipulation’ has been going on since the start of photography itself - over 160 years ago. Back then, the capabilities of photographic equipment and the knowledge of photographers was very primitive indeed (compared to todays technologies, yet using very basic equipment, photographers were able to:


  • Create composite images by selecting specific areas from multiple different frames (negatives) in order to represent a scene that didn’t actually exist

  • Perform 'Exposure Blending' by using specific areas of multiple images in order to achieve a final print with optimum exposure across the entire frame

  • 'Focus stack' by using specific areas of multiple images in order to increase the depth of field in the final printed image

All of the above is available today in Photoshop (and other programs), but few might have realised that the roots of these programs hark back to very early darkroom techniques.

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