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Image ProcessingRetouching Before There Was Photoshop (Two Links)

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Charles Haacker
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Retouching Before There Was Photoshop (Two Links)

Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:31 pm

I came across this: Beauty Retouching from the Early 1900s: A Portrait of Actress Joan Crawford That’s ‘Photoshopped’. It reminded me that I used to do that! In that way! The Old Fashioned Way! I first learned it in school, then had to really learn it in earnest after a very gifted retoucher (Mrs. Sakaki) retired and I couldn't find anyone half as good. I actually "reverse engineered" negatives she had worked on and doggedly went at it with an old Adams Machine...
AdamsMachine.SHUTMAX.jpg
...that I inherited when I bought the studio. The above picture does not show the 3X magnifier on a gooseneck that would be placed over the workspace, the little white circle that would be backlit when in operation. The machine just vibrated the negative in the holder in a kind of very tiny figure-8 pattern which was easier on the retoucher than doing the wiggling by hand. The whole process was tedious tedious and tedious, and rooooned yer eyes. 8~
Retouching Samples_0001-Edit.SHUTMAX.jpg
From the unretouched negative...
The above was typical of the business headshots that were my bread-and-butter. I made them with an (also inherited) old school camera with a dividing back that put two 3-1/2 x 5-inch negatives on one 5 x 7 inch sheet film. The resulting negatives were big enough to retouch by hand with "graphites and dyes" in that Adams machine. When I got good I could probably produce the below result in about an hour:
Retouching Samples_0002.SHUTMAX.jpg
Retouched by hand only on the negative and printed straight
The above two pictures were scanned from 8 x 10 samples I kept handy to show what I could do. Then just today, out of a sense of curiosity, I took the unretouched sample into Portrait Pro 17 (yes, I know, cheater cheater cheater cheater :oops: ) and tried to duplicate what I had done by hand on the negative.
Retouching Samples_0001-Edit-Edit.SHUTMAX.jpg
Portrait Pro 17. I got this... ^^
So yep, that's how we used'ter do it. :doh: :wall: (N)
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All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:54 pm

The things we used to have to do...

I was never anywhere near your level, Chuck, but this stuff interests me because I actually learned darkroom work long before I learned to use a camera (like a half century). I grew up in a newspaper family and we had the only darkroom in town, so I learned to work in it at about 14. I knew more about developing than about shooting. Then, about 45 years later I got a camera.... (don’t miss the darkroom but it was a unique experience).
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by Charles Haacker » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:22 pm

minniev wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:54 pm
The things we used to have to do...

I was never anywhere near your level, Chuck, but this stuff interests me because I actually learned darkroom work long before I learned to use a camera (like a half century). I grew up in a newspaper family and we had the only darkroom in town, so I learned to work in it at about 14. I knew more about developing than about shooting. Then, about 45 years later I got a camera.... (don’t miss the darkroom but it was a unique experience).
Thanks Min. I have mixed feelings about the darkroom. I've mentioned that I also grew up in one, visiting often my dad's commercial studio and watching all sorts of stuff being done but especially in the print rooms. For me the aroma of what they used to call "hypo" (fixer, sodium thiosulphate, originally called hyposulphite of soda but the odor came entirely from acetic acid---vinegar). For me that is still perfume and takes me right back (my dad died when I was only 10). I spent my entire photo life in darkrooms and I loved it, was crushed when I left my last custom-built darkroom (I even crafted my own sink!), but since going to digital even I must admit it's a whole 'nother world, and it is far better. Aside from no perfumes (I guess I could keep a bottle of diluted vinegar near my computer) the things we can do now that we simply could not in the "good old days" are staggering, gobsmacking. Just wow. I once thought I wanted to build another darkroom but no more. Many of our friends still work in film and that's fine but I never will. I can be nostalgic for whistling classical music to the radio in my darkroom but any more it just ain't practical. (N)
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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Post by St3v3M » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:00 am

Things we used to do - manually edit photos using digital software... S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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