History and usage of photo manipulation and Photoshop


31st Mar 2019 Technology

Beauty - it's something that has been strived for throughout the ages. Ever since ancient times, people have sought to make themselves prettier and portray their heroes and Gods as more beautiful than they really were through paintings and sculptures. Artists would change  the background of their portraits so the painting looked more appealing Manipulation of paintings and nowdays - photographs is certainly not a new concept.

Photo manipulation through the history

Photo manipulation is the process of altering or transforming a photograph with different purposes. Photographers manipulated with photos in various ways such as retouching with ink, airbrushing, adding paint directly to the print or scratching photographs during development. Negatives were also altered through different methods: using double-exposure techniques, piecing negatives together, bleaching negatives or hand coloring negatives for aesthetic purposes.

Silver and Black Imac's

Over the decades, technology and process has evolved and in late 20th-century photography we entered the digital realm. The transition to digital photography was not well accepted to start, but later due to the technology that allowed less bulky equipment, digital photography began to be widely used.

Usage of photo manipulation and Photoshop

Today, with digital imaging, different manipulations are available. If you are a user of Photoshop, then you will know well how to use the best of it for this purpose. Some photo manipulations are regularly performed in artistic photography, fashion, journalism and in other fields.

•    Photo manipulation in the fashion industry

Photo models always look handsome and pretty in journals. They don’t have spots or wrinkles on the face, and tend to be very slim. But there are many debates over this appearance, as today it is well known that a lot of the time it is thanks to either photo manipulation or Photoshop. Some readers are fond of these pretty images, but there are many that do not agree with this image altering as this kind of photo manipulation affects how reader's feel about their own appearance and body shape and can affect the self-esteem of people that strive to but will never be able to look like models on these photos.

•    Personal use

In the digital age, we are all familiar with the usage of Photoshop. We can use it to remove red-eye from the picture, change the background or cut out the image in Photoshop and use it later for a different purpose. You can cut out your face from the photo on which you like your appearance, change the background and use it as a picture for your profile on different social networks. 

Turned on Screen Silver Macbook Air on Wooden Desk

•    Journalism and photo manipulation

Photo manipulation in journalism is not recommended as it's an area in which people expect to see and read the truth and facts about happenings, current, and past, and if an image is manipulated, it raises the question of reliability of journalism.

•    Photoshop as a job opportunity

If you plan to develop your career as a digital artist, that working in Photoshop is an excellent opportunity. If you do photo manipulation as an artistic piece of work, or for e-commerce, there is no violation of emotions, and this kind of photo manipulation has no negative effects. The purpose of this kind of photo alteration is solely to make a product and its surrounding look more appealing to a buyer. 

Pros and cons to photo manipulation

Even though photo manipulation is most popular in fashion and among celebrities, today some stars are strongly against photo manipulation. This is especially the case in manipulating with photos of children and teenagers because these are susceptible groups of the population when we talk about appearance. 

Some celebrities claim that photo manipulation to make the body look perfect increases the pressure on young people and women of all ages to strive for an unachievable look. 

However, there are still some great photo manipulations that have a positive side. One good example is a photo of the Beatles, on the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road album. Here Paul McCartney had a cigarette in his hand, but it was removed from the final photo by retouching.

The positive side of photo manipulation

Today, as we all use our mobile phones as cameras, it is difficult to skip photo manipulation. We often crop private digital images or change the light or style and make them look as we find them the best for our personal taste. Changing an image from color to mono or sepia with just one click is a great benefit. And you can have fun with your kids by adding funny glasses or making funny faces in the photo in different mobile applications. 

So, as long as the usage of Photoshop is for your personal needs and enjoyment, there is no question if it is good – use it and have fun!