Sunday, April 5, 2015

Photoshopped

Photoshop is a high performance image editing tool sold by Adobe. Adobe is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Photoshop this year, so in computer and software terms it is definitely a venerable product. I began using Photoshop shortly after it was introduced in 1990 so it has become like an old friend to me.

Since the beginning of photography in 1839, photographers have been editing images and faking situations to appear as something else. There is even a genre of 19th century photography featuring oversized vegetables on wagons, men climbing on huge watermelons and the like. There are some historical photographs that we now realize were made in the darkroom by combining several images. For example, I owned an original print of the above photo for years before I realized that it was probably faked. With Photoshop these types of things are easier and more believable than ever before.
  
Recently Photoshop has been getting a bad rap as a tool that allows people to appear thin, wrinkle free and without imperfections. Photographers have always strived to make people look their best, so this is not unexpected. The problem is that it produces unrealistic expectations as people compare themselves to published photos that have been overly retouched.
  
Photoshop is also a great tool for repairing damaged or faded images. I first began using Photoshop 25 years ago because of my interest in repairing old photos. Today this is a big part of my business. As Photoshop has improved over the years, restoration techniques have improved as well. Today we are able to do things that we only dreamed of 10 or 15 years ago. Additionally, we now have access to very high quality paper that was unavailable even a few years ago. The best papers today should last for hundreds of years. 
  
If you have old, damaged or faded treasured photographs or other art that you would like to have copied or restored, give me a call.
 

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