Wednesday, October 19, 2011

History, and Old School Photoshop

You know how I said that my mom and I were going through her wedding stuff this past weekend?  Well as part of that conversation I found out the most fascinating thing about her wedding photos - something I'd never noticed in all my years of casually flipping through her wedding album every now and then.

She showed me this picture:


And she focused my attention on one particular detail.


Notice anything about this close-up, besides the fact that my mom is absolutely gorgeous?  Anyone thinking that her eyelashes are amazing in this picture?  Well, they should be.  Those lashes were given the old school photoshop treatment.  If you don't have the slightest clue what that could mean, then you're in good company because I'd never heard of this particular technique either.

It means that those lashes were actually painted onto the printed photo itself!!  Can you believe that?!

I was completely floored when she told me, but as I flipped through her album looking for additional evidence of old school photoshopping, I saw it everywhere.  There were pictures where the photographer painted in sections of my mom's hair because the tip of her ear was peeking through, and multiple examples of him painting in eyes on my father because my dad was squinting in many of the photos.

It's incredible to me that I never noticed this before, but I guess it's proof that no one scrutinizes your wedding photos like you do.  That's certainly a good lesson for a perfectionist like me.  It also made me really happy that there are more advanced photo manipulation techniques available to modern photographers.  Of course, the minute I have that thought I flash forward to the day we'll flip through our wedding album with our kids and they will scoff at how dated those now-so-modern Photoshop effects are.  Ahhh, the neverending march of time (and technology).

Was anyone else aware of photographers painting/drawing directly onto printed images?  I'm curious how widespread this practice was.

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