See How Photographers Would Photoshop Before Photoshop Existed

Feb 27, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

See How Photographers Would Photoshop Before Photoshop Existed

Feb 27, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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Don’t you just love the creative freedom and post-processing power that digital photography and Photoshop allow?

A couple of weeks ago a 12-year-old budding photographer asked me how Photoshop was used when shooting film was common practice.

This video, created by Lynda in tribute to 25 years of Photoshop, answers that exact question.

If you like to think of yourself as a “purist” and you don’t believe in post-processing because you “only do what was once done in the darkroom”, this video is for you as well.

Chances are that if you were born in the 1990’s, or even in the mid-late 1980’s, you have never worked in a dark room. You probably haven’t even seen one outside your TV screen.

“Before there was Photoshop” shows how things were done back in the day when you had to wait until your roll of film was used before you could see how your photos came out.

YouTube video

Veterans with a sense of nostalgia will enjoy the trip down memory lane, and I bet it will bring back a bunch of smells and memories as well.

Believe it or not but Konrad Eek, a commercial photographer and darkroom expert, will show you how people used to dodge, burn, mask, add gradients, feather the edge of your selected area, enlarge photos and more without ever touching a mouse, keyboard or tablet.

You’ll also get a quick glimpse of Bridge’s ancestor – the contact sheet.

It is obvious that the heyday of film photography is long gone, but I recommend you take ten minutes to learn about (or remember) the roots of the tools that you use in Photoshop.

It is a nice (recent) history lesson and will certainly make you appreciate the advantages of digital photography and Photoshop even more.

While digital photography is not at risk of being replaced anytime soon, a new challenger, Affinity, has recently arisen to try and take over the post-processing market.

Only for Mac users at the moment, you can get a free Beta version and have a look at our first impressions of this impressive new software.

[via Reframe]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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14 responses to “See How Photographers Would Photoshop Before Photoshop Existed”

  1. Jennifer Belgarde-Simpson Avatar
    Jennifer Belgarde-Simpson

    I miss having access to a darkroom.

    1. steve Avatar
      steve

      Come to me , I will show you ;) Cause I have a working darkroom

  2. Adam Telford Avatar
    Adam Telford

    I spent years working and teaching in the darkroom, and I miss it a lot.
    It takes so much patience and skill to know how to transform a negative
    into a print. I miss teaching these techniques and passing on the
    history behind photography. You just can’t get the same understanding by
    sitting in front of a computer screen.

  3. Julie Camino Avatar
    Julie Camino

    I miss everything from film developing to enlarging my photos on the darkroom.

    1. Mike Avatar
      Mike

      You are, of course, aware that film is still available, yes?

  4. Joel Wood Avatar
  5. AncalagonTotof Avatar
    AncalagonTotof

    Command ass, then Ctrl ass ?
    Sorry …

  6. Emma Lloyd Avatar
    Emma Lloyd

    Fantastic post! I was born in the early-80’s, but my school was lucky enough to have a darkroom. I only wish I’d paid more attention in that class! There is so much skill involved, and a sense of achievement of seeing your image come to life.

  7. ilfp Avatar
    ilfp

    Film photography never dies. I am shooting film, and also have a darkroom for printing. Digital photography is not photography, is computer doing shit…

    1. satrain18 Avatar
      satrain18

      Wow, you really sound like a douchebag…

  8. Russell Heidler Avatar
    Russell Heidler

    I spent many hours in the darkroom doing those processes. I prefer the digital world and Photoshop over the old chemical processes. No stained clothes or polluted environment. It was a good learning experience though.

  9. Marc Blake Avatar
    Marc Blake

    Learning how to print in a darkroom gave me a foundational understanding of Photoshop. Without that experience, I wouldn’t have understood half of what Photoshop can do.

  10. Frank Marin Avatar
    Frank Marin

    That is how I started, many, many years ago.

  11. Ian Browne Avatar
    Ian Browne

    Good old memories Thankyou

    would be good to see a side by side of PS and the darkroom editing the same file/negative/scene. I don’t miss the d/room but I did learn so much there. ….just something magical watching the image appeared on the paper as the developer washed over it.