Scanning Around With Gene: The Old Way of Photo Retouching


Senior Member
Sep 27, 2006
Originally posted March 16, 2012 I’ve never been much of an artist, though I did, early in my career, have several opportunities to do some basic black and white photo retouching — mostly taking out a background, fixing a flaw or trying to tone down glare from reflected light. These tasks were done back then not on the computer, but with a set of special photo-retouch paints and a variety of fine brushes. Sometimes in a pinch we’d use a black Sharpie or a soft pencil. In those days you did whatever was necessary to achieve your final result, regardless of how bad it looked on the original. Fortunately, reproduction quality wasn’t what it is today and you could cover up a host of flaws when making a halftone in the process camera. After reading a article about retouching photos, I decided to devote this column to the art of retouching as it was done pre-Photoshop. I recently came across a 1946 book on the art of photo retouching and it reminded me of those youthful days, though I had none of the skills evidenced by the author, Raymond Wardell. Here was a true illustrator and artist who could [...]
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