Some time ago, evil tongues claimed that my photographs where only visible for the public, due the frequently use of photoshop. They claimed that an edited photo isn't a real photo. That makes me angry and sad at the same time.
Why do people make these misconceptions about photography?
If you make photographs in RAW, there is no chance that you have a great picture without passing a RAW converter. A RAW file is the same as a analog negative. It has a lot of information, but you have to get it out. And that's why we use software like photoshop.
So, to cuddle them I launched a quote on social media: "People who criticizes digital retouching, have never seen a darkroom from the inside." (After that I've never heard anything from those 'friends' again). With that quote I meant that photo editing is from all times.
When in the late 90's, I was hanging above chemicals to develop black and white photographs, I edited photos. The only difference is that in the analog era, we spend a lot more time than we do now with photoshop.
The picture here below is my first studio shot that I edited. Note the nice looking guy with his long hair. Yeah, that's me...don't tell anyone ;-)
With this photograph, I sat as an 18 year old boy, for more than 5 hours in a hot dimming room with smelly chemicals drawing, cutting cardboard and develop Agfa photo paper until I was satisfied. Overall, I spend a whole day to develop that picture with 3 times the same people on it. And honestly, it's not even an good one. As I always say: everyone has to learn, right? With Photoshop, I guess that my 8 year old son can do that in a couple of minutes.
But I wasn't the only one that edited photos in the analog era. The picture of the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, appeared entirely different out of the camera before the legendary photographer Arnold Newman would edit it. On the upper photo you should see the original picture straight out of the camera with Newman's notes. At the bottom, the iconic edited photograph that conquered the world.
Below some more detailed notes from Magnum photographer Pablo Inirio in 1966.