Pause please! We are covering the journey of an 8 hour long shot from Camera obscura to a one-second shot from endless camera apps.
In 1841, William Henry Fox Talbot invented the first negative. This was the first tool that allowed multiple copies of a photograph. Later following the footsteps of Talbot, Calvert Richard Jones set a very famous case of photo manipulation. Jones summoned 5 monks for a photograph on a roof of a building. Four of the monks gathered in a group while the fifth monk stood a few feet behind. Jones believed that the essence of the photo was destroyed by the wrong position of the fifth monk. In today’s time there are many tools in an editing app that would help us eliminate this trouble but what Jones did was, on the negative print of the monks’ photograph, he painted the fifth monk with Indian ink. Later as the positive print developed it was seen that the fifth monk was substituted with a tiny patch of sky. Just how intellectual this idea was!
Today it’s just an easy process to retouch a photo. All you have to do is search “edit photo app” and you land on numerous photo editing apps. Most of them will have a retouching tool to solve your problem. But the same problem was solved in the old days too! The only difference is that it had surgical scalpel, blades, graphite pencil, and ink used for the retouching process. Cuttlefish bone was also a tool used during the editing of images. Retouching earlier was called etching. This was the process where in order to perfect a client’s photo, experienced retouchers used a scalpel to edit extras or something that was not needed. To enhance the real aspects of the photo, experts even worked on lightening and darkening certain areas of the photograph.
Later In 1987, Thomas Knoll, a Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan, began coding for an issue about grayscale images in his new Mac Plus. Thomas’s brother took an interest in this coding and mentored his brother to develop it into a full editing program. They called this platform “Display” which later was renamed “Image-Pro”. The following year, the Knoll brothers approached various companies to sell Image-Pro (commercially renamed as Photoshop). After a bunch of rejections, Adobe signed a deal with the Knolls, eventually releasing their first Photoshop version 1.0 in 1990. Today Photoshop is more than just an editing app.
Today camera apps not only include editing, but they also have endless filters and beauty effects to explore. Moreover, editing has become just an easy process. It has also become a comprehensive and creative business, at times with a tint of humor in it. It’s just inspiring how we evolve with our curiosity. Yes, editing has loads of tools to venture but eventually, each of them serves a simple advantage we all always wanted on our raw photos.