Photo manipulation is an art form that is accepted all over the world. Editing plays an integral part in the photographic process. Dark room manipulation was used before the advent of digital photography. Digital photography has changed the landscape altogether. In this blog we will discuss about the advantages of photo-editing software vis-à-vis dark room manipulation.

What is dark room manipulation?

A variety of photo editing methods used in a dark room are referred to as darkroom manipulation. With the help of chemical processes, photographers of yesteryear, used to dodge, burn, change exposures, mask and even perform swaps and composites. The basic photo development process involved developing film in a chemical bath and then using an enlarger to blow up your negatives and print them on photo paper. Without turning on the lights, you would have to fix your image in another chemical bath and hang them to dry. The photographers, in the absence of digital photo editing, found creative and unconventional ways to achieve the looks they wanted to.

What is digital photo manipulation?

The same kind of effects can be managed with the help of digital photo manipulation. The difference being that now it is done on a computer. We can do this without much hassle as we do not need bulky enlarger or stinky chemical baths. Old photos can be restored and new ones can be enhanced with programs like Lightroom and Photoshop. Unwanted elements can be removed with a few clicks. While there are many techniques involved, the ultimate goal is create a perfect image.

Photo manipulation and latest techniques

Cutting edge technology is used nowadays to create the perfect results people want to see. Earlier, simple techniques were used in the past to enhance the photos. Professional photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop is used to manipulate the images. Now we can do everything from color corrections to complicated composites. If you are a beginner, you have the advantages of online tutorials. We will list some of the effects that are possible with digital manipulation.

  • Clipping path, background removal or image masking can be used for drawing attention to the subject by swapping or removing the background entirely.
  • Colour changing can be used to create multiple variation of a product photo
  • Erasing wrinkles and getting perfect skin tones and more is possible with photo retouching
  • Drop shadow gives a 3D effect to an otherwise flat image

Is Dark Room Manipulation outdated?

Darkroom manipulation is still practiced by some artists. These photographers and photo editors use this old technique to produce great results. We should understand that most modern digital techniques have been picked up from darkroom techniques. The only difference being that the darkroom techniques are cumbersome. Darkroom technique may be a thing of distant past with the growing use of digital photo-editing.

Digital techniques are going to rule the roost in the coming days. Since photographers may find it hard to do the editing themselves, they using photo-editing services of photo studios by outsourcing their photo edits.