posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:54 AM
I've had a photography class in high school in the early 1990's, so I knew a bit about this subject. Some projects in the class involved fakery and
manipulation using film-process methods, it's part of knowing the art. (This was about a decade before digital cameras were good enough to use and
commonly available/affordable, so everything was done with film.) Photoshop and digital photography makes this kind of stuff sooo much easier.
Usually this is just done on the paper and not the negatives. (But there is a process where a negative can be made from a positive or something like
that. It's been a long while so I can't recall everything other than the steps seem a little convoluted. There are also multiple exposure methods
for taking pictures, if you plan at the camera stage.) What makes it hard is that you have to mask off the photo paper while it's under the enlarger
for each item you want to manipulate into the image. So to add a person you mask off the position where they were, then you expose the background...
Then after doing that you mask off the background and do it the other way around. There's also dodging, which means moving some shade over the paper
while it's being exposed under the enlarger. The difficulty is that if you don't mask and dodge right to match exposures or have edges match up, its
much easier for the fakery to be obvious.
(From what I understand, the same process for photo-paper could also be used on a glass plate in the lithography process before going to print. But
the class never did that. BTW, photo-manipulation when it comes to marketing is nothing new either.)
Since it's B/W and dealing with the print and not the negative, you can get away with red-lights in the darkroom so you can watch how things develop
and such... There's also ways to slow or accelerate the process before fixing the print. Again, that's part of matching up exposures.
Nice fun with chemicals that smell funny and have things like silver nitrate or cyanide in them...
And to get a feel for it while fumbling around in dark conditions you can't always wear rubber gloves, and paper cuts really sting and burn... Of
course you also learn to wash your hands really good.
Amazing how much was done before there was photoshop, considering how much harder it was. Some people in the past were really good at this stuff too.
Better at it than their modern counterparts. (Photoshop does make it easier for the lazy.) But when there's a will there's a way, and for a long
time that was the only way.