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Anne Winter - examples of photomanipulation from the 1930s | by tobias feltus
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Anne Winter - examples of photomanipulation from the 1930s

Anne Winter was my grandmother, and a few years ago I found these two 8x10" negatives that were taken in Hollywood around 1934, when she was about 17.

Thus, obviously, I did not take these, but i made the contact prints.

I thought it would be interesting to share them because of the complicated ethics of photomanipulation, particularly "photoshopping", and how women, in particular, complain about how magazines lie about how our celebrities look today. And yet in these it is clear that portraits have been manipulated to a great extent for a very long time. The negative has been worked with scalpel and graphite extensively, to smooth and change the contour of her hand.

I also saw a show of John Muir Wood's photographs at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery of Calotypes dating from the 1840s in which he had taken the liberty to change landscapes to make them better, by using black ink painted directly onto the paper negative.

Apart from this fact, the lighting also was chosen, clearly, to represent her in a soft and "sexy" manner, along with the choice of lens that has a delicate focus.

 

I still am a fan of getting things right in-camera, but I do find this process most fascinating, and thus wished to share it.

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Taken on July 1, 2009