Image or photo processing has evolved rather exponentially through the years. Like many things, technology made the image printing process so easy that a grade school could do it.
If you go back in the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution started and European Imperialism flourished, there were no such thing as Polaroid or anything that is prefixed by the word “digital”. Printing images in photos were done in a dark room using photographic film and paper.
This method has been used for quite a while until 1948 when Polaroid instant film were invented and gave photography printing process a leap from crude dark room exposure to instant printing from Polaroid cameras.
The 1965 flyby of Mariner 4 to take images of Mars marked the birth of digital photography. The first attempt to build a digital camera was back in 1975 by Kodak. It weighed 3.6 kilograms, recorded black and white, had a 0.01 megapixel resolution and took 23 seconds to take its first image. Talk about high tech!
The image printing process was a scientific method that made artistic masterpieces. The simplicity of printing a photo taken by a DSLR camera to a printer today does not necessarily differ from what they were doing in a dark room before.
Imagine the process today. You take a photo using a digital camera. Next, you upload the image from the camera’s memory card to a computer where you can process the image using one of many image editor software available. Lastly, you print it using a printer, easy!
Print processing in a dark room is the same as using an image editor. The difference is that you are using different tools. Although making black and white prints with a safelight in a dark room is rather crude and exhausting, the artistic value and satisfaction is way better than being in front of a computer with an editor. Pretty amazing seeing the difference!
While both method are from different eras, the printing process stays the same. The artistic side of producing a masterpiece is the soul of the process. It’s painting made easy.