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How The Tools You Use Everyday In Photoshop Were Inspired By The Darkroom

Watch Konrad Eek produce a print using darkroom techniques while comparing the methods with actions found in Photoshop today.

| General Photography

Before Photoshop, we had darkrooms where images were born through chemical baths and other methods you'll actually be more familiar with than you might first think. Techniques such as Dodging & Burning and creating masks are something you may associate with the digital darkroom that is Photoshop but actually, they're tools people were using in darkrooms long before Adobe designed their iconic piece of software. 

As Konrad Eek, Commercial Photographer and Darkroom Expert, explains in the above video, created by to celebrate 25 years of Photoshop, some may never have seen inside a traditional darkroom so they won't understand that the digital tools they use every day were actually born in one. 

"I think it's worth the time to look back and see some of the roots of the tools you use every day in Photoshop," says Konrad who has been producing professional darkroom work for over 40 years. 

In the short and insightful video, Konrad takes viewers through the methods used for producing a black and white print in a darkroom. Konrad begins with a contact sheet, the old school version of Bridge, before showing viewers how we used to dodge, burn, apply feathered gradients and mask images to improve the overall exposure, look and feel of a shot.

Konrad also explains how the icons for the tools in Photoshop actually represent the methods that were used in darkrooms of days gone by, something which isn't vitally important but it is a rather nice touch from Adobe. 


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