From the archive.

Retouching. A brief history…

I started out over three decades ago, on a system called the Quantel Graphic Paintbox. It was the print version of their existing Video Paintbox, a system I was familiar with since working at the BBC on the world’s first interactive video disk, dubbed the ‘Domesday Project’ in the mid 1980’s. Quantel’s higher resolution Paintbox was an expensive hardware based system that needed its own temperature controlled environment. It was Quantel’s first installation…Our office was based in Covent Garden, London.

I can see now I was at the sharp end of a revolution in image making…for better or for worse, advertising agencies could now realise their most outrageous fantasies in print. I was putting skis on penguins, greyhounds on motorbikes… Later, software-based systems like Barco Creator entered the market, but both these systems were eventually made redundant by Adobe Photoshop…with it’s constant updates it was cheaper, and eventually better, than it’s rivals before it. After all these years retouching in darkened rooms for major retouching houses in London and in Mumbai, I still enjoy the process.

Creating analogue, premium, international and filmic ‘looks’ to images is something I have been familiar with for decades now…

Richard Baker ( The Retoucher )