Toronto Metropolitan University
Verbin_Rachel.pdf (49.23 MB)

Photographic retouching: the press picture editor's "invisible" tool 1930-1939 : a study of retouched press prints from the Art Gallery of Ontario's British Press Agencies Collection

Download (49.23 MB)
posted on 2021-06-08, 10:37 authored by Rachel Verbin
Photographic Retouching investigates the mediatory work of the news picture editor during the 1930s. It considers what retouched press photographs add to the history of modern photojournalism, and offers a re-examination of the historiography of 1930s press photography. A descriptive analysis of sixteen representative, retouched photographs from the Art Gallery Of Ontario (AGO) British Press Agencies Collection (BPAC) and ten corresponding newspaper and magazine page spreads from the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Dispatch and Life is carried out in conjecture with press photography manuals published between the years 1930 and 1939. A literature survey, methodology section and description of the BPAC provide introductory contextual and historical information. Chapters 4 and 5, the main analytical sections, focus on two aspects of retouching: the technical difficulties that afflicted press photography during the 1930s and how retouching was employed as a corrective tool; and the ways in which retouching was utilized to strengthen and improve upon the photograph’s ability to consistently convey a clear and visually efficient narrative for use by the press.





  • Master of Arts


  • Photographic Preservation and Collections Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis