The first, commercially successful and widespread photography method was Daguerreotype.

First the retouch in such way  is attributed to "Daherotypist" and engraver on copper -  Swiss Isenring (1841). To give shine to the eyes and highlight glare at jewels, he scratched silver coating on a dagerotype to  the copper  substrate.

With the beginning of the negative-positive way of photographing the possibilities of retouching have considerably expanded. Since 1850 got a widespread scenic retouching method. The essence was in following . On a paper negative photographer "laid" the background in such a way that the objects of shooting  was on a completely white background. In the future, instead of the background, a landscape or an architectural ensemble was depicted on the positive side

Jules Zhanen. "Actress Rachel"

In 1855 at the World Exhibition in Paris the works of German photographer  Hanfstengel received a high evaluation . He  showed to  the public the opportunity of negative retouching, not positive. In Russia this type of retouch has been introduced into the practice of photographer by the name of  Levitsky.

With the beginning of the negative-positive way of photographing the possibilities of retouching have considerably expanded. Since 1850 got a widespread scenic retouching method.

The essence was in following . On a paper negative photographer "laid" the background in such a way that the objects of shooting  was on a completely white background. In the future, instead of the background, a landscape or an architectural ensemble was depicted on the positive side.

Back in the 1860's, there was a discussion about the retouch and its borders between the patriarch of Russian photography -  Levitsky and the president of the French photo society  - Davan

Point of view Davan: the photographer can only "throw" on a negative exemplary picture of the subject, and painters-retouchers  do the rest  other. Levitsky denied admitting that only a technical retouch, laying small points and spots.

Initially, the photograph was a poor technical relative of painting, and all the techniques from there were automatically transferred to the photos. The first photographers were often artists, and to paint brushes with the necessary details over the print was a common practice; the pictures were painted manually and evaluated according to the same criteria as the pictures. When shooting portraits, the retouch was a prerequisite.

 

In the legendary portraiture studio Nadara in Paris, 26 people worked, 6 of which were retouchers. Franz Fiedler, a German portrait and photographer theorist, wrote of the end of the 19th century, when photographs were only forty years old, as follows: " The advantage got that studios who used retouch as much as they can. Wrinkles on the faces are smeared; freckled faces were completely "cleaned" by retouching; grandmothers turned into young girls; characteristic features of the person finally erased. An empty, flat mask was considered as a lucky portrait. Tastelessness knew no bounds, but it trade flourished.”

This world-famous portrait of US President Abram Lincoln is in fact a product of an unknown retoucher. Head of Lincoln was "Implanted" to John Kalhoun - prominent politicians of the south. (Photo by about 1860)

By the end of the 19th century, the retouch had already victoriously appeared on most works photographers, not missing either portraits nor landscapes. Many photographers have become, over time, outstanding retouchers. They corrected negative defects so skillfully that the images of flat originals, such as engravings or paintings almost did not differ from the original.

There  were made reproductions of paintings by Berlin artist and photographer Ernst Mylsterom (1835 - 1908hh) and huge master of retouching by a Berlin photographer Johannes Grashof, who in 1869. objected to the statement that the retouch is a temporary caprice of photography.

A new stage of development began with the advent of such a super-instrument as an airbrush. With its help it was possible to very accurately apply the paint on the positives, regulate not only the width of the "smear", but also its transparency, and the feathering edge. There is also an opportunity to increase or decrease the contrast of the image.

The airbrush was invented by American Abner Pyler in 1879. The Pyler successfully sold its design to the brothers Volkap, which began to make sprayers serially. The first batch of aerographs (63 pieces) was sold to the association Photographers in Indianapolis (1882), in which the first retouching courses and coloring of photographs were organized for using an airbrush.