Ok so removing power lines in Photoshop is trivial. However I am interested in how the process might work with analog photography, in the darkroom.

How would you remove power lines from a photo in the darkroom?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Which film format and type are you using? - Narrowing the scope to say "120 format film in traditional Black and White" allows for more concise and useful answers rather than allowing an excessive free for all. Methods that work well for prints from ultra large format 20"x20" B&W negs will likely not help much on colour 35mm. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Voting to close as too broad, for now, and ditto what @TheLuckless said. I really like this question though and hope that you'll narrow it's focus. Stack Exchange doesn't do that well with wiki-like questions and the scope of them. Will retract the vote when the scope narrows! \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hueco I think the question is pretty narrow. It is not how to 'do all of the things you can do in Photoshop but in the dark room' it is how to you solve this specific problem in the dark room. It seems silly to ask the same question 9 times (35mm, 120, large format X b&w, color negative, slide film). If I asked how to remove power lines in Photoshop (I am guessing there at least 3-9 different ways) that would be a legit scope. If one wanted they could then post a question on (say) 'how to use the lasso tool to remove powerlines' if they wanted further details on that specific technique. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


Not in the darkroom, but at the retouching (spotting) table.

If you're working with large format film, you can paint them out on the negative. But that's risky. Most of the time you retouch the print.

I never did any of it myself, but in college there were artists who would advertise their services in the photography department. I saw some of them in action.

They worked mainly with inks, bleach, and diluted developer solutions. Their tools were very fine tipped brushes and knives. And hands that would make a brain surgeon jealous.

My courses were journalism-based, so that was not allowed.

The big photography supply stores like B&H or Adorama still sell supplies for retouchers. So I guess there's still a market for old-school 'photoshopping'.


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