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Posted on Friday, February 19th, 2010

Dave!Today is Adobe Photoshop's 20th anniversary! Congratulations to the Knoll Brothers who started it all!

Along with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop is a program that I use most every single day. I honestly cannot imagine my life... personal or professional... without it. I use it for editing photos, laying out designs, creating original art, and enhancing-corecting-manipulating any kind of bitmap image. I've used it so often and for so long that much of the time I don't even have to think about using it. I just do. I have become one with Photoshop. This didn't happen right away, of course. It's been a long road.

The first time I used Photoshop was at a technical demonstration in Seattle. My best friend and I headed over the mountains to look at a new "lost-cost" image scanner (over a $1000, but that was "cheap" for the time). The software used to manipulate the resulting scan was... wait for it... Photoshop. The program was borderline miraculous and had jaw-dropping features which allowed for some powerful, yet easy, photo adjustments.

A couple years later, scanner prices had dropped to the point where I could finally afford one. The model I purchased (made by Mustek, I think) came with a copy of Photoshop 2.5, which was actually more exciting to me than the actual scanner. The software was so expensive to purchase alone that it would be pretty odd to buy it without a scanner, since you were basically getting a scanner for free out of the deal. Except it ran only on a Macintosh and I had an Atari ST computer at the time. This was a major bummer, but ended up being a good thing because I went into debt and bought my first Mac (a Centris 650) one month later...

Adobe Photoshop 2.5 Splash Screen

From having used Photoshop since version 1.0 and owned it from version 2.5, it's amazing to me how the core functionality really hasn't changed that much. Sure version 3.0 added layers, which was about as revolutionary a feature as you're going to get, but it was pretty much just gravy on top of the Photoshop I was already using... and would continue to use right up through today, two decades later.

And, on that happy note, it's time for bed. I've got a long drive ahead of me in the morning.

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2010Click To It: Permalink


  1. MIke says:

    I use Photoshop almost every day- like yourself- and I am still learning new things. Rather embarrassingly, I hadn’t used the layer feature until recently and discovering it has opened a lot more power to my capabilities. I still don’t know what the slicer tool does.
    There are some cool plug-in filters- most are crap- some are even worth paying for! I like the way you can download additions to PS in order to make them more useful for your individual use. Brushes etc.

  2. ssp says:

    Yeah, Photoshop is cool. I was amazed by it when I first saw it. Even though just simple actions like a Gaussian Blur were painfully slow in the days of 68030-class CPUs.

    While I never used Photoshop a lot and didn’t keep up with its development I always thought it’s an amazing application which also seems relatively speedy to me given the huge amounts of data an layers people throw at it.

    Now let’s just hope that the people at Adobe manage to recover from the installation and licensing disasters which seem to be their main way of catching people’s attention these days.

  3. Breigh says:

    20 years? Can it really have been that long? Wow… I think I’m in denial about how many years the internet and computers have been around, because then I have to acknowledge how long I’ve been around.

  4. Robin says:

    Do you remember Scitex? Until Photoshop came along, it really the only way to digitally retouch a photo. It was so expensive to have it done. Photoshop was definitely a game-changer!

  5. That’s cool to know your first Mac was a Centris 650. I had thought you were using a Mac sooner than that model.

    My first use of Photoshop was version 5.0. Even years later, I’m still not an expert at Photoshop (mostly because I don’t use it every day or for professional needs), but I do consider it indispensable for when I need to create or edit.

    Happy Birthday indeed to Photoshop.

  6. Sybil Law says:

    I suck at Photoshop, but what little I can do with it is kickass. 🙂

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