Photoshop turns 20

When it comes to photo editing and manipulation, Photoshop is undoubtedly the best software you can find for the job. Though it started back in 1987 as a basic graphic app developed by Thomas Knoll, the first version of Photoshop was officially launched at the beginning of 1990 – exactly twenty years ago.

20 years of Photoshop

I’m a big fan of this great program (as you can tell by the loads of posts I’ve written about it) so I thought it would be a nice idea to write this post as a celebration of Photoshop’s 20th birthday. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to see how different the first Photoshop looks from the one you have on your computer!

Like I said before, Photoshop started off in 1987 as a very basic graphic app for Mac called Display, created by Thomas Knoll, which could only display images in black and white.

20 years of Photoshop

Thomas’s brother, John, was working for Industrial Light and Magic and asked Thomas to work on a enhanced version of this program that could help him process digital images. The idea seemed to work, and in 1988 the two brothers decided to create a commercial photo editing tool based on Display, but using a new name: Photoshop.

20 years of Photoshop

Thomas wrote all the code, while John focused on plug-ins. They also managed to reach a deal with Adobe in September 1988, and early in 1990, the first version of Photoshop was launched.

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

Since then, two decades of changes and improvements have turned Photoshop into one of the greatest photo editing applications ever. Not only is it the standard tool for many professional designers and developers, but it has also become an essential tool for newspapers, magazines and online media.

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

The dominance of Photoshop in today’s world of graphic design has also caused controversy about the abuse of photo manipulation. From the US Air Force pilot about to be eaten by a shark to President Sarkozy’s vanishing love handles, we’ve all seen many popular examples of photoshopped images.

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

20 years of Photoshop

But the best examples of the power of Photoshop often come from anonymous users, like the community behind Worth1000. Once you start browsing this site, you never know when to stop. Some of these creations are just so good that it’s hard to believe they’re not real.

20 years of Photoshop

Oddly enough, the same happens with Photoshop Disasters, though this time you won’t be browsing amazing Photoshop compositions like the ones in Worth1000; on the contrary, it’s a collection of hilarious Photoshop outrages that have inexplicably made their way to printed media all over the world.

20 years of Photoshop

Happy birthday, Photoshop!

(Photoshop splash screens, interface snapshots and examples taken from Hongkiat.com, Blogvecindad.com, Oddee.com and Photopreneur.com)

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