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The Back That Lauched a Thousand ‘Shops

The first photo digitized & brought into Photoshop

I came upon this tidbit in my newsfeed today and immediately had to read the ‘back story.’

Beautiful photo, but one wouldn’t think of it as much more than a 80’s era vacation photo (and that she’s probably NOT wearing sunscreen, but that’s another story…). It hardly seems to be the basis of the groundbreaking demo of the program that industries would be built upon, rants would be hurled at, and raise the bar on unrealistic expectations (and not just about women’s figures).

THIS was the first photograph to be scanned, digitized, and brought into a software program that was the prototype of Photoshop back in 1987.

Do watch the video where Knoll recreates some of the presentation that he used to demonstrate this new program. It’s really an interesting reminder of what Photoshop was like in the beginning (and even what early 90’s era Macs were like).  What a difference 20 years makes!  I think that I initially learned Photoshop just as version 4 was coming out (that’s “4”…not CS4).  I like to comment that “when I learned Photoshop you only had 1 undo so you had to make sure you got it right.” (and that really is the truth…multiple history steps wouldn’t come until the late 90’s)

But this is where ‘unreality for the masses’ would begin, where “Photoshop” became a verb, and photography would be turned on its head. And even though this ‘unreality’ is often maligned, most people never realize how it’s used most often: to repair and correct objects and color. But that’s a theme for another post.