Happy Birthday Photoshop

It seems that the 19th of February was the anniversary of the release of Adobe Photoshop 1.0.

Now a full 30 years old. And still going strong, unlike so many software programmes that hit the wall.
Now you may, or may not be a Photoshop fan.  You may be quite the Photoshop luddite, or you may even despise the very name, and would never inflict your harddrive with the hint of an installation.

But none the less, it is one of two programmes I’ve got an intimate working knowledge of, that turned both the photographic and graphic arts industries on their collective head.  Formally two entirely different streams, both bought together by several pieces of software that alterered for ever both streams.

If you really want to get some background on Photoshop, and John and Thomas Knoll and their industry contribution, may I suggest clicking over to Jeff Shewe’s blog. https://photopxl.com/happy-birthday-ditital-imaging/ 

If you ask, “Who is Jeff Shewe?”, then its a fair bet that you’re a relatively new digital worker. Check out the link for the full story.
And for extra bonus, get to see Jeff do a quick video demo of


The first Adobe version of Photoshop the original, unvarnished, never to be repeated  Version 1.
And imagine how far we’ve come.

And here is a link to Photoshop’s very own John Knoll demoing version 1.07, Now you’ll know about Jennifer.

My own relationship goes back beyond Adobe’s ownership and involves a product called Barneyscanner.  For its time, (1989) this was a revolutionary 24 bit film scanner. (mostly transperancy). At first they didn’t have a real software solution, just large unmangable, (read unviewable) files.  John and Thomas struck a deal with their little Mac programme that not only could read the files, but actually make some modest adjustments.
By the time Tennis Australia’s Victoria Open was run in Jan 1991, scanning of film was still the major go to working pro tennis photographers.  Generally time frames were impossibly long, with processing and drum scanning and slow transmission, but with Barneyscan and the new Adobe version, time could be reduced significantly for shot to press time.
Co-incidentally that was also the first year that digital photofiles were transmitted directly to the newsdesk. All from a wonderous 1.3megapixel chip. Gasp!, Shock!, Horror! Amazement!

One of the biggest things about demos of Barneyscan and its software was, nobody was interested in the scanner, like, man, what is the programme you’re using and where can I get it???!!!!

Enjoy Jeff’s demo with Jennifer, its a not to be repeated moment.





8 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Photoshop

    1. G.day Rob, nice to get all nerdy from time to time.
      Like 30 years, who can remember back that far. I’ve got a file that was shot of the tennis open on a DSC1 camera of Pat Cash. Now I’m dated. 🙂


    1. Ha! Writing it took me back in a time tunnel.
      Then I opened up latest Photoshop, made a “Quick Selection” and thought how many Bezier vector points would I have had to make to get it just that close.
      Might be older, but a lot better equipped for the job at hand.
      good luck


  1. It is rather amazing to look back at version 1.0 of anything and compare it to the version we use today.
    PS has been a ‘stayer’ in a crowded field. I use it but certainly not to its full potential. I never used 1.0 – I came on board around 2001 when imagery became a greater part of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s hard to argue in light of Adobe’s success with the product that they have the marketing all wrong. Without the price tag the product would have languished long ago, like so many of its flash-in-pan co-marketers.
      I did a quick calc earlier today, and figured that if one was to buy v1.0 at today’s prices, it would be around A$4,000+
      I no longer use any of it to its capacity, Lr and DxO PhotoLab, with an occasional exurcus with Topaz gets me by.

      If I had to I’d be more than happy to work in PhotoShop 5.5. With a brush, layer masks and Curves, most of my imaging would be covered.
      Watching John Knoll bring up the “Levels” palette and sneak in the black and white points reminded me so much of how photographers got into a rut with this valuable too. 🙂
      In 1991, I used to pay about $A 150.00 for a drum scan from a 35mm slide.
      If I recall correctly, AAV had a Quantel Paintbox in those days.

      Ahhh memories.


  2. Interesting. I dabbled in Photoshop a long time ago, then decided it was too expensive and got the Photoshop Elements. Now I use predominantly DxO PhotoLab with the Photoshop Elements! Don’t ask me why this combination… It just works for me.


    1. Hi Adam, Ha! The mystical halls of Photoshop is replete with misadventurous undertakings. It was always first and foremost a Graphics Arts production, later Graphic Artists programme before the advent of digital photography as we know it. Strangely both photography and photoshop grew together. One (photography), needed the other more than the reverse. A sort of symbiotic relationship.
      Watch John Knoll, open the Levels and drag in the black and then the white points. That is about as much control as was possible—and was needed in those early files.
      All the rest of the funtionality useful to photographers, is in Elements, DxO photolab, Topaz, Polarr, Affinity and the like. (I’ve skipped a few:-) )
      I really like DxO because of the Lens Profile for the 500mm PF and D500, I reckon I’m getting an extra stop of shutter speed at least. And their Prime Noise Reduction must be close to the best in the business.
      The cool thing is we all have options, and find the ones that suit our needs.
      Next year some other programme will be the flavour of the month, but Photoshop will still be market leader.
      We all complain about their so called subscription model, but I’ve probably spent twice that amount this year on Add-Ins. 🙂
      Oh well.
      Wonder where the next 30 years will lead.

      Liked by 1 person

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