Photoshop is 25 this month and Adobe really wants you to know about it. Highlights from its celebratory press push include a recently released interview on how it all began with Thomas Knoll, who co-created Photoshop with his brother while working at George Lucas’ ‘Industrial Light & Magic’. Adobe compiled a selection of user made Photoshop artwork into a slick mood film, and VentureBeat interviewed Adobe project manager Stephen Nielsen on the rocky path to a cloud-based software package, and the new opportunities for Photoshop being opened up by new depth-sensing camera tech.
Photoshop undoubtedly had a huge impact on contemporary culture. From the first ever photoshopped image, ‘Jennifer In Paradise,’ (pictured above) it has helped to revolutionise what we see on screen and in print. Abyss was the first feature film to have special effects courtesy of Photoshop in 1989, David Hockney composes paintings in the software package.
Photoshop has helped image manipulation become a popular and effective tool for subversion, and given rise to a new breed of ‘photoshop troll,’ a species of Reddit-dweller that will not photoshop the sun in between your fingers, no matter how much you beg. Some of the most memorable political imagery from recent times can be credited to skilled photoshoppers: from an infamous fake photograph of Tony Blair (now preserved in the Imperial War Museum), to continuing iterations of Vladimir Putin riding dangerous animals.
The tool is also instrumental to the advertising, fashion and brand communications that have slowly warped our perceptions of beauty. And the less said about Photoshop Disasters, the better.