Exactly 20 years ago today - Wednesday, February 24 - the first stable version of Adobe Photoshop was released into the wild. At 728 kilobytes, it fit on a single floppy disk. To gain some insight into Photoshop's origins, we sat down with long-time Photoshop expert, author, and teacher David Biedny between his Photoshop …
I was working in a computer store just when Photoshop 1.0 came out. I immediately ordered an employee evaluation copy... and its serial number worked on every version until Photoshop CS! It was the best $75 I ever spent.
AC for obvious reasons.
I remember my world changing when v3 came out with layers. That was a truly life changeling moment.
Shame the last 5 releases have failed to include anything new.
Uhm Quantel Paintbox?
Before that all, there was of course the Quantel Paintbox, which had features probably never to be imitated by Photoshop.
A Love/Hate relationship...
I've been using photoshop since around 1993 and have see it change from a light-weight nimble photo editing tool into the bloated behemoth we have now. I've also seen it worn as a badge of honour on these pages with the "If I can't run Photoshop..." type arguments (bollocks, BTW, very few actually *need* Photoshop's toolset). I've seen the price rise to ridiculous heights (thanks pirates). Happy birthday mate, but please for your own sake and ours, go on a diet...
What he said!
If you want to wipe out the stupid datestamps some cameras put on their photos, without it being obvious to everyone what you've done, there's nothing to beat it - but I must confess I've found myself using ImageReady CS2 and Photoshop 7.0 even though I have the whole of CS4 installed.
Paris because she's always on a diet.
Tsk. I'm appalled that some of the great Amiga paint programs haven't been mentioned here - Dan Silva's Deluxe Paint was the first paint program I encountered that allowed the user to create true works of art - remember the Tutankhamun pic? Jims Sachs amazing artwork?
And there were other - Brilliance (which came later) and the ahead-of-its-time Fantavision which was a vector animation program running way back on an Amiga 500.
I'd like it a whole lot more if...
It didn't cost £650 in the UK when it costs $650 in the US, especially when it was $2 = £1 a couple of years ago... Put me off Adobe software for good.
..or if it was pay for what you actually used
That way it would be about £50
To be honest in the short time I used it I think I used a tenth of it.
There's an App for that (sorry)
Have you thought about Adobe Photoshop Elements? Dirt cheap, and does the important bits of Photoshop that your average consumer (i.e. not the people who touch up models and make them look even more bizarrely thin and contorted) is likely to want.
Aegis - you beat me to it. Whilst a small number of people were on PS 1, it was Deluxe Paint on the Amiga that was used widely by consumers and the video game industry in the late 80's and early 90's.
... have to laugh at the 'it's so expensive' comments...
... Because, sure, everyone who has tried photoshop forked out £600+ - hahah - funny.
I'm sure PS isn't the only imagemanip app to support plugins, but I'd think the plugin ecosytem went a fair way to helping Photoshop dominate. Just like Windows backwards compatibility and the App Store, once there's momentum from developers it's hard for anyone to be a competitor.
The latest PSElements might be better, but I regret spending money on PSE6 for Mac: awful UI and took ages to load up. GIMP-derived Seashore doesn't have a great UI, but at least it is free. I very much don't need the features of the full Photoshop, which was why I got PSE, but I found it easier to use iPhoto/iWork to make the adjustments and edits I needed.
On that note...
have you tried PixelMator? It's brilliant. It has the bits from PhotoShop that you need and none of the baggage, as it were. Acorn is pretty sweet too. Both less than Element (although, not less than Seashore) and both really competent image editors.
I'm surprised at the lack of love for Aldus Photostyler. This was an excellent application that, at the time, was far better, faster, and easier-to-use than PhotoShop.
When Aldus was absorbed into Adobe, I felt a little piece of me die.
Happy Birthday anyway, Photoshop. Cheers!
I took two semesters of Photoshop 4.0 back in '98 and 99, for what it's worth, and I learned to use only a tenth of it, at that time. It is a program with a very complex set of features. I'm sure there are people out there who use more, but I can get most of what I need done with some silly free program nowadays.
Back in the early '90s for awhile I used a some program from a student in the technical university of Taiwan, it might have been called Display. It was free, and didn't do much manipulation but ran okay under DOS.
BTW, the Macs in the classroom crashed just as often as the Wintel machines!
Bloated, overpriced.... Seriously?
If you don't use Photoshop for over ten hours a week in a situation that is actually generating you or your business an actual income, you probably shouldn't be using Photoshop. Use The Gimp or PaintShop Pro or even PhotoShop ESSENTIALS.
First, let's start with the fact that Photoshop CS1-4 are Adobe's progress at integrating it with the rest of the Creative Suite. If you aren't doing print/design, web development or commercial photo retouching (or fantasy montages), well then, you probably really don't need Photoshop Professional CS4.
I put in15+ hours per week of billable work in Photoshop a week. A lot of it is outlining objects, but that's to achieve effects and results a PS wanabee never could achieve or even attempt.
I love that the early user & developers were into the "Calculations" ability of the software. That is one of the single most useful aspect of the software still. First you have to know what a color channel is, then yo have to figure out how those channel interact. I can fine-tune an images colors by selectively enhancing or eliminating a color range that way. Read up, I don't want to bore you.
Okay, did I just go too far for you "bloatware", "overpriced" commentators who think that just having the software loaded on you PC somehow makes you an expert or if you took a few classes, but were overwhelmed, you have a right to put PS down.
Let's see. I work with PS CS3 right now 15 hours per week and we bill $150/hr. for my services to clients. At 48 work weeks that's $108,000 per year. Not bad for a $600 investment, plus my personal annual income.
Plus I keep my home licenses up-to-date and can justify the cost by work done late at night and on weekends to KEEP my job (and to be at home), plus the occasional freelance projects.
The software INVESTMENT pays for itself if you ACTUALLY use it to make money.. But then again, I'm also quite good at Illustrator and InDesign as well and you can't just use one without the other two, can you?
Finally, I find it funny how Photoshop runs so much better in Windows than it does on the Mac OS X. The NT kernel gave Adobe a better (Multi-core, multi-threaded,etc.) platform. Then Apple introduced OSX before A obe was ready to release it's unifying Creative Suite 1. That meant Adobe would have had to develop 2 versions of the software. Adobe just held off for a year to release OSX applications, and that's where the Adobe vs. Apple fued began.
So after 20 years we have the collapse of early graphics applications and companies. Fortunately Adobe so far keeps acting like a company that still has some sort of competition and sticks to new innovative releases every 18 months.
I bill 1500 SEK/hour and use free graphics programs.
YOU might notice the difference, but my paying customers don't.
But kudos to Adobe for setting the standard...