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Happy Birthday Photoshop!

February 19, 2010

Photoshop is 20 years old today. I can’t believe it’s got to that age already. The digital photo manipulation programme has become the standard tool for all image trickery and just as the word Hoover is used as shorthand for vacuum cleaner, or eating a vast quantity of food at speed, the word Photoshop is a byword for visual fakery.

It seems like only yesterday when I first sampled Photoshop in 1995. At that time, you had to be sure of what you were putting down, as it didn’t have the layers option to enable you to separate pieces and correct mistakes. Once layers arrived, the programme was much more forgiving and allowed for greater freedom. Every new version had great additions and of course there were plenty of nice plug-ins. What I like about it the most is that it’s backward compatible. You can open an old Photoshop file in a new version and it won’t bellyache. You can save the file and you should still be able to open it in older versions, though some of the values in the new version would probably be disabled.

There are wonderful images created in Photoshop, but there are also some stinkers. Have a look at a site called Photoshop Disasters where you can point and laugh at some shockingly bad work on commercial magazines, adverts and all the usual media. Congratulations, Photoshop. May you be around for another 20.

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