Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Photoshop and Me

I’ve been active in photography since the mid-70s.  You know… manual focus, film, photosensitive papers, DARKROOMS… the whole smelly, expensive, environmentally questionable deal.

If you’re interested, try this link: http://www.photoshop20anniversary.com  (Advance warning, the video is long.  But it’s interesting.)

It’s a digital imaging-geek’s history book.  Kind of.  There’s a definite corporate spin to it, but it’s not entirely incorrect.

I’ve been a Photoshop customer in one form or another for close to a decade now, so the assimilation is nearly complete, but I still have some opinions of my own.

It was funny to watch the video and have the originators giving themselves so many congratulations for making the jump from The Abyss to Avatar without acknowledging Blade Runner as a precursor to digital enhancement possibilities.  A small point, I know, but it’s not without merit.  All I’m getting at here is that there were more than three visionaries at work in the same period of time.

The fact that those three won out over the rest isn’t in question, though.  Photoshop is the industry standard. 

I thought it interesting in that they acknowledged the number of other businesses and technologies that they spawned.  Not so much because they succeeded (and they pointedly avoided mentioning this), but because they failed in some areas.  Apps such as Flick’r, Picasa, Photobucket, PaintShotPro and many others would not exist were it not for Photoshop.  And, in many cases, they exist because Photoshop was and is too complicated.

Other applications that have come (and sometimes gone) have spurred other innovations that have been taken on by the Adobe giant. 

For me, it’s just an interesting walk back down memory lane, but for a lucky few, it’s been an endeavor to build a lifetime’s financial security around.

My small part in the early days was to have purchased the materials that went into the packaging of those long-ago versions.  Way back then, I had no idea that the papers, the chipboard, etc., that I was purchasing were wrapping up the future of digital imaging, because I really hadn’t a clue as to what digital imaging would become.  I would put good money on the bet that not one of us involved in that whole project really understood what we were on the periphery of.

So, now that all of that portion of the package has been shipped overseas and I’m just another consumer of Adobe’s vast product array, I’m still proud of my little part in it… and awed by what all started two decades ago.

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