In our time it's hard to imagine life without Photoshop. It is used by professionals and amateurs in many areas. Of course, it is irreplaceable in modern photography and, especially, the art of retouching. Today we explore its origins, as well as how this software began to influence the development of hardware and even acquired its own verb - Photoshop.

It all started back in 1987 in the US, when one of the Noll brothers, Thomas, worked on his doctoral dissertation on image processing at the University of Michigan. He just tested a brand new Apple Mac Plus at the time and was disappointed by its inability to display images in the gray scale on his monochrome screen. Therefore, he began to work on such a program, which would have it. 


At the same time, the second brother, John Knoll, was engaged in image processing in the studio called Industrial Light and Magic, which was a division of Lucasfilms and was created to produce special effects for Star Wars movies. When John saw how similar his brother's development was to what he was doing, they began working together on a much larger scale application called Display. When the new Macintosh II appeared, Thomas rewrote the program so that it could work with color. As the program increased, it introduced such innovative features as gamma correction, downloading and saving files in different formats. Some of the functions that define Photoshop now, were also developed at that time: a method that allowed to select and work only with one part of the image, the first versions of plug-ins, Leveling, Balance and Hue and Saturation.


By 1988, Display had no analogues among the competitors and John decided that it was time to try to sell this program. In the beginning, it was renamed to ImagePro to avoid confusion with the names of trademarks, but ultimately the name "Photoshop" was fixed for good. There is a legend, that this name was offered by one of the potential publishers during the presentation of the demo version.

At that time, many software companies were working on similar products inside, so they did not show much interest in Photoshop. Only Adobe found the program quite interesting, their art director Russell Brown convinced the company to take up this project. For the brothers, this meant not only financial success in the future (since the royalties belonged to them), but also a new stage of work on the program, improving it and adding all the new functions. In order to run version 1.0, Thomas worked on the program code, and John prescribed plug-ins (Plug-ins). Officially, the first version was published in February 1990.

From the very beginning of the launch of the application, Adobe has made a point of mass use of the program, making it more accessible for use on personal computers. The first version of the program cost a little less than $ 1000, while the professional software Letraset's ColorStudio cost $ 1995. This led the whole company to success. To work on the next versions of the program, a whole team of developers joined the project. 


To work on the next versions of the program, a whole team of developers joined the project. Photoshop 2.0 had features such as Bezier curves, Pen tool, work with two-tone images, import and rasterization of vector images from Illustrator, support for CMYK. The last two functions made the application attractive for publishing houses, which also increased the commercial success of the Company. Starting with version 2.5, it became possible to use Photoshop not only on the Mac, but also on Windows. In version 3 layers (Layers) appeared, which turned out to be the most significant addition to the program functions for all time. Then each new version represented more and more new opportunities. For example, color management and history panel (History Palette) in version 5, layer styles (Layer Styles) and advanced features of working with text in version 6 and restorative the brush (Healing brush) in the seventh.

Now in each update Photoshop continues to add interesting new items and the program does not cease to improve with each new version. Despite the fact that Photoshop has to compete with a huge number of applications that offer similar functions for less money, it maintains its leadership position and defends the title of the most innovative and all-encompassing application, that is used in publishing, web design, medicine, cinema, advertising , engineering and architecture. Thomas Noll is still involved in the development of the program and has recently created the Camera Raw plug-in. His brother John still works at the Industrial Light and Magic studio and was a special effects supervisor in the last three Star Wars films. Interestingly, if there were no Star Wars, then Photoshop would not come up, and we would be left without such a much-loved application of ours.