It’s created iconic images and can take responsibility for the most bizarre image fails ever seen, now Photoshop is celebrating its 25 year anniversary, a quarter of a century in which it changed our visual culture.
The image editing software package which became a verb is so integrated into our lives and the way we see the world that its headline-making stuff when superstars Beyonce and Cindy Crawford appear in pictures which aren't Photoshopped.
Back in 1990 when Adobe’s Photoshop hit the market, it was the other way around. Here’s a news segment on technology making it impossible to tell what’s real and what’s not, as well as its founders talking about how it all happened.
It also happens to show us probably one of the first ever Photoshop fails, in which Oprah Winfrey’s head is put on someone else's body.
It’s hard to imagine a world without Photoshop - the magazines, movies and memes which would never have been created and it pathed way for modern image apps like Instagram and Snapchat
“Not in my wildest dreams did we think creatives would embrace the product in the numbers and ways they have," said the co-creator of Photoshop Thomas Knoll. "It’s inspiring to see the beautiful images our customers create, the careers Photoshop has launched and the new uses people, all over the world, find for Photoshop every day. Adobe thought we’d sell about 500 copies of Photoshop a month.”
Here's Adobe's homage to its best-selling product which was used in films such as Avatar and Gone Girl.
Our perception of reality, created through Photoshopped images being everywhere, might be very different today without it and it’s the foundation of internet culture.
Most recently the power of Photoshop has been demonstrated by Left Shark - a backing dancer at Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance dressed as a shark who attracted the internet’s attention with its unconventional dancing. It gave us this (and many more):
Then there was Kim Kardashians “break the internet” photo shoot, which was endlessly remixed and repurposed, with a little help from some Photoshopping.
“Images are much easier to spread than a blog post. Sometimes a Photoshop meme can be a very simple way of communicating, but other times it can be quite deep and complicated,” Don Calowell of Know Your Meme told PBS in this documentary.
And it's another thing politicians now need to worry about - just ask Ed Miliband.
Or David Cameron.