It all started from 1987 when the developer Thomas Knoll created a very simple pixel imaging program called Display. It was displaying gray scale photos on a black and white monitor. His brother John Knoll was supervisor at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic). The other digital artists were impressed at the post production facility of George Lucas with Display and eventually it was used into James Cameron‘s The Abyss. Later on Knoll brothers renamed it to Photoshop.
Above is the very first Photoshop image ever edited which is a photo of John Knoll’s wife in Bora Bora. Kinda cool…
Adobe bought the software from Knoll brothers and Photoshop 1.0 released on Feb. 19, 1990 for the Macintosh. As a storm, it took the entire Media and Entertainment industry talking about it. Digital photo retouching was costing $300 by an hour and one time buying price of Photoshop 1.0 was only $1000.
Just by end of the decade, it sold over 3 Million copies and the rest is history.
I remember being introduced to Photoshop (and Premiere) back at Hanna Barbera around 1994 when it was at version 2.0 and the things I remember most is that it had one Undo and no layers so you really had to be diligent with your saving iterations to make sure you didn’t destroy hours of work. Still it was a fascinating program even then!
Watch John Knoll demonstrate the very first iteration of Photoshop below. We’ve come a long way, baby!