20 years in the eyes of a Beautfiful Liar
Tonight, Photoshop is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre of San Franciso. But what exactly happened 20 years ago?
In 1988, Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan takes a six month break from his studies. Assisted of his brother John, he works on « ImagePro », Photoshop’s ancestor. Later on, John gave a demonstration of the program to engineers at Apple. After purchasing the license to distribute the software, Adobe released Photoshop 1.0 in 1990.
Untrustworthy and misleading?
Critics are still questioning the impact of Ohotoshop in today’s society. Charles Arthur from the UK Guardian explains why conjugating Photoshop always leads up to a pejorative sentence.
Photoshop has, like Google, transcended its origins in the world of computing, and become a verb.But whereas « to Google » is almost always used positively to express usefulness, Photoshopping is almost always a term of abuse: « That picture was Photoshopped » has become a shorthand way of saying it is untrustworthy and misleading.
The Photoshop Disaster blog for example, does a great job at recording the best examples of poor taste in Photoshop manipulation. Their first post was a picture of a dollified Ashley Simpson on the cover of the Complete Woman magazine.
Jaune Hibiscus has also already covered a story about Valerie Boyer, a French Deputy who plans to illegalize unlabelled modified pictures.
Altering pictures is not an exclusivity of the beauty sector. Even Reuters, the giant multimedia news agency had to apologize after publishing photoshopped pictures.
Without Reuters knowing it, a Lebanese freelance photogragher had photoshopped several pictures illustrating smoke rising from buildings in Beirut after an Air Force attacks. Reuters‘ head of PR Moira Whittle reported that the company had suspended the photographer while investigating the matter.
People are still rising up against photo retouching. Dove even launched a Real Beauty campaign unmasking the ugly reality of beautified shots.
Should we blame the program or the way some people use it?
The good side of the bad guy
We are not trying to play the devil’s advocate but Photoshop has revolutionized the publishing and the web industry. Have you noticed that the Hibiscus regularly uses the program to create pictures that illustrate its news items? There is no shame in it because every modified picture on this blog has been identified as is.
Photoshop allows prowesses in magazine layouts, amazing web graphics and artistic illustrations. 20 years of happiness that is!