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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Adobe Photoshop Digital Revolution

Throughout the digital revolution of the 1990s, Adobe Photoshop played a leading role in expanding and re-defining the post-production process of photography. Suddenly, procedures that would usually take days or weeks and could only be performed by highly skilled professional artists and photographers could be accomplished in a few minutes by nearly anyone with basic computer skills and intuition. The overall quality of photographs improved tremendously with the use of this software, and artists soon began using Photoshop not only as a post-production tool, but as a tool for design.


The release of the first version of Adobe Photoshop coincided with the advent of the World Wide Web, which has grown to play a massive role in today’s technological society. Virtually every office, school, and household around the world is now connected, and web design has become a lucrative new profession. 


Although Photoshop was initially intended for print purposes, tech savvy designers soon discovered that the software was incredibly convenient for designing websites. The folks at Adobe, in response, began adding new features to the updated software that would appeal to web designers. Adobe ImageReady, a bitmap graphics editor now included with Adobe Photoshop, has become a standard tool in the industry for creating and editing web graphics.


Typically, the web design process goes something like this:


  1. The web designer sketches the layout of the website using Adobe Photoshop;
  2. The designer then uses Adobe ImageReady, which allows him/her to “slice” the layout into performing various functions on the website;
  3. The programmer then implements the design into html code, and the site goes online.


Another popular use of Photoshop on the Internet has developed into a favorite pastime of amateurs and professionals alike. It is a game called “photoshopping,” and it involves using Adobe Photoshop software in order to create a sort of visual prank or joke. The faces of celebrities are often applied to nude or pornographic images, misleading people to believe that the photographs are authentic. Another hoax that received a lot of media attention featured a shark attacking a helicopter. The photograph circulated widely on the Internet, until it was revealed that it was actually comprised of two separate photographs spliced together by a clever designer in Photoshop.


While Adobe officially discourages people from using the word “Photoshop” as a verb – they are afraid that it will undermine the trademark – one thing is for certain: Photoshop – and photoshopping – continues to alter the way we view the world.


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