The family legacy behind the revolutionary Photoshop | Digital Trends Spanish


With just over 100,000 inhabitants, the small Ann arbor it is considered the “most educated” city in the United States. In addition, it is home to the University of Michigan, the engine of the local economy, employing about a third of the population.

It was this environment that led two brothers to give life to Photoshop, the application that for more than three decades has revolutionized digital photography. In addition to massifying the creative process, its legacy has even penetrated popular culture, as the name of this software became a verb: “photoshop.

“Photoshop’s contribution, something I’m very proud of, is that the app continues to empower people to be creative and work through design and photography in ways that they could never have imagined or done so easily before. Photoshop existed ”, has recognized John knoll, one of its creators.

Knoll has many times been “blown away” by what people accomplish with Photoshop. “I think that the constant evolution and development that characterize it are one of the many reasons why it has been so successful,” he said.

Inherited hobbies

It all started in the Knoll family home. Brothers Thomas and John inherited a love of photography and computers from their father. While the former learned about imaging in a dark basement room, the latter was drawn to an Apple II Plus computer.

Thomas preferred practical work, but he was also interested in programming. When he was working on his doctoral thesis, he wanted a computer to display the grayscale levels of his images. In this way, he wrote a subroutine to simulate it, to which he later added more tasks.

John, who was already working for the visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), was amazed at the developments. For the same reason, both met these codes and in 1987 created an application called Display.

In 1988, they developed an improved version called ImagePro and decided to release it for sale. The scanner company BarneyScan distributed 200 copies of the application alongside the photo-scanning devices.

But at the end of the same year the definitive success would arrive. John presented the product to an Adobe creative team and they quickly reached an agreement. After ten months of development, Photoshop 1.0 hit the market in February 1990.

Thomas never finished his doctoral thesis, but has been involved in Photoshop development ever since; John, for his part, continued his career at ILM, where he has contributed to films such as Avatar, Star wars Y Pirates of the Caribbean, with which he won an Oscar.

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