February 04, 2011

Vintage Photoshop quote o’ the day

“If you have never seen Photoshop, you’ve missed one of those glorious rare moments when software approaches perfection. Adobe is humble about Photoshop, calling it a ‘photo design and production tool,’ but no one who’s used Photoshop is so reserved.”

– Byte magazine, April 1993 [Via Kevin Connor, who’s been on the team nearly that long and who was cleaning some old boxes out of his office]

Posted by John Nack at 5:33 PM on February 04, 2011

Comments

  • Ben Hansen — 6:16 PM on February 04, 2011

    what version was he talking about sounds like maybe version 3?

    [2.5 (the first I used). –J.]

    if so that was one the very best!

    [Yeah, I think that layers were the single biggest breakthrough in the history of the app. –J.]

    • David — 10:14 PM on February 05, 2011

      Even the early versions of Photoshop are way ahead of any potential competitors.
      2.0 brought CMYK
      2.5 has 16 bit per channel support.
      4.0 Adjustment layers and actions

  • Neal Fontana — 9:48 AM on February 05, 2011

    I agree, at the time I was employed by a printing company which used Scitex assembly and retouching applications. But I was learning the”new” Adobe Photoshop software and showing the company how to merge “layers” and create composite images, that astounded art directors from our clients (publications). It was groundbreaking, a new credit began to appear in the publications “image manipulation by Neal Fontana”

  • Bastiaan van Zwieten — 9:43 AM on February 08, 2011

    No quotes come to my head when it comes to vintage Photoshop but I do remember the joy and feeling of power when I first opened up Photoshop 2.5 on my LC back in 1994.

    The improvements up until CS2 were amazing but it really hurts to see where the product has been going since CS3.

    [Please elaborate. –J.]

    The power and (relative) simplicity of the older Photoshop releases set them apart from the competition (not that there was or is much competition).

    I still enjoy Photoshop CS5 as much as I enjoyed 2.5 seventeen years ago, but progress has come at a price.

    So keep up the good work! (and maybe I can remember a qoute…)

    • Bastiaan van Zwieten — 5:02 AM on June 15, 2011

      Hello John,

      Sorry that I haven’t responded sooner, but I missed your comment (because it was inside my comment).
      I hate to see comments (like my own in this case) that are not backed up by examples.

      A number of my issues with the current version of Photoshop and most of the apps in CS5 have to do with performance and interface-inconsistency.
      For instance:
      – GPU gets way too much load while the CPU is nearly idle!
      – Panels and many other interface-elements are (too) slow to react and have no visual feedback to indicate what’s happening
      – Interface has too many different controls and/or controls are misaligned
      – Sometimes I only get a ‘radar’ and other times a progressbar/window for the same action
      – Flash in the interface! (Makes my Macs want to take a swim in icewater)
      – Textfields in dialogs which can only be reached with the mouse and don’t react to cursor- and modifier-keys
      – The interface is becoming more and more cluttered due to the enormous amount of functionality that Photoshop has gained in the best part of twenty years.

      Also check http://adobegripes.tumblr.com/search/Photoshop/ for some screenshots of the problems (gripes) that users run into. I do not agree with the wording on most post, as they are just rude sometimes, but in general it conveys how I feel about the direction that Adobe has taken for the UI of CS5.

      I know that you (and your team) are aware of most of these issues and probably are as eager to do something about these issues as I am looking forward to seeing them fixed.

      Also, I am well aware of the problems developers run into when trying to add all the features in an app and the amount of work that has gone into Adobe products over time. So I hope this helps in any way.

      To add something positive to my reply:
      After Effects is a great example of a very efficient and fairly consistent interface.
      Loose any and all AIR/Flash-based UI-elements and it’s a winner!

      Best regards,
      Bastiaan van Zwieten

  • foljs — 6:29 PM on February 13, 2011

    [Please elaborate. –J.]

    Crappy Flash panels come to mind…

    • Marky — 5:29 AM on February 20, 2011

      Yes thumbs up to that one. The whole interface now feels really weak and insubstantial to use. Very strange to go with that decision

  • chrysinthe — 8:23 PM on February 13, 2011

    I just finished teaching a weekend Photoshop workshop, this quote takes me back to 1995 when I taught a course in Photoshop 3.0, new with layers! Photoshop was pretty amazing in those days. At my workshop, at lunchtime, we got into a bit of a discussion as to the pervasiveness of Photoshop in every part of our visual culture.

    Not sure what the previous commenter’s reservations about the newer versions, but to me the problem is that Adobe is hanging new things onto Photoshop CS4 and CS5 just to say we have a new version, buy it. Increases the complexity, and none of the new features work as well when I try to work them as they do when Russell Brown demonstrates them.

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