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Meet the Team: Jackie Lincoln-Owyang – Adobe Founders’ Award Winner

Jackie Lincoln-Owyang

The Adobe Founders’ Award each year recognizes 10 innovators from around the globe who have the greatest impact on our business. This year, Jackie Lincoln-Owyang received this distinguished honor for her work as Quality Engineering Manager for Photoshop. I wanted to shed some light on Jackie’s tireless efforts on the Photoshop team, and how inspiration from customers like you fuels her passion. Her story reveals how her earliest experiences as an artist shaped her role on the team, and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you here.

How did you get interested in photography and photo projects?
Jackie: My grandfather was my biggest inspiration. He used photography to document the family and taught me how to tell a story with images. Growing up, I also worked with my father in the darkroom. I was fortunate to be exposed to the first iterations of digital cameras in my ad agency and pre-press days. Almost by osmosis, I grew up surrounded by images, the creation of them, and the sharing of them my entire life.

Is there any one moment or one photograph that you remember driving your interest in photography? Jackie: Quite the opposite, in fact: I consider photography and images to be a part of my DNA, a part of my everyday life. Similar to grabbing essentials like your keys and wallet before leaving the house, I always have a camera with me. I am deeply influenced by great talents who have the power to evoke emotions and the keen telling of stories through images: Ansel Adams, Stieglitz, Ruth Bernard, Liebovitz, Mapplethorpe, Cartier-Bresson, to name just a few. With a fine arts background, I am always on the path of creative discovery and was recently blown away by the Garry Winogrand exhibit at the SF MOMA. I also am fortunate to work with incredible talent (and brainpower!) every day, such as Kelly Castro and Eric Chan.

How does your interest in imaging projects translate to your work at Adobe?
Jackie: Whether it’s telling my own story or helping Photoshop customers to tell their own, the goal is always to be able to create world-class tools that allow anyone to best tell their story and do their best work. With a powerful stable of tools between Photoshop, Lightroom and Camera Raw, creative expression abounds. I am fascinated with the astonishing work artists make with our tools, such as Erik Johansson’s. (In fact, the Photoshop team just signed a bottle of Tequila to send to Erik as a thank you to him for inspiring us!)

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How does it feel to receive the Adobe Founders’ Award?
Jackie: I feel humbled, honored, thrilled and entirely overwhelmed, all at the same time. When I found out that I was a recipient, I thought about all of the exceptional people with whom I am surrounded everyday – on the Photoshop team and beyond – and how they’re equally as deserving.

The key to Adobe’s success is its people. I have been on the team for 19 years and a majority of my teammates have been on Photoshop during their entire Adobe careers. We are a tight-knit team, a family. It is a true honor to work on a product I fell deeply in love with back in my four-color prepress days. It is inspiration like this that makes me get up in the morning and do what I do: create a product that touches just about everything. It inspires, sparks creativity, captures emotion and communicates. In addition to having been able to sit next to John and Chuck at the Founder’s Award Dinner, one of the key accolades came from Winston Hendrickson, Adobe Vice President of Products, at a lunch event the team held for me: “Jackie, it is you who inspires us to do our best work. You raise the bar. You ensure we do right by the customer. You won’t sit still until the right thing is done. You make us a better organization.”

Jackie with fellow Adobe Founders' Awards recipients at Adobe HQ in San Jose

What kind of creative things do you work on or enjoy most when you’re not in the office?
Jackie: 
Whatever I am focused on at the moment, it has to be approached creatively. I am a serious home cook and will go to great lengths to procure exceptional ingredients and share meals with family and friends. Of course, food is photographed, but the experience of a well-designed table, and all the details inspires me. My family and I love to travel, and are also national park junkies. We’ve made trips to Costa Rica and Hawaii, focusing on exploration and discovery. Trip albums abound and, in particular, I enjoy the creative process of posting daily trip journal entries and images to capture the essence of our experiences.

What direction do you see Photoshop going in the future and what does that mean for customers?
Jackie: 
No matter where Photoshop resides (desktop, tablet, mobile, cloud) it has to offer value to our customers. Our team’s passion is keeping Photoshop world-class and relevant. We work to see the “magic” of Photoshop thrive beyond its 23 years. At the end of the day, I am here to make sure Photoshop continues to be best in class, high quality, and make an indelible mark on the world. As a stretch, Maria Yap, Senior Director of Product Management, has set a goal to snare an Oscar. And another of her stretch goals is to get into the Smithsonian! (She sets the bar high indeed!)

Photoshop Photography Program Now Available (UPDATE)

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UPDATE: The Photoshop Photography Program is available again for a limited time. Take advantage of the offer here.

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Today we’re announcing the availability of the Photoshop Photography Program. Customers who own a perpetual Photoshop CS3-CS6 license are eligible to receive all of the following for US $9.99/month with a 12-month commitment:

  • Photoshop CC
  • Lightroom 5
  • 20 GB of online storage
  • Behance ProSite
  • Access to Creative Cloud Learn’s training resources
  • Ongoing upgrades and updates


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Writing Generator Plug-ins: Making Photoshop Yours

As a designer, my relationship with Photoshop had always been a one-way street. I’d spend hours pouring my heart into a design, but then I’d always run into the question of, “Now what?”. Extracting my design intent from PSDs felt tedious and repetitive. I conceived of Adobe Generator as a means to empower people to quickly and easily access the design data within PSDs. With Generator, anyone who knows JavaScript can create their own way of working with Photoshop.

While developing Generator in Photoshop CC, our team spoke with many designers and developers to understand their workflows. We learned from each other and worked together to make the Generator APIs super fast, lightweight, and powerful. Along the way we met Kat Bobbitt and Asa Miller from Stand In. Over just a few days, Kat & Asa were able to get Stand In up and running using Generator’s real-time APIs.

Stand In – Realistic Interactive Prototypes, Straight from Photoshop

Much more than image extraction, Stand In takes positioning, styling, state, even motion data, from PSDs and creates prototypes that feel like real apps which you can view on your iPhone. This capability, to fluidly create in Photoshop and seamlessly output designs to any context, is at the heart of the Generator technology. To get more info on this awesome mobile UI prototyping tool, check out standin.io.

Your First Generator Plug-In
If you’re interested in creating your own plug-in (Yay! I’m really excited that you’re interested), take a look at Tom Krcha’s quick start guide, then peek at the Image Assets code on github. You’ll find everything you need to get started.

Oh, and if you’ve got any comments or thoughts on Generator, send ‘em to me @timriot on Twitter.

Introducing Adobe Generator for Photoshop CC

Today we’re announcing the immediate availability of new Photoshop CC features for Creative Cloud members. This update to Photoshop CC (version 14.1) includes an exciting new technology, Adobe Generator, which allows new workflows, especially for web designers, screen designers, and anyone who needs to extract image assets out of a Photoshop document.

Real-time Image Asset Generation

Generator

Generator allows you to create image assets in real time as you work, eliminating the tedious steps of copying, slicing and exporting each layer manually, and saving you hours of time. Simply add a file extension to the name of your layer or layer group, and Photoshop will automatically create a JPG, PNG or GIF from the contents of that layer. If you make a change to that layer, the file is immediately updated. This means that you now have a folder of images that are always up-to-date with your Photoshop design.


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Customer Engagement in Focus at Photoshop World 2013

We’re wrapping up Day 3 of Photoshop World in Las Vegas, and it has been one of the most exciting shows to date! Here are some highlights:

At the keynote on Day 1, we announced that our loyal customers who own a Photoshop CS3-CS6 license will be eligible to receive a Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 bundle for $9.99/month. Read more about that announcement here. Also at the keynote, our own Jeff Tranberry was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame.

Winston Hendrickson

For the first time at Photoshop World, we invited an artist to take the stage to inspire the passionate Photoshop community. The highly talented Brooke Shaden shared reasons to be true to your own photography style and workflow.
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Introducing the Photoshop Photography Program

Since introducing Photoshop CC, we’ve listened to feedback from photographers who represent a spectrum of customers, from advanced professionals to casual enthusiasts. We appreciate that Photoshop’s success and growth has been sustained by the ongoing loyalty of customers like you, and so I’m delighted to announce a new offer for our Photoshop customers in the photography community that will be available during the week of September 16. One common request in your feedback was a solution specifically tailored for photographers.

Read more about this announcement on the Creative Layer blog. FAQ about this announcement can be found here.

Fur-tography Contest Comes Full Circle with Prize-Winning Pet Adoption

A story that started with a family losing their dog ended with a furry adoption thanks to the Photoshop Elements Fur-tography contest.

Last Tuesday, Kevin N., grand prize winner of the Photoshop Elements Fur-tography contest, visited North Country Animal League in Morrisville, Vermont. As part of his grand prize package, Kevin selected North Country to receive $4,000 USD worth of pet food to feed the fur-tastic dogs and cats that currently reside in the shelter while waiting to find their forever homes. With the help of the delivery folks at Pet Food Warehouse, North Country received the first of several food deliveries.

Photo: Kevin N.

North Country Animal League is a non-profit animal shelter with a passion for helping animals through adoptions, education and outreach and the sheltering of homeless animals. Currently, North Country is home to dozens of adoptable animals, including 15 dogs and 24 cats. They send about 700 animals per year to loving homes. The team at North Country was thrilled to be selected by Kevin as the recipient of the grand prize donation.
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Erik Johansson: Half Real, Half Really Crazy

The beauty of art is that it can transcend the reality of the world we live in and take us to places accessible only through our imaginations. Swedish artist Erik Johansson has made a name for himself turning dreams and ideas into magical works of art in Photoshop. I recently met with Erik to discuss his experience in retouching, his creative process and what makes his brilliant (and eccentric) mind tick. Chatting with him fired up my creative brain and I hope that reading this will do the same for you:

Your image creation process is part photography, part Photoshop magic and part prop handiwork. Can you describe your evolution as a photographer?
I’ve always been interested in computers and drawing. When I got my first digital camera, I discovered photo manipulation by accident or chance. I always saw those interests as separate things, but now I could suddenly combine them. I started playing around with photographs, changing them to create something different because reality was just too boring. To me, photography has always just been a way to collect material. I want to create and realize what’s in my mind; capture an idea instead of a moment.

Where does your inspiration come from?
It’s from everywhere, I think it’s more about trying to look differently at the world. Trying to see how you can combine visual elements into something new and unexpected to create art from items that are normally not combined. I get inspired by all things I see, you just have to keep thinking and be open to the unexpected.

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When you create commissioned art, does it interfere with your creative process?
Well, it can be a bit different. Sometimes I get a concept from an agency and just create it. It’s an interesting challenge as well, trying to realize someone else’s vision. But I think the main difference between the commissioned and personal work is the time pressure. I normally spend months on each image, from idea/sketch to final image. With commissioned work, I normally don’t have that luxury but it’s a lot of fun as well.
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Principal Scientist and “Mad Man” Eric Chan Discusses His Role in Improving Photoshop

A massive amount of work went into last month’s release of Photoshop CC, and now that the dust has settled, I got a chance to meet with Principal Scientist Eric Chan to talk about what’s new and what role he played in creating the product. Eric’s a brilliant scientist who takes a deep personal interest in the software he helps to develop. I learned a lot from him and I’m stoked to share part of our conversation with you:

Tell us about yourself and your history at Adobe. What features have you helped develop?
I joined the Camera Raw team at Adobe in February 2008. My first project was to improve the color rendition for pictures developed in Camera Raw and Lightroom. Boy, that was a lot of work — and a lot of fun! Since then, I’ve tinkered with improving others aspects of picture quality, including tone mapping, noise reduction, and lens corrections. I also work on raw support for new cameras and I build profiles for lenses.

Photoshop CC includes the newest features in Camera Raw such as Upright. What kind of research went into the new Camera Raw features?
Both Upright and the improved Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop CC are based on research from Adobe’s Creative Technologies Lab (CTL). I’m very privileged to work with those folks: they’re really good at tackling common yet complex photographic problems. 

In the case of Upright, the idea was to straighten pictures automatically — fixing not just tilted horizons, but also converging lines (keystone effect). To accomplish this, the research team developed a robust line-estimation method to extract the primary lines within an image, and a system for determining how best to straighten images with several competing goals in mind (e.g., aligned edges vs perspective distortion). The underlying techniques are rather complex, but we tried to make the feature itself easy to use. 
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