Browsing Tag

photo retouching

What WAS the First Photoshopped Image?

John Knoll Sits at Apple Mac Looking at First Ever Photoshop Image, Jennifer in Paradise

Very good question. And one for Quora, under any other circumstances.

Have you any idea what/who the subject of the first Photoshopped image was? (clue: it wasn’t a Kardashian)

Toughie, isn’t it?

Well, to help you try and work out just what the first Photoshopped image was, we’ve narrowed down the potential answers to this photo retouching-inspired conundrum to just three possibilities. And they are;

a. Photoshop co-creator, John Knoll’s future wife, Jennifer

b. Photoshop co-creator, John Knoll’s future wife, Jennifer

c. Photoshop co-creator, John Knoll’s future wife, Jennifer

That’s right, the answer is all three.

First Photoshopped Image was Jennifer in Paradise. There you Have It….

Jennifer who?

Not to put too finer (pixelled) point on it, a photo of a woman sat on a beach in Bora Bora in 1987 essentially became the crucial educational tool for the world (and their future wives) to manipulate images.

Who’d have ever imagined that what is, effectively an innocuous snap from a Tahiti holiday album would serve as the visual springboard for the birth of photo retouching as we know it today. Yeah, and technically enter the pantheons of online photo-enhancing editing history as the first Photoshopped image.

But it did, and this picture has itself been replicated many thousands of times since as part of would-be digital image manipulator’s learning curves.

Also, and in the guise of his Knoll’s then-girlfriend, we’re pretty sure that Jennifer herself wouldn’t have ever believed that such an innocent shot of her taking in a distant To’opua Island would have gone on to create such a photo editing phenomenon. Which, for the record, was a fleeting moment captured shortly before her future hubby proposed to her.

Early Photoshop Screen Grab of Jennifer in Paradise. First Ever Photoshop Image Used.

So, What’s the Story?

Having met as co-employees at Lucasfilm’s special effect arm, Industrial Light & Magic, the young lovebirds had enjoyed a well-earned break in the immediate aftermath of tirelessly working 70-hour weeks on a certain new film in the pipeline at the time. A movie going by the name of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’.

You may have heard of it.

On returning from their holiday, Knoll became increasingly fascinated by a piece of kit he’d stumbled across at work. In a nutshell, this state-of-the-art hardware (referred to as the Pixar Image Computer) could take an image from film, scan it, translate it into digits and then manipulate said numericals and put it back out as a piece of film. As such, it was noted as amongt the first devices that could be facilitated to exploit images to this hitherto unseen degree.

However the were a few disadvantages, chief amongst which was the underlying fact that the Pixar machine cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and that due to its complexities only a specially-trained operator could master the image-processing/enhancing software.

But anyway – and to cut a long story short – in the meantime, John’s sibling, Thomas – a student of Computer Vision at the University of Michigan – had been bust developing favourably comparable software which could be utilized via the much more cost-effective, Apple Macintosh Plus.

You’ll Have to Remind Us, Where Does Jennifer Fit Into All This Then?

Image availability as a means of selling the concept of photo-editing software to interested parties/hedge funds in the early days. With precious few out-and-out digital images knocking around at the time, practical demonstrations of the capacity – and potential reach – of the fledgling software was well nigh impossible, as bids to impress investors were stepped up by the ambitious and entrepreneurial siblings.

Fast forward a few weeks, and during a visit to Apple’s Advanced Technology Group lab, the opportunity arose for John to showcase the fundamentals of his new image manipulating software. However the only photo he had to hand was that of his wife, captured on their hols. And there and then this relatively ordinary 6′ x 4′ print of ‘Jennifer in Paradise’ (as Knoll entitled it) went on to become the very first full colour image used to demonstrate the capacity of a piece of software which was for all intents and purpose, Photoshop in its most rudimentary form and function.

From thereon in Knoll would leave a copy of ‘Jennifer in Paradise’ as his visual calling card, whenever and wherever he hawked his pioneering software.

Jennifer X Thousands

It didn’t take long for cheeky programmers of the day to start cloning Jennifer, once the image gained traction in the industry as part and parcel of the game-changing software. And interest didn’t stop there, as Dutch artist, Constant Dullaart, created a montage from screenshots of the video and subsequently exhibited it as an art installation at his new London show. To his mind, he offered up his more creative interpretation of ‘Jennifer in Paradise’ as the original Photoshop meme; in a time before memes were a thing.

Was this yet another example of art imitating art?

John Knoll didn’t care, that’s for sure. Nor did he share the artist’s vision, going as far as to question his ethics and according to many, was almost apoplectic at the idea of someone reconstructing his treasured image without permission. And ironically, courtesy of (you guessed it) Photoshop. Jennifer, on the other hand, has remained less concerned and has since gone on record, reflecting; The beauty of the internet is that people can take things, and do what they want with them, to project what they want or feel.”

You see. EVERY day is a learning day here at Digital Touch

Suspicious Background Photo Digital Retouching Job Lands Social Media Influencer New Job

Social media influencer stirs up cloud-based app storm on Instagram

‘Social media influencer recreates same cloud formation repeatedly on Instagram posts, by way of suspect background photo digital retouching. Gets recruited by cloud-making app creator and subsequently gains thousands more followers as reward for duplicity.’

Could that headline be ANY more 2019?!

Yet as made up sounding as the influencer in question’s recurrent cut n paste cloud formations wasn’t, this latest tale of background photo digital retouching rings true.

Now, it’s not as though we’re strangers to the business of retouching photos and/or background image removal. The type that occasionally alludes to something a little different from the original picture, once we’ve enhanced it. And normally courtesy of a guiding hand from our most productive DT employee bar none, Photoshop.

(Disclaimer: other digital image editing software is widely available. Although not quite as good).

There’s no hiding from that.

And yes, we are culpable of any amount of background photo digital retouching services to the extent that we’ve lost tally. And no, we don’t shy away from such spurillous accusations, as it’s what we do. Our livelihood. And most importantly, what we’re routinely briefed to do by our post-image-manipulated happy, clients.

And we’re not bragging when we say we have digitally altered a myriad of image backdrops over the past 8 years. Dropping in, rearranging, removing and generally housekeeping a host of people, objects, props and naturally-occuring features. Think mountains, trees, cars, wedding guests, furniture, etc. All in then name of meeting client expectations.

Background photo digital tetouching of clouds though? Really??

Well, OK. We’ll admit it.

We’ve been approached to photo retouch/drop in an altogether different sky, as a background. Whether (geddit? – sorry) the clients are estate agents looking to enhance the collective backdrops to their bespoke property portfolio. Or brides/grooms hoping that we can exchange cloudy skies (think cumulonimbus, cirrocumulus, cirrus, stratocumulus, stratus or the Mind Flayer ‘cloud monster’ from ‘Stranger Things’) for the perfect ‘The Simpsons’ skyline. To depict sunnier versions of their all important wedding shots.

But we can safely say we’ve never duplicated the same cloud-filled sky. Nor attempted to casually pass it off as coincidence. What’s more, we can’t claim to be social media influencers; not yet anyway (but we’re working on it behind the scenes).

Plus, the facts about clouds are inescapable.

Anyway, the facts about clouds are inescapable. Because as we all know (and any 80s meteorologist worth their sticky thunder graphic will reliably tell you), clouds are formed by (insert the science/geography bit here). And it’s highly unlikely that identical cloud formations will appear in the background of EVERY SINGLE ‘ideal’ shot on your Instagram account. Even if you’re a social media influencer with a tick by your name.

That’s just the way it goes.

So it might not come as a total surprise to learn that one such individual has recently been outed on their favoured social media platform by a follower who questioned the legitimacy of said cloud formations. And smelled something fishy.

Apparently the travel blogger/social media influencer – in an ongoing bid to create lavishly photo-filtered dream shots of the places they travelling to – superimposed an identikit cloud formation/cut and paste sky background on a number of their Insta uploads. Which they’d acquired from dedicated fake cloud pattern-generating app, Enlight Quickshot.

Background Image Faker Rewarded with New Job

But rather than get into hot water for being exposed as a ‘cloud cheat’, the travel influencer has secured a new role with said app creator. Who has hired them for their ‘talents’ in the aftermath of said eagle-eyed Twitter follower pointing out the glaring similarities of the skies on four of the most recent posts the accused shared. Essentially four individual images depicting them swimming, lounging by the ocean, steering a boat and wandering through a field. Which prompted the whistleblower to point out that the quartet of images were suspiciously captured beneath the exact same cloud-filled backdrop.

Girls A Cloud

Protesting their innocence to their thousands of online devotees, amid the storm of social media procrastination that engulfed them, the travel influencer declared that they saw nothing wrong with utilising the cloud app. And subsequently altering the controversial skies. Claiming that they’d chose to do this so that their images conformed to what they described as an ‘optimal aesthetic’.

They also went on to add that Quickshot was the one app that helped them with the composition of photos when the sky was overexposed or burnt.

For their part, a spokesperson for Enlight Quickshot added they were excited about collaborating with the influencer, especially in the realms of creating a brand new ‘cloud pack’ based entirely on cloud photos that their new employee would actively curate.

Of course, we would never attempt to cloud your judgement on this amusing little news story…..

Family Photos Timeline

Family photos from the Victorian era, a long time before digital photography was invented

‘Family Photos Now and Then.’

Once upon a time, many years ago (and in a land where digital family photo retouching as we recognize it today, wasn’t really a thing) in a provincial bus station, people would wait for a National Express coach to Sunderland (other destinations were/are available). Inevitably there existed a photobooth. Located somewhere in a draughty corner, close to the tobacconists booth.

Booths were very big back then you see; despite being physically very small. Yet few things were more compact than your average photobooth. Even portaloos were more accomodating. But what you couldn’t get in a portaloo was a reel of 4 or 5 snapshots focusing explicitly on the top of your head, set against a non-descript red curtain. Or a blindingly light white backdrop. If you wished to look like someone who was having an ‘out of body’ experience at the time of photographic reckoning. And lest we forget, there was no such things as digital family photo retouching back then.

Photobooths Continually Tested Our Resolve

If you were one of the fortunate ones, the top of your head wouldn’t be blurry. A unforgiveable visual fate which is seemingly unheard of now that digital family photo retouching is taken far more seriously. Which meant that the adjustable stool you perched on in the photobooth (which supposedly could realign to take into account your individual height when seated; and which you lined up with eyes in the camera-secreting mirror) obviously hadn’t slipped at the crucial moment of the irreversible pre-photo countdown.

Of course, none of the applied techniques or timing accuracy mattered a jot. As your new passport photo was pre-destined to make you look like one of those people you’d regularly see depicted on a photofit during the BBC’s Crimewatch programme at best. That was a given. Or worse still, a local drugs overlord, caught in the act.

Going Back to the Family Photos Future. Only Without a DeLorean. And a Rapidly Fading Pic

But we’re reminiscing even further back than that in this latest DT blog. By virtue of pictorially recapping how family photos as we know them today, actually came to be. Be invented, basically. Or as a more snappy title, ‘Family Photos Timeline’.

Our whistlestop visual tour of ‘what was, very much is and what could be in the future’ of family photos, explores the original art portraits of the Victorian era. Ergo sepia-esque captures of very stern-expressioned folk standing awkwardly in front of their fireplaces. Elsewhere we remind ourselves of 80s Polaroids and the abovementioned photobooths, before acknowledging the advent of the digital camera and today’s state-of-the-art, pixel-laden smartphones.

Thankfully you’ll be pleased to learn that we’ve swerved any memories of our dads’ overhead projector slideshows, which he traditionally ‘treated’ us to as a means of oversharing your summer holiday family photos each year if you were a child of the 70s.

Cue a collective sigh of relief all round.

Polaroid photo of a young man in the late 1970s, with his pet

Tell Me; Where Did It All Begin?

So, right about now you’ll probably be asking where it all began? The ‘it’ being family photos. Or rather, what came to bear as the family photos we know and love today. And as a subsequent by-product, digital family photo retouching services.

Well let us put you in the picture.

Portrait photography as such (that’s pretty much the genesis of family photos) has been around over 175 years now, during which passage of time constant evolution has ensured that what we see today is as realistic as the subject matter themselves. Yes, even the uncle nobody likes to talk about can appear as though they are in the flesh at Christmas. With visually-added creepiness, courtesy of the quality of HD and mega pixels available to us amateur lensmeisters.

But our even more distant relatives didn’t always have it that good.

Far from it, in fact, as pre-the invention of photography as we recognise it, the only viable means to capturing the likeness of your nearest and dearest was to employ the services of Gainsborough and Holbein. The great portrait painters of their day. And not only did they cost a fortune to hire, if they accidently messed up their watercolour representation of your loved one, there was fat chance it could be retouched by an image editor. Because they hadn’t yet been invented neither.

Thankfully just in the nick of time along came HRH Queen Vicky, the 1850s and the photographic revolution. Which was similar to the more famous industrial one, only with less stove hats and canals. Legend has it that Victoria Monarchy and her consort embraced the new photographic tech with the sort of enthusiasm today’s youngsters have for Snapchat. Notably every regal coming and going was commited to photographic print.

Digitally enhanced photo of Queen Victoria playing with a modern day smartphone

Essentially, Queen V was a geek.

Family Photos Were Invented by Greek Philosophers, Weren’t They? I knew it….

However actual photography was kinda invented (in a fashion. Or at least, in principle) a very long time before the Victorians got in on the act. As far back as the 5th Century, for all you budding historians out there (please see below). With both the Greeks and Chinese claiming bragging rights from the outset (origins of which have been subsequently substantiated). Of course, it was quite a while longer before digital family photo retouching services homed into view.

Naturally the first time most of us would come across the existence of family photos, began and ended with the systematic archiving process. By way of sticking individual examples in a leather-bound album under the watchful eye of a parental figure. And which at some later point in our formative years be ceremoniously dragged out. Typically whenever we introduced a new girl/boyfriend to our parents by an overly zealous maternal/paternal figure.

The Who, What, When, Where, Which and Why of Family Photos History

5th Century BC – Both Greek philosophers and Chinese explain the fundamentals of optics and the camera. Albeit in theory

4th Century BC – Greeks go one better, as Aristotle describes pinhole image formation in his work. Greece 1 – China 0

1021 AD – An Iraqi scientist called Alhazen invents the camera obscura, which he cites in his book of optics. Not sure if it made the Amazon bestseller book list or not

1664 – 1672 – Then there was a bit of a gap before Isaac Newton (yeah, apple, tree, etc) discovered that white light is composed from different colours. By refracting said light off a prism

1685 – Bloke going by the name of Johann Zahn invented the box form of a camera. Or rather, he had a vision of a compact, portable unit, which was then another 150 years in the making as he/the world waited for the appropriate technology to arrive

1837 – Another short break in photography invention, before Frenchman, Joseph Nicephore Niepce (who had previously invented a wood camera equipped with a microscopic lens, as well as a Heliograph), collaborated with Louis Daguerre. Who history recalls fondly as the man who invented the first practical photographic process. And which was widely used in portraiture until the mid 1850s

Amusing photo of comedy character having his photo taken in 1980s photo booth

1839 – Fox Talbot (chap, not animal) presented his ‘negative’ images (which had to be printed via a similar process to produce the final ‘positive’) to the Royal Institution and the Royal Society. Revolutionary as a number of positive prints can be crafted from a single negative, and hence the gasps drawn from the assembled throng

We’re Getting There; Don’t Fret

1841 – Daguerre is now getting up to speed with his one-off photographs, produced on a silvered copper plate and patented, ‘Daguerreotypes’. Costing 1 guinea a pop, put them beyond the financial clout of only the most elite families. From mid-1850s onwards, they were usurped by cheaper photographic formats. Naming no names, but we’re referring to the 1852-borne ambrotypes (collodion positives). Which proved very popular at 1 shilling a throw, and remained in circulation until around 1890

1860s onwards – Card-mounted prints emerged as the next big thing in family photos terms, and ushered in the dawn of the ‘cartomania’ phenomenon. On the back of these aesthetically-considered pieces, the very first purpose-designed photograph albums came into being in the early 1860s

1861 – Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell produced the first colour photograph

Not Long Now….

1870s – The invention of tintypes, or ferrotypes (a photographic image struck directly onto an iron plate), afforded many more ordinary people the opportunity to buy into the family photos boom. Costing the equivalent of just a few pence, this process favoured images which witnessed Victorians at play. Primarily outdoor scenes, including bathing and fairgrounds.

1884 – The Leitz Camera company of Germany, gave the world of family photos the Leica. A name which is still to this very day synonymous with visual quality

1888 – Kodak invented its first camera, and the rest is family photos history. Well, not quite. Dreamed up and marketed by former New york bank clerk, George Eastman, this simple box camera came pre-loaded with 100-exposure roll of celluloid-based film. Which was an absolute game-changer. Once the roll was finished, the camera in its entirity was sent back to the factory, reloaded and returned to the customer whilst the roll was being developed. And still days before Boots….

Just a Few More Key Years to Cover….

1923 – Photobooth invented by Anatol Josepho, with first curtain-installed version springing up on Broadway street two years later. 25 cents was exchanged for 8 printed photos, in the aftermath of a development process which lasted 10 minutes. Some 280,000 people gave it a whirl in the first 6 months, and were (inadvertently) responsible for the world’s first selfies. And as a tragic by-product, Kim Kardashian and co….

Great inventor, Isaac Newton in the midst of inventing elements of photography, many years earlier than invention of digital cameras

1948 – The Polaroid Model 95 was launched. The world’s first viable instant-picture camera. The Model 95 used a patented chemical process to produce finished positive prints from the exposed negatives in sub-one minute times. If you shook it frantically, even quicker

1975 – Kodak continue to get its game face on, and courtesy of engineer, Steven Sasson, they invent the world’s first digital camera

1980s – Polaroid launched Polaroid 635 Supercolor instant camera. Characterised by rainbow stripe on front and massive flash box on top. And the fact that it allowed you to capture incriminating evidence of your fashion faux pas during your last summer holiday

Almost There Now….

1990 – Hello family photo retouching! Yup, Adobe create Photoshop 1.0. The image manipulator’s image manipulation programme bar none, and still as relevent today as it was back then

1992 – Tim Berners-Lee drops his WWW bombshell (after developing required software and protocol), which allows image retouchers to go into business

2007 – Apple employee, Steve Jobs invents the iPhone. Which included an in-built camera function. Complete with intuitive downloading and sharing tools. Portrayed a few years later by Ashton Kutcher (every silver lining, etc)….

2016 – iPhone 7 introduces latest smartphone camera technology. A camera which packs a 6 element lens and a 12-megapixel sensor, no less

Footnote: Retro photobooth-generated photos are seeing something of a rennaisance amongst the wedding photo fraternity in recent years, as a nostalgic tip to yesteryear.

photo retouching services

UK Based | Digital photo retouching services, specialising in professional image editing for product, wedding, beauty, restorative and background removal briefs.

Based in the heart of England we are an established full-service photo retouching provider. We’ve spent over 8 years successfully delivering on briefs for both business and personal clients looking to enhance the quality of their all-important images. Companies and individuals who have reached out to us seeking answers to their photo editing requests.

Subsequently recognised as Trustpilot’s number 1 digital photo retouching solutions experts, we have built a strong reputation by visually capturing what clients see in their mind’s eye when they approach us.

Not only that, but we also offer a fast turnaround of briefs. Coupled with timely and friendly responses at every stage of the process.

Bringing together a wealth of photo editing experience, our passionate image manipulation team is led by Jilly Jackson. Who habitually lends a female perspective to what often borders on sensitive requirements.

Whatever your brief is, we guarantee that you’ll be impressed with the full digital photo retouching solutions we deliver. One which reflects and continues to underpin our enviable Trustpilot and Google rankings.

‘It’s not just Google Reviews acknowledging the myriad of satisfied customers singing our praises over the past 8 years. We have also generated a significant volume of positive feedback from clients. Many of whom have registering their appreciation with Trustpilot, with regards to the photo editing briefs we’ve fulfilled for them.

And as anyone knows, a business’s reputation can hinge on the power wielded by the impartial people who leave make or break feedback on the ‘go to’ customer reviews website. Reviews which afford would-be customers priceless insights into both the quality of work delivered, together levels of customer service experienced.

Therefore our expansive selection of glowing customer reviews on Trustpilot go a considerable way to prove that we don’t just talk the talk. Digital or otherwise. And that essentially we’ve become a trusted source of satisfaction for everyone’s photo editing needs, be they business or personal.

But don’t just take our word for it. Take our clients and Trustpilot’s……’