Thank You Photoshop For Making Us Look Good For 20 Years

Adobe’s premier image editing software, Photoshop, turns 20 today, February 19, 2010. Around the world, Photoshop fans are celebrating the impact their favorite software has had across photography, art, design, publishing and commerce.


In the United States, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) will be hosting a special Photoshop 20th Anniversary celebration for over a thousand attendees in San Francisco at the Palace of the Fine Arts Theater. The event will feature Adobe’s SVP Creative Solutions, John Loiacono, as well as VP Photoshop Product Management, Kevin Connor, Photoshop co-creator Thomas Knoll and famed Adobe creative director and Photoshop evangelist, Russell Brown.

To be a part of this celebration and view the live Webcast, visit: www.photoshopuser.com/photoshop20th.

The festivities continue overseas in Japan, Southeast Asia and throughout Europe. In honor of the 20th anniversary, Adobe Germany will host a special 20-hour online marathon, featuring over 15 local Photoshop “gurus” demonstrating their favorite tips and tricks live for Photoshop fans. In India and France, digital imaging contests will be held to showcase the work of Photoshop users.

A special Adobe TV broadcast will also air on the anniversary date at tv.adobe.com/go/photoshop-20th-anniversary, reuniting the original “Photoshop team” for the first time in 18 years, to discuss their early work on the software and demonstrate Photoshop 1.0 on a rebuilt Macintosh computer.

The Photoshop community is also sharing their favorite stories online, with the product and its over 400,000 fan-strong Facebook page, the hub for a worldwide look at the product’s impact. A new “Celebrate” tab directs users to a 20th anniversary logo, which many have already personalized with Photoshop and used as a replacement for their profile image. Connect with the Photoshop team at www.facebook.com/Photoshop or twitter.com/photoshop, and add the tag #PS20 to tweets about the anniversary.

“For 20 years Photoshop has played many different roles—it has given creative people the power to deliver amazing images that impact every part of our visual culture and challenged the eye with its ability to transform photographs,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO at Adobe.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that, thanks to millions of creative customers, Photoshop has changed the way the world looks at itself.”

The impact of Photoshop is everywhere—billboard signs, magazine covers, major motion pictures, even the logo on the coffee cup you drink out of every morning. All have likely been touched by the software. Over 90 percent of creative professionals have Photoshop on their desktops and today Photoshop is used by professional photographers, graphic designers and advertisers, as well as architects, engineers and even doctors. Whether it’s bringing visual effects to life in the blockbuster film Avatar, helping save lives in partnership with forensics departments and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or challenging the human eye to determine if an image is real or fake, Photoshop continues to find new uses and advocates.

The beginnings of Photoshop are rooted In 1987, when Thomas Knoll developed a pixel imaging program called Display. It was a simple program to showcase grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, after collaborating with his brother John Knoll, the two began adding features that made it possible to process digital image files. The program eventually caught the attention of industry influencers, and in 1988, Adobe made the decision to license the software, naming it Photoshop, and shipping the first version in 1990.

“Twenty years ago, Adobe predicted that it would sell 500 copies of Photoshop per month,” said Thomas Knoll, co-creator of Photoshop at Adobe.

“I guess you could say, we beat those projections! It’s amazing to think that millions of people use this software today. We knew we had a groundbreaking technology on our hands, but we never anticipated how much it would impact the images we see all around us. The ability to seamlessly place someone within an image was just the beginning of Photoshop’s magic.”

Over its 20-year history, Photoshop has evolved significantly from a simple original display program to a wildly popular application that has over 10 million users worldwide. With each release, Adobe has introduced technological innovations that defy the impossible. Layers, introduced in Photoshop 3.0, gave designers the ability to create complex compositions easier than ever before. The Healing Brush, another groundbreaking feature introduced in Photoshop 7.0, allowed users to magically retouch images by seamlessly removing blemishes and wrinkles, while preserving lighting and texture. Photoshop tools like crop, eraser, blur and dodge and burn have become part of the creative vernacular worldwide.

The Photoshop team thrives off its rich beta tester program, with active and vocal users who have submitted requests and helped shape the development of features throughout the years. Adobe has maintained a strong connection with its customer base through blogs, user research, customer support, forums and feedback from Adobe “evangelists” who travel the world to engage with Photoshop users.

Source: designtaxi.com

The Purpose Of Contemporary Art

"Artists must continue the conquest of new territory and new taboos"
- Norman Rosenthal, Director of the Royal Academy of Arts, London
As time has moved on and contemporary art has moved with it, controversy has somehow always managed to keep up. Going back to the beginning of art historical study we can find cases of both individual artists and groups who have rocked the artistic status quo with their innovative contributions to the art of the day. The 20th century was no exception.

Contemporary art has a purpose. The purpose is simply to beautify your surroundings with intrigue. Ok, but why do people pay so much for what looks like a canvas with some paint thrown on it? Abstract paintings can actually be very affordable if purchased from an up and coming artist. And believe it or not, most often there was a deliberate attempt at where that paint landed on the canvas. The beauty of abstract art, both for the artist and the viewer, is that anyone can take what they see and interpret it however they see fit.

There are many different interpretations of contemoporary art. An artist can be completely non-representational, or he/she can conjure up recognizable forms and symbols. In a broad spectrum of contemporary  art paintings, you can find landscapes, seascapes, natural objects, and colorful shapes and forms. All and all, abstract paintings tend to have a strong focus on color patterns, and/or texture. Nowadays, with photography, digital art, and the ability to create prints, it's no wonder why artists are seeking to make it perfectly clear that what you see on the canvas was in-fact created with a more personal human element. How you ask? Through building up layers of texture, depth, or using a glazing technique that collects and redistributes light, making the paint appear luminous.

There is so much joy in painting abstractly because the walls of rigid preconception are torn down. Many artists are using abstract art as a means to release feelings, and also as a way to freely express what they have seen in nature. When something is done in spirit and spontaneity, it's obvious and it shows in the work. The purpose of contemporary art is to capture this essence and bring this joy into the lives of others.

But not all contemporary art is so inocent. The article starts with the words of the man behind the exhibition that has caused the biggest Sensation of recent years. Words that suggest that he had more than an inkling of, in fact wished for, the furor that would follow. It seems implausible, however, that he would have anticipated the scale of the revolt. More accurately, Rosenthal was just one of the men behind the show; the other was the advertising mogul and art collector Charles Saatchi.

Jenny Saville

Examining the exhibition catalogue, it is interesting that many of the artists - there are 42 in total - are far from "notorious," and their work is unlikely to bring them any such accolade. The works include a significant number of paintings, and while Jenny Saville's works may pose a challenge because of her eschewal of models of conventional beauty, the clear, bold, colorful works of Gary Hume, Britain's representative at the 48th Venice Biennale, seem positively tame. In the place of Tracey Emin's bed was her tent, embroidered with the names of all her sexual partners, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995. The evident skill in the crafting of the piece does not save it from the critics of the show, and indeed of contemporary art, whose favored argument is to question whether such works "merit" the title of art.

The crescendo begins with the more clearly distressing Dead Dad (1996-97) by Ron Mueck, an eerily life-like silicone model lying prostrate on the floor, and Self (1991) by Marc Quinn - a perspex sculpture of the artist's head, filled with his own blood and displayed in a fridge, which disturbs in the tradition of the Surrealists. And then we reach the Chapman brothers and Damien Hirst. The shock tactics favoured by Jake and Dinos Chapman are deemed puerile and infantile by their detractors; Great Deeds against the Dead (1994) presents us with mutilation and castration, Ubermensch (1995), with its model of the scientist Stephen Hawking about to plummet off the edge of a cliff in his wheelchair, favors cruelty and insensitivity over political correctness, while Zygotic Acceleration, Bio-genetic, De-sublimated Libidinal Model (Enlarged x 1000) (1995) and Tragic Anatomies (1995) feature genetic freaks made up of girl mannequins morphed together, many with the Chapmans' trademark phallus nose and rectum mouth. Damien Hirst found controversy and fame in Britain for his practice of cutting up dead animals and preserving them in formaldehyde when he won the Turner Prize in 1995. Several of these works are featured in the show, including perhaps the most famous exemplar, the shark, entitled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991).

Some of these works sparked controversy, but it was in fact two other pieces, by different artists in London and New York, which caused the biggest uproar.

In London it was a painting by Marcus Harvey, a monochrome canvas entitled MH (1996-98). The image, made up of prints from a plaster cast of a child's hand, depicted the infamous imprisoned child murderer Myra Hindley. The work became the subject of a fierce tabloid campaign, with one newspaper paying for the mother of one of Hindley's victims to attend the show. The media was successful in fueling a frenzy, and ink and eggs were thrown at the painting by a member of the public. The vandalized canvas was taken away and cleaned, after which it was reinstated, behind glass, with the Royal Academy preaching the defense of freedom of expression.


The Holy Virgin Mary (1996)
Chris Ofili

It was Chris Ofili who found himself at the center of the storm in New York. Ofili had already experienced controversy when he too won the Turner Prize in 1998. His intricately patterned mixed-media works draw on his Nigerian heritage and are characterized by their inclusion of elephant dung. The focus of the outrage was The Holy Virgin Mary (1996): a mixed media painting/collage depicting a black madonna, surrounded by images of buttocks, with the addition of the ubiquitous dung. Ofili stayed well out of the affray as his work was branded blasphemous. [1]

And the list continues because the show must go on, right? Is the purpose of contemporary art to provoke a reaction even if it's an ugly one? The purpose of art was never only pure beauty or merely decorative. But nowadays, probably more than even art became more intertwined with our day by day problems and issues, like traffic lights in our eyes, trying to get our attention about the present we have here in front of us. Sometimes contemporary art can be naive and colorful but most of the time it is like a bell that rings in our face the message: live your live, don't let your life live you.

[1] www.csa.com

5 Digital Photography Tips For Better Shots

In this article I want to go over some basic digital photography tips that beginners and professionals should review from time to time. Digital cameras on the market today are very capable of producing breath taking photos that will amaze your friends and family with the help of a few easy tips.


Photography Tip 1. Know Your Camera

I know it sounds rather silly and perhaps a bit boring but, when you sit down and take the time to go through the manual, you may be surprised by the amazing things your camera can do. Scroll through the menus and push the buttons; when you come across something you don't know...look it up in your trusty manual. Most manuals are simple and easy to read and are small enough to keep in your pocket or camera case. Becoming familiar with your camera will allow you the freedom and confidence to capture those amazing once-in-a-lifetime shots. You can learn variety of Digital Photography Tips just by reading the manual.

Photography Tip 2. Know Your Interests

You can quickly become disinterested in photography and burned-out if what you are shooting is of little or no interest to you. Sit down with yourself and write out a list of the things that excite and motivate you. Looking at photos online through one of the photo hosting sites like Flickr or Photobucket can give you an idea of what makes your shutter finger twitch. It is difficult to capture those stunning shots if your heart's not in it.

Photography  Tip 3. Know What Equipment You Need

Researching through the internet can give you a good idea of just what equipment you will need to take the shots you want. Photography Forums are a wonderful resource that will not only show you the kind of photos you'd like to take but will also, in many cases, tell you how the show what was taken and with what equipment. Hot shoe flashes and tripods are always a sound investment.

Photography Tip 4. Know Your Lighting

Lighting in photography is like flour is to bread. You just can't make bread if you don't have flour. You just can't make stunning photos if you don't have light. Learn how to use the light to your best advantage. When and how to use your flash, using available natural light and using other artificial light sources is worth taking the time to learn. Going back to Tip #1, Know Your Camera, can help you utilize all the sources of light you have available. Knowing this one point alone can make the difference between okay shots and absolutely stunning photos.

Photography Tip 5. Practice, Practice, Practice

With the digital memory cards now available you can take a ton of shots and it won't cost you a penny. Learn how to frame your shots, look for nice clean backgrounds and bring the focus to bear on the main subject. Poles or trees coming out of people's heads can spoil an otherwise sweet shot. The more you shoot, the more you will start to recognize what makes a great shot and you will find yourself planning it before you click.

Use these Digital Photography Tips to help you produce those stunning photos you have a desire to shoot. You'll soon stand head and shoulders above your friends and have them wondering how you produced those amazing photos. You will learn the most from constantly taking shots and learning what works and what doesn't.
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