Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Photoshop!

On 19 February 2010, Adobe Photoshop turns 20!

By now everyone know what Photoshop is! Just Google it and you get 757,000,000 hits, so it is pointless for me to explain what it is :) I just want to remember how this
graphics editing program changed my career path forever.

In 1993 I was head hunted by Singapore Press Holdings and became their first Picture Editor for their Chinese Newspapers Division.

Thanks to the far sightedness of the Group Editor, Mr Loy; who believed in my proposals and approved me starting the first electronic picture desk system!

Was the Straits Times guys jealous! Ha ha ha... to let the Chinese papers beat them to it ;)

I went straight for the Apple Macintosh system instead of PC and we had Photoshop 2.5!

For me desktop computers are something really new! My prior experience of computer was using the Atex system which is pure command line and no graphics at all!

To learn fast I took a S$12,000 loan from the paper and bought myself an Apple Quadra 840AV and a 386 PC. I included Photoshop in the Mac which cost me a whopping S$8,400. Guess what, it only had 32MB of RAM!! Yes, it was the FASTEST computer around at that time!

One month later I was teaching Photoshop and scanning to the photographers :)

It was during this time that I discovered the colour correction and colour recovery powress of this marvelous program.
The picture on the left was from a faded 1965 Kodak transparency, using Photoshop 2.5 I managed to recover much of the colour of this self portrait that was shot at Essendon Airport. Look at my camera bag!

No big deal? Well, in 1994; it was BIG DEAL! It was MAGIC :) So for the next few years, I eat, sleep and dream Photoshop! Ha ha ha...

That same year I was asked by my boss to provide a solution to a annual report photo shoot problem.

One of the Editor have to go oversea and while he is away, I have to do a group shot of the other bosses for the annual report.

My solution was to take a shot of the "missing" Editor before he go on his trip.

A week later when I managed to round up the other Editors and bosses. I took the group picture.

The selected colour negatives were then scanned with a Kodak RFS3570 scanner and the final "no one is missing" picture was assembled in Photoshop 3.0!

The final image that was used on the cover of the annual report.

In the same year I was using Photoshop as a colouring tool to add colour to monochrome images. I remember the countless hours I "paint" the only black and white shot of Le General's mum and dad to produce a colour print that they all love :)

The black and white half post-card size print!

The colour were added in on a computer screen with Photoshop.

A lot of times my Photoshop experience made others happy, like what I did for my dear father for his badly faded group photo of his Hakka Association in Hat Yai, Thailand. That print must be more than 50 years old when he show it to me!

And the result after many many hours of mid night oil...My dear dad was from left, the eighth person on the front; good looking guy :)

Thank you Photoshop, thank you Thomas and John Knoll for inventing it; and for the years of fun and extra income you bring me!

Happy 20th and many more 20th to come!


cy.leow said...

Huggies Chew commented on my link thru FB:

"Yeap , U were my Sifu. U brought me to the world of computer graphics n Photoshop , probably the most important turning point of my professional life. Thanks Mate. My first PC costs $5K with 16Mb RAM n 850 Mb Harddisk. Can you remember my April Fool joke ? I shot a picture of Victoria Hall with Sir Stamford Raffles statue in front. And using Photoshop , I removed the statue . Then I told the news desk that the statue was stolen. They were so excited n wanted to run the story Front Page! Damn lucky , I told them in time that its was a April Fools joke ,or I wiould have been SACKED. ha ha "

Hey Huggies,
Those were the good old days, I am honoured to have a student and friend like you! You are my best student!
We had some great time together! Thanks for the memory! The Star in Malaysia will use that missing Stamford picture on April Fools Day. I think Singapore paper has lost their sense of humor :)
Regards - CY

cy.leow said...

Martyn Mogford commented on my link thru FB:

"And I'm only just starting to catch up. What a task"

Hey Martyn, I am always there to help! When are you coming back? Regards - CY

cy.leow said...

Chan Mun Choon commented on my link thru FB:

"As a Star ex-photographer,I thanks you for the knowledge in photoshop ♥♥♥"

Hey young man,you are welcome! Long time no see! Keep up the good work! Regards - CY -

heather said...

An interesting commentary.Its amazing what photoshop can do! One wonders what the future holds for this field 20 years down the track. Maybe there will be cameras which will automatically"photoshop" photos.