The First Photoshopped Photo

Did you know?

The first Photoshopped image was of co-creator John Knoll's wife Jennifer while they were on vacation in Tahiti. The story goes like so: John and Jennifer traveled to Bora Bora after wrapping up work on the live action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and John snapped this photo just before proposing to her. (Anyone in the animated/digital arts fields knows how long those hours usually are, and destination getaways are a must. ) Post-vacation, John's brother Thomas was working on software that was similar to the "Pixar Machine" photo manipulation technology that John had encountered at ILM (Industrial Light & Magic), yet didn't cost thousands of dollars nor required a specially-trained operator. With their new hobby in motion, they needed more digital images for their demos, which were naturally scarce at the time. So while visiting friends at Apple's Advanced Technology Group lab, they were able to use their rare flatbed scanner to scan John's 4x6 photo of his wife—which is the only photograph he had available at the time. 

Now ILM's Chief Creative Officer, John has greatly expanded his digital advancements since then. That being said, it's important to consider how much the Knoll brothers' innovation has become vital to the world's creative fields—and advertising—forever. Sometimes the best inventions happen when they start out as a hobby.

More on John's story (and a recreation of his demo) here. 

 "It was a good image to do demos with," Knoll recalls. "It was pleasing to look at and there were a whole bunch of things you could do with that image technically." 

"It was a good image to do demos with," Knoll recalls. "It was pleasing to look at and there were a whole bunch of things you could do with that image technically."