This is the World’s First Photoshopped Photo

Recognize the photo above? Titled “Jennifer in Paradise,” it holds a special place in the history of digital photography: it’s the world’s first Photoshopped picture.

Photoshop creator John Knoll took the picture back in 1987 while he and his girlfriend Jennifer were vacationing in Bora Bora. Shortly after snapping the picture of Jennifer gazing out at To’opua island, John proposed to his future wife.

Later in his career, while developing Photoshop to compete against the early (and extremely pricey) image editing programs on the market, John found himself in need of sample photos to demonstrate his software’s capabilities. When given access to a flatbed scanner, John scanned a 4×6 print of his picture of Jennifer, naming it “Jennifer in Paradise.tif.”

From that time forward, John would often use the image when showing off his software, and would sometimes leave it bundled with early sample versions of the program as well.

And that’s how the photograph above became the first ever photo to be “‘shopped” in what is now Adobe Photoshop.

(via The Guardian)

  • SiriusPhotog

    Funny, now Photoshop is the extremely pricey image editing program.

  • alexcookemusic

    Does anyone know what he did to the image to “photoshop” it? I would be curious.

  • JB

    So how was this Photoshopped, did he slim Jennifer down? ;) Beginning of a long tradition XD

  • Guest123456

    It’s not really that expensive.

  • shotonsite

    isn’t it obvious? He removed her swimsuit top..

  • Jeremy Taco Patterson

    You’re talking about programs that cost thousands of dollars before PS came along… A few hundred bucks was RIDICULOUSLY cheap, and still is, given the breadth of PS’s capabilities.

  • Professor C

    Yes, Photoshop became legendary for its ludicrous price; and now, Adobe has figured out that it can sucker people into lifetime commitments by taking away the right of ownership and making its users rent the software.

    This is when competitors can start to fill the void left by a company that took its hubris too far… notwithstanding the continued fawning and free promotion given to it by sites like this.

  • SiriusPhotog

    here we go again….

  • michael p

    it’s funny how people complain about the cost of adobe products. let’s go back to the day when there was no photoshop but instead two hundred and fifty thousand dollar machines that only print shops bought to get into the digital field to retouch photos for magazines, etc…. and people are complaining about a subscription model. name one person who is still using the original photoshop application before it was labeled creative suite and creative cloud…

  • David Liang

    They can’t take away the right of ownership if it was never offered. This is the biggest misconception. When you “buy” a physical software package you’re only buying a perpetual license to use the software, you don’t own anything. What they’ve done now is switched from a one time payment/perpetual license to an on-going payment/on-going license model. It’s an important distinction.

    Had they actually offered ownership before, and then took it away, I would be seriously outraged. But that simply isn’t what happened.

  • Wesley

    You never had any ownership rights to any version of Photoshop. It’s called a “license” for a reason. The difference is you paid a one time fee and could use the software until you paid for the upgrade or the previous version stopped working with newer operating systems. Now you pay a monthly fee and get to use the software until you stop paying. That could be just a matter of months which means you saved a lot of money vs. licensing it the old way. And you get every new feature released without paying an additional charge. There were trade offs with the new program but you do gain something vs. licensing it the old way.

  • john lanford

    no one has an answer?

  • john lanford

    Does anyone have an answer?

  • Chang He

    Read the linked article. It isn’t manipulated, it was packaged as an example for manipulation.

  • Monte Morgan

    It was new… how much did a mobile phone cost in 87. Now you can get them next to nothing…. How many Pircey editing porgams cost more than photoshop. so yes they are the Pricey one now!

  • Chang He

    Nothing. Read the linked article.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Mind Blowing

  • Anthony Papagallo

    there was a black guy offering her a cheap wristwatch

  • etegration

    eh…no before and after shot?

  • Frank Martinez

    Watch the video in the linked article. He just used it as a starting point to showcase the capabilities.

  • RMJ

    And it will be the last Adobe product I ever will use.

  • Theo Lubbe

    Except you never had a “right of ownership”, you had a license to use their software. A license which, if you’d read your Terms and Conditions, they had the right to revoke if they deemed fit.

    Do people seriously not read T&Cs and EULAs? Seriously?

  • Amer Al-Hiyasat

    You can always just crack it

  • Rhian Campbell

    Great, now move on.

  • Jason Yuen

    Someone shop it for an angle from the other side.

  • thesharad96

    New to the internet? Hardly anyone reads T&Cs but licensed is clearly written when opening PS

  • Guest

    Funny… on the Photoshop splash screen that comes up when the program is launched, there is a Thomas Knoll… but no John Knoll. Petapixel, do you need to copy edit this?

  • Guest

    On the splash screen that appears when Photoshop launches, I’ve seen Thomas Knoll’s name for decades. Never seen a John Knoll.
    Does someone need to copy edit this story?

  • Mike Swanson

    My Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens costs around $2,500, and a minor percentage of my photos go through that glass. Photoshop CC costs $239 per year (or less with the current photographer’s bundle), and almost all of my photos go through it. It’d take me more than 10 years of a Photoshop subscription to match that one lens. For what it does, Photoshop is a steal.

  • Taz S. Chham

    I still have photoshop 7 disk >.<

  • woofa

    I’ve got a lot of PS disks. So?

  • Ruben Vasquez

    I often wonder why it is that anyone ever makes this sort of clarification as this really isn’t much of a distinction. No one complains about not being able to sell copies of Photoshop to others for profit or not having access to code or whatever. What they are complaining about is not being able to use the software once they cancel their subscription. That’s the important distinction that people care about.

  • markz

    John is Thomas’s brother, they both worked on the development of the original versions of Photoshop
    Thomas still works for Adobe, John still works for Industrial Lighting an Magic

  • Christopher

    Given it was pre-photoshop 1.0, he probably only did some rudimentary adjustments – brightening, saturation, etc.

  • ksporry

    so what was the editing done?

  • LeShann

    Well, the important thing really is that Jennifer was pretty hot.

  • ImUrAssassin

    For someone that makes $15 an hour or $100+ a job probably not.

  • frankhayward

    my neighbor’s step-sister makes $63 hourly on the internet . She has been without a job for nine months but last month her paycheck was $15485 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to website


  • Richard Cave

    There is a line of technical achievement oscar winners in there, for developing the clone stamp tool and others for Abyss and Terminator 2, John and Thomas worked together on this,

  • Theo Lubbe

    About 18 years new to the internet, yes. Back in my day, people actually cared about legal documentation which had the potential to upset them greatly.

    *shakes imaginary cane while pretending to be older than 27* (no but seriously, been on the ‘net for ~18 years now and the people I came across between 9-15 actually cared about their T&Cs)

  • Theo Lubbe

    That’s one actually-pretty-damn-sensible way of looking at it, though many would contend one ought to be able to get away with taking great photos using a $100 compact, and that if you can’t do that, no manner of several-hundred-dollar-software is going to turn those photos into something good.

    Those people would be wrong depending on exactly what area of photo processing/editing is concerned and what end result is desired, of course.

  • Karl

    You didn’t actually check how much a freelance charges per hour before saying that, right?

  • Michael Kaldezar

    Hmmm that’s really semantics, tell me the real practical difference between a perpetual licence and an outright sale? The current version is just a rental, you can use all the fancy words you want for Adobe’s greed but that’s what it is.

  • Beverly Knowles

    Jacob . if you
    think Michelle `s storry is nice… last monday I got Lexus LS400 after
    having made $5682 this past month and-more than, ten/k this past month .
    with-out any doubt it’s the most comfortable job I’ve ever done . I began
    this 9-months ago and almost immediately startad earning minimum $74 per-hour
    . Go Here W­o­r­k­s­7­7­.­C­O­M­

  • thesharad96

    I sometimes do go over it though, just in case. Once about three years ago, I read a news about someone finding 200$ gift in the T&Cs and then again someone else found loophole in a bank’s T&C to get write off their debt, it’s like a treasure hunt lol

  • Alexandra G.

    1. Photoshop is together with Lightroom now $9.99 per month. More accessible than it’s ever been.

    2. & are two of the most valuable things you could spend money on to learn about photography & photoshop, and how they relate to each other.

    3. Photoshop is not dead:

    4. Photoshop will never be dead! Sorry to disappoint!

    5. This article is basically about the first image that was digitally edited. I am not sure how many people used the expression “this photo was “dark roomed” in film days, but regardless of the number of clueless folks, Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture/Photomechanic/Capture One/Paint Shop Pro, Ulead Photo Impact/Corel Suites are ALL INDUSTRY TRADE TOOLS! The sooner you all grasp that the better! Thanks. Next time you go to Home Depot see how many contractors or do-it-youselfers are bashing hammers, nails, and screw drivers! “Ohh this toilet must have been hammered”, or “this nail must have been screwdrived this way”!!!! It’s INSULTING TO US FOLKS! Very, very insulting.

  • SpaceFish

    Yeah – because us software developers don’t need to get paid as long as the photographers do, right?

  • muellerworks

    Hey Peta Pixel, my comment has been “pending” for 15 hours. Any reason?

  • RMJ

    I did. Now it’s your turn.

  • superduckz

    For the price of about 2 gallons of gas or a few expensive grande boutique coffee’s a month people complain that it’s “expensive”. Seriously?