As Digital Imaging Evolves, So Does Photoshop

Opinion: Adobe adapts its industry-leading application to keep step with advances in file formats, photography and page design.

Over the past decade, digital imaging has become an immensely complex field that reaches into publishing, Web design, graphics, video games and movie production, among others.

And while there are multitudes of applications catering to this market, one program represents digital imaging more than any other: Adobe Photoshop.

How many software programs have their own trade shows? Photoshop World, hosted by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, opens Tuesday in Las Vegas.

How many applications have entered the everyday language? (Do you say "Ill Word it" when you correct a piece of text? Hardly. Yet "Well Photoshop it" has become a common expression.)

And unlike other common application programs, which have reached some kind of maturity by now, Photoshop keeps growing and growing. To some extent, these changes are driven by advances in hardware: The widespread move from 24-bit color to 48-bit for high-quality retouching could not have been envisaged if the scanners had not become more adept in rendering pictures in more color depth.

Likewise, the evolution of digital cameras has played an essential role. Digital SLRs (single lens reflex cameras) have reached a price point where they are within reach for almost any graphic designer who wants to experiment with pictures. (And in some cases they have begun to replace scanners as input medium).

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