Happy 20th Birthday Adobe Photoshop Elements!
Adobe Photoshop Elements was officially released 20 years ago today, on April 2, 2001.
Previously announced back in February of that year, Photoshop Elements took over from Photoshop LE and PhotoDeluxe as the go-to app for those people who didn't really need, or couldn't afford, the more fully-featured Photoshop.
There's obviously been some big changes between the original and current Photoshop Elements releases, the biggest one being there was originally no Organizer! That was rectified a couple of versions later when Photoshop Album was fully integrated into the Elements family (along with Premiere Elements). It's also interesting to see how the concept of today's Guided Edits were present in the original version, albeit under the guise of "Recipes".
I've attached some archived marketing documents if anyone is interested in going back in time including the original press release, the feature highlights, and the brochure. The user manual is unfortunately too large to post as an attachment on this forum, but I've also included a bunch of the original tutorials that came with version 1.0.
And I couldn't find any video of the original Photoshop Elements in action, but here's the official Guided Tour of Photoshop Elements 2.0 which perfectly captures the "marketing mood" of the day 🙂
From a poor, out-of-work wannabe graphic designer back in 2001 - thank you Adobe for giving me a much-needed helping hand when I first started out 🙂
Wow, Phil. That was an interesting walk down memory lane. Information about the original Photoshop Elements is hard to find. I always thought that Elements was originally published as Adobe Album, the precursor of the Organizer. But your research shows a completely different history than I remembered. Although I had the free Album program and also Photoshop LE 5.0, I never really used them and didn't really start organizing and editing photos until Elements 3.
In going over some of the material you have supplied, I find it interesting that some of the old features look like they were more powerful and easier to use than the current versions. And some haven't changed at all. But resolution of digital images has certainly improved.
Thanks for posting.
Yeah, Photoshop Album was originally called PhotoTablet and was conceived by Michael Slater back in Novermber 1999. After changing the company name to Fotiva, Adobe ended up buying the company in December 2001, with Michael Slater and many of the Fotiva staff joining Adobe. Photoshop Album was released in January 2003 with version 2.0 coming out soon after, and was made available for a time as a bundle together with Photoshop Elements 2.0. By the time Photoshop Elements 3.0 came out, Photoshop Album was fully-integrated into the Elements package.
Michael Slater wrote a great book about Photoshop Abum called "The Photoshop Album 2.0 Book" and much of it is still relevant to the Organizer today. You can have a look at the book on the Open Library (The Photoshop Album 2.0 Book).
He then followed that up with his updated book "Organize Your Photos with Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0" which you can pick up second-hand on Amazon (Organize Your Photos with Adobe Photoshop Elements 3).
You can still look at Michael Slater's website care of Archive.org (Enjoying Digital Photography with Photoshop Album).
I started with PSE2, PhotoDeluxe, Photoshop album...
and I have kept this link to follow the life of PSE:
The versions I did use:
PSE2, 4,6,10 and up to the present 19 (2021).
That marketing video showing a .GIF, file size 100k. LOL!
Thanks so much for the extemely interesting history of the origin and evolution of Elements, Phil. I used virtually every edition you brought up and even taught from Photo Shop Album in adult school. I bought Slater's book on Photoshop Elements 3. That was the bible for me for several years.
I also used Photoshop LE before buying, I believe Photoshop 5.0 with a faculty discount for about $300 or so. If I am not mistaken, the first beta version I tested was PSE 4.
Just to add a little to the history here. I was on the original Photoshop Album team, aka project Jupiter, which came from the acquisition of Fotiva in late 2001. We developed versions 1 and 2 of that app before it was moved to a team in India and eventually merged into Phtotshop Elements. I don't remember the dates of everything but by mid-2004 I had moved to the video group to start wokring on Premiere Elements. Somehwere I have a fake ad vid I made for Album which has a short clip of the UI in action, but I'm unable to find that right now.