This Is How Difficult Photoshop 2.5 Was To Use Back Then

Photoshop hasn't always been so powerful when it comes to features. This is how difficult it was to edit photos with no layers, styles, and only one undo back then.

Many moons ago, Adobe Photoshop had fewer features than it does today. The first incarnations of the editing software couldn't even use layers or styles. These limitations may sound hard to believe today, but it's what many retouchers starting off had at their disposal. One of these retouchers was Colin Smith of VideoRevealed who recently recounted his experiences of using the program back in the 1990s.

In this jam-packed video, Smith walks us through literally hundreds of examples of his work from his advertising days and how he had to painstakingly make his creations with the most basic of tools. We hear about everything from adding realistic shadows to objects to "cloning" out people all without the powerful features we are used to in the current versions of Photoshop. It really is crazy to hear Smith talk about many of the tasks taking him hours or days to do when today those jobs would only take a matter of minutes to achieve.

While this video is unlikely to give you any major technical pointers on how to edit your work today, the examples shown may give you a newfound appreciation of how much heavy lifting Photoshop does for you. Hearing Smith's account of his days as a retoucher feels like a walk down memory lane with an old friend who has many amazing pictures to help visualize the stories. If you fancy a look back at how hard it was to do even the most basic of edits in Photoshop, this video is well worth a look.

What do you think of these stories of Photoshop from the 1990s? Could you have used the program with so few features? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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This is any interesting look at that older version of Photoshop in action:

This brought back memories when I was an Apple VAR working in Publishing and Graphic Design... thanks for the walk down memory lane!

This reminds me of my first photo editing attempts when I found Photoshop too complicated and stuck with some no name god awful program for quite a while before switching to Photoworks and then learning how to do things properly. Thanks for the great video!

My blood pressure just spiked, I remember buying my first Mac and it ended up with a defective HD. I had to reload the eleven floppy disks when it crashed until I sent it back to Apple for a new unit. What nightmare but then Adobe released a CD version and that is what I call progress!

Things you find on your Twitter profile from '11.

Ah, the 90s. The good the old days of being able to walk away from my desk for a half an hour coffee break while the progress bar crawls ever so slowly across the screen. Good times.

That looks like an Apple Quadra? Our lab was considering buying one back than.