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The story behind the first Photoshop image

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"Jennifer in Paradise" was the software's first color test picture

John Knoll

When John Knoll took a photo of his topless girlfriend on a secluded beach in 1987, he didn't expect the picture to be pored over and manipulated by thousands of people. But John's brother Thomas was working on the software that became Photoshop, and "Jennifer in Paradise," as the picture came to be known, was the perfect candidate for the program's first color test image. As The Guardian explains in its consideration of the photo's importance, John and Thomas often used the picture of Jennifer — once John's girlfriend, now wife — to perform demonstrations of their software. Those demonstrations, and the photo itself, helped Photoshop become the de facto name in image manipulation.