Monthly Archives July 2012


[This article originally ran in the May/June issue of Photoshop User Magazine. It got such a great response, we decided to share it here as well!]

Bryan O'Neil Hughes, Senior Product Manager for both Photoshop & Bridge, pictured above, takes us behind the scenes at Adobe to show us the making of the latest version of Photoshop

As I'm writing this, we've just released a free public beta of Photoshop CS6. This is only the second time that we've given the world an opportunity to "kick the tires" before we ship. I could give you some great tutorials and help you understand just how to use the incredible feature-set to its fullestâ”but then so could a lot of people. In fact, immediately following this article, you'll find an entire section dedicated to all the new features in Photoshop CS6. Since you're reading Photoshop User, you already know that NAPP and major conferences like the twice-annual Photoshop World are great places to learn from the best (and even hacks like me), so I wanted to try something different. I figured I'd give you a unique insight into how we came up with Photoshop CS6 and what goes into a release of Photoshop. I feltthought the best way to approach this was in an interview format andto address all the commonmost popular questions I get about how we build a releaseâ”I get these types of questions a lot.

Coming off of Photoshop CS5, our most successful release to date, we were all wondering, "How on earth are we going to top that?" Thankfully, with the 64-bit transition behind us, we had the most precious commodity that a software development team can ask forâ”time.

So, where do you start when it's time to work on the next version of Photoshop?
Planning a release is equal parts doing what you need to do (OS changes, performance tuning, integration with other products, camera support, etc.); what your customers want you to do (both the large requests and the small ones); what the team wants to do (emerging technology from our labs, licensed technology, pet projects, and a bucket of "things we'd really like to fix"); and all of what you started but didn't finish in the prior release. With a very diverse and vocal user base worldwide, ideas are never the problem. The toughest part about scoping a release is choosing where to place our bets and acknowledging that some won't pan out, so prioritizing features ends up being extremely important. For every feature that we green light, there are dozens we'd love toâ”it all comes down to time.

Do you worry that you'll ever run out of ways to improve Photoshop?
Never. When I started on the Photoshop team, digital photography meant drum scans and Photo CDs; the Web was in its infancy; no one brought laptops to meetings because there was no Wi-Fi; and mobile devices were limited to phone calls and weren't yet the norm. Technology changes every day. Every new feature on a camera or in a computing platform is an opportunity for us. I think of Photoshop as an imaging platform; images (any kind: still, video, 2.5D, 3D) can come from anywhere and go to anywhere. Photoshop is what happens on the way. Photoshop no longer means just the desktop either. Our technology can be found on the Web and across platforms on phonessmartphones and tablets. I can honestly say that there has never been a more exciting time for Photoshop. Images are everywhere.

Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen

How many people are on the Photoshop team? What do they all do?
There are roughly 100 on the core Photoshop team (individuals devoted solely to Photoshop and Photoshop Extended), which when you consider that the application appears in every suite and is translated into 25 languages, is pretty impressive. While our headquarters is in San Jose, California, and houses the bulk of the team, we have team members in San Diego, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Florida, India, China, and beyond. The core team is broken into several pieces:

Management: Nearly all of us came up through various parts of the organization or played individual roles on other teams at some point.

Engineering: The magicians who write the code. These water-walkers comb through millions of lines of legacy code and push the framework to the absolute limit.

Quality Engineering: The tireless testers who assure that everything works (the new features and the old ones). These talented folks are paid to break Photoshop. Tens of thousands of bugs are logged, tracked, and fixed in a regular cycle.

Automation: These folks straddle coding and testing as they write and run complex scripts that stress-test each fresh build of Photoshopâ”computers testing computers.

Localization Engineering: The core team is made up of people from all over the world, but these team members are experts in multiple languages and assure that foreign builds are translated correctly and take into account any cultural nuances.

Experience Design: Adobe has a large team of experience designers. We have two dedicated entirely to Photoshop. Matthew Bice and Tim Riot are incredibly hard-working, creative guys and are tasked with an incredibly difficult jobâ”touching an application used by everyone in their industry and wanting to leave their mark and push the envelope, but being constrained by a very well-established product and more than two decades of legacy code.

Program Management: Steve Snyder singlehandedly wrangles our schedule, milestones, and various check-ins. Steve jumps from meeting to meeting all day and makes sure that we are where we need to be. Steve has tenacity and an obsession with doing things right (he spent more than a decade in Quality Engineering). Getting more than a dozen suite applications out the door at the same time is a very big juggling act. Steve and others are invaluable here.

Evangelists: Julieanne Kost and Russell Brown are legends in their field:. Julieanne is one of Fast Company's "most creative people," and Russell is an Emmy Award winner, respectively. Both are in the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Julieanne and Russell travel more than not and share an insatiable curiosity and creativity. They excel at inspiring and teaching, and the team learns a great deal from them about what we can improve and how.

Marketing: Jim Heiser and Allison Goffman are dedicated to the Photoshop team and are very passionate about communicating its abilities in a fresh, exciting, and engaging way.

Customer Advocacy: Cari Gushiken and Jeff Tranberry founded this new team to assure that we listen and respond to our user base all over the world. From problem solving to social media, these two cover a tremendous amount of ground. If you've ever found an answer in a forum or seen a video on Facebook or YouTube, one of them was probably involved.

Jim Heiser (marketing), Scott Kelby (NAPP President), Zorana Gee (product management), Bryan O'Neil Hughes, and Matthew Bice (experience design) visit NAPP for an in-depth discussion about what would become Photoshop CS6

The team comes from every corner of the globe and is educated as much in liberal arts as computer science. Many of our team members (like myself) used Photoshop professionally before coming onto the team; others only touch it at work and wouldn't call themselves users. None of us would ever say that we're expertsâ”there's an unwritten rule about that. We all share one common ingredient, passion. That passion created the world standard in digital imaging and it continues to. If you ever find yourself outside of Adobe's headquarters at night, look for the floor with the most lights onâ”that's W10WT10 (the West Tower, 10th floor)â”that's passion.


  • Lines of code: 4.5 Million+
  • Icons replaced for new UI: 1,900
  • Cursors replaced for new UI: 250
  • Menu items removed from CS6: 47
  • Features brought back from CS4: 3 (PDF Presentation, Contact Sheet II, and Lighting Effects)
  • Languages supported in CS5: 23
  • Languages supported in CS6: 26
  • Changes to Crop tool: Around two dozen
  • Increase in feature changes over CS5: +62%
  • JDI features in CS5: 30+
  • JDI features in CS6: 65+

Can you explain product management's role?

lr4 app

Lightroom 4 Crash Course App Want to take the Lightroom 4 Crash Course with you wherever you go? Grab the app from the iTunes store and you can have it on your iPad and iPhone! No need to be connected to the internet once you have it installed, and it's like having Matt Kloskowski right there with you, letting you know about all the cool new features in Lightroom 4. This and other Kelby Training apps are on sale for $4.99 today until around 3:00pm ET, so grab them now before they go back to their regular price of $9.99! You can also leave a comment for your chance to win one of three promo codes for a free download! Outdoor Lifestyle Photography Join Erik Valind on the coast of Florida for his Outdoor Lifestyle Photography class! He'll show you how to get amazing…

Photo by Brad Moore I want to wish all my readers (well, at least the US-based ones) Happy Independence Day. I’m taking today off to spend some time with my family, and I hope you’re able to do the same. Have a great day and we’ll see you here tomorrow for "Free Stuff" Thursday. Just in case: here's what ‘Independence Day’ Really Means to Us Today is a national holiday celebrating our country’s independence from traditional film. No longer will we press the shutter button thinking, “Well, that just cost me 22¢” or “Well, that’s 36—time to pop in another roll.” or that phrase heard so often on vacation, “I need to stop and buy some film.” Should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in…


For the next 48 (ish1) hours, you can get any and all2 of the iOS apps from Kelby Training for HALF PRICE!! Not only that, but the Lightroom 4 Crash Course app was just added, and is also available during this time for just $4.99! Head over to the Apple App Store before 3:00pm1 ET Thursday, July 5, to take advantage of this opportunity. 1 The iOS store may take time to update its prices, so time frame is approximate. In other words, grab it as soon as you see the sale price! 2 Light It Magazine and Photoshop User Magazine are not included in this sale


Hi Gang: Each year right before Independence Day (celebrated here in the U.S. on the Fourth of July), I share a quick post on how to photograph Fireworks (a traditional part of the 4th of July celebration here). I’m posting the technique that I included on page 175 of my book, “The Digital Photography Book, Part 1.” Here we go: This is another one that throws a lot of people (one of my best friends, who didn’t get a single crisp fireworks shot on the Fourth of July, made me including this tip just for him, and the thousands of other digital shooters that share his pain). For starters, you’ll need to shoot fireworks with your camera on a tripod, because you’re going to need a slow enough shutter speed to capture the falling light trails, which is what you’re really after. Also, this is where using a cable release really pays off,…

header (NOTE: If you watch this one-minute long video above now, you can skip all the way down to the last lne of text for details).  If you missed my "Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it" LIVE tour, you can now finally experience the entire seminar, from start to finish, and get the same tour workbook (in color no less), plus all freebies I gave out for attendees, starting today no matter where you live as we are making the day available as a digital download (just like you'd buy a movie online to download). Although I was able to visit many major cities in the US, Canada, and even three cities in Europe, there were just so many places we didn't get to visit with the tour. But now no matter where you are, you can attend the entire event, just as it…