Category Archives Updates

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(blog post by RC Concepcion)

So stop doing it!  Really, It really takes no time at all, but I hate having to do it to your images…

Bold statement, huh?  As the Photoshop Guy that’s focused on one mission – taking Photographers to the web- I’ve spent a lot of time wondering about the recent movement to make your pictures as ugly as possible with Watermarks. The practice has come to fever pitch in Photoshop CS5.  Try as we must to share with you how awesome all of the other technology that Photoshop CS5 is bringing us, I invariably get the same question:

“With Content Aware Fill, can people remove watermarks even easier?”  I usually tell people “Yup.  But anyone with a decent amount of skill in the Clone (nee, Rubber Stamp) tool could have at your images just as fast. ”

You shouldn’t spend so much time worrying about watermarking your images. Anyone halfway decent will be able to rip them off, and you will be “DigiSlapped” 3 times.

Interested? Read More Below
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Wanted Poster Wild West

Hey everyone!  With Scott being out, I figured i’d jump in here and share a couple of things that i’ve found on the internet that I think you guys would enjoy

Zacuto Knocking it out of the Park: The 2010 Shootout

The folks over at Zacuto have been doing a bangup job at this passion project of theirs: The HD DSLR Shootout of 2010.  As you know, there are a ton of people out there that are using DSLR cameras in the world of video.  One of the common arguments that you’ve seen in this space is the comparisons between what these DSLR cameras can do and what traditional film in this space can do.  The guys over at Zacuto decided that they would make a series that was impartial to vendors and actually go out and test the cameras with some of the best people in the industry.  The results are a series of videos that showcase the power of the DSLR in the video space.

What I am liking about this test is that there are a couple of cool surprises that have come to light with these tests.  Rather than spoil it for everyone, I encourage you guys to click on the link below and check out the videos for yourself.  I’d specifically recommend the second video in the series – that’s a good find.

The DSLR Shootout from Zacuto

Adobe Labs Announces Gala – Flash Player 10

One of the biggest problems with Flash on the Mac Platform has always been the fact that Apple’s OS never really allowed Flash to access the inner workings of their GPU hardware. This usually results in a really choppy/inefficient running of Flash on the mac side.  Recently, Apple has allowed access to such things, and Adobe has jumped all over it, releasing this new preview of their player- code named “Gala”.  This will be something that developers can take more advantage of than the average person, but it’s important to everyone in that the performance problems that many have complained about on the Mac side could become a thing of the past.

Read more about the Flash 10 “Gala” release at the Adobe Labs website

Terry White Reviews the Ipad Connection Kit

Friend of the blog Terry White has gone and done a great review of the Camera Connection kit for the new Apple Ipad over on his blog.  This kit will allow people to upload images (and RAW files, which im pumped about) onto their Ipad’s for review.  What makes me excited about this is that this takes the Ipad and now turns it into a more compelling tool in a digital photographers arsenal.  I was really looking forward to the Ipad being more of a computer – running stuff like Lightroom on it.  While it’s not the case.. having something like this can definitely open the door for people to incorporate it into their workflow.  Check it out at the link below:

Terry White reviews the Camera Connection Kit

Layers has Gone through a Redesign and a CS5 Learning Center was Born

Those of you who follow this blog probably know that last week, Scott and the Photoshop guys did a series of live webinars that served as a complement to the Photoshop CS5 Learning Center we launched. One of the questions that we got during that was “How about all of the other apps.. whats new with them?”

We took the moment to do two things at once:  We were able to launch a new look to Layers Magazine, as well as stuff it with all sorts of videos on tons of CS5 videos for many of the popular applications.  If you are wondering whats new in the world of Illustrator, Indesign, Flash Catalyst, Premiere, After Effects.. this is the place for you!  This is also a good place for you to check out the podcast I do every week with Corey Barker – our Layers TV podcast.  Click on the links below to get to them:

Layers Magazine and the CS5 Learning Center

Layers TV – The How To podcast for everything Adobe

Planet Photoshop – Corey Barker rocking Free tutorials on Photoshop

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Thanks to everybody who posted questions yesterday, and who asked questions during our free CS5 Live Webinars yesterday (don’t forget, we’re going two again today—one at 1:30 pm EDT and one at 4:00 pm EDT. Here’s the link to join in).

We’ll be answering your questions again later today live, but in the meantime, here’s a few from yesterday’s post and launch stuff:

Q. I’ve got CS4 right now and want to start doing HDR’s… Should I upgrade to CS5 or go buy Photomatrix Pro?
A.
Think of it this way: If you buy Photomatix Pro, you get HDR. That’s it. If you upgrade to CS5, you get HDR, Content Aware Fill, world class noise reduction, incredible masking features, built-in automated lens correction, better Raw processing, a better way to manage your images from within Photoshop with Mini Bridge, and a ton of other stuff that will improve your workflow and expand your creativity. To me, this is an easy choice.

Q. How|does the HDR processing output compare to Photomatix Pro ?
A.
Photoshop CS5’s new HDR Pro has two pretty significant advantages over Photomatix Pro: (1) It has a built-in Ghosting feature, that can remove much, if not all, of the ghosting you get if anything was moving in your scene when you took your HDR image, and (2) perhaps the biggest thing is that HDR Pro doesn’t add loads of noise like Photomatix. You’ve got to watch Matt’s side-by-side example from yesterday’s live Webinar of a file he processed in both programs. The results were both amazing and shocking (and lots of people who saw it live, said that right there they were sold on HDR Pro in CS5).

Now, Photomatix definitely has it’s fans (I use it myself), and people who are really comfortable with Photomatix may not switch to HDR Pro immediately, but I agree with Matt that new users, who always wanted to do HDR but didn’t want to invest in a separate HDR program (and the learning curve that comes with it), will love having real HDR built right-in to Photoshop, and they’re going to embrace it big time.

This is one of those things that will get debated back and forth (my way’s better—no my way’s better!), but in the end, since it’s built right in to CS5, you can always try it out and see which one works best for you, but one thing’s for sure: 2010 will be the year of HDR.

Q. Will Content Aware Fill remove a watermark?
A.
Absolutely. So will the Clone Stamp tool, the Patch tool, and the Healing Brush. You’ve been able to remove visible watermarks since Photoshop 1.0.

Q. I would like you to please comment on the differences between Photoshop CS5 and CS5 Extended as it relates to Photographers.
A.
There honestly aren’t a lot of extra photography features in the Extended version that aren’t in the Standard edition. For example, on Adobe’s site they have a “What’s New” list for both editions, and under the Standard Edition they list new features for “Photographers & Print Designers,” but for the Extended version, they list new features for “Video Professionals, Cross-media Designers, Web designers, and Interactive designers.”

Q. Could you comment on regarding the major Photoshop plug-ins and their compatibility, or if all new versions/upgrades will be needed?
A.
If there are any compatibility issues with plug-ins, the big name plug-in makers are usually great about providing free updates in a pretty timely manner. As is usually the case with a major update like this, a number of major plug-ins will have to have updates to work perfectly with CS5. For example, OnOne Software announced today that they are fine-tuning their plug-ins for CS5, and those free updates will be available within 30-days of CS5 shipping.

Q. When will you be coming out with a Photoshop CS5 Down and Dirty Tricks book?
A.
My plate is pretty full this year, so although there won’t be a CS5 update of my Down & Dirty Tricks book, I am releasing “The Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers” shortly.

Q. CS5 Camera Raw vs Lightroom beta: does the gap close even more?
A.
Historically, for compatibility reasons, both Camera Raw and Lightroom’s Develop module have pretty much shared the same Raw editing features and if you look at Lightroom 3 Public Beta and the New Camera Raw in CS5, well…..there ya have it.

Q. Is there a NAPP discount on the CS5 Upgrade price?
A.
Absolutely! NAPP members here in the U.S. get 15% off the upgrade of Photoshop or the Suite (so you can save $30 on just the upgrade, $89 on the suite upgrade, or more on buying the full version of Photoshop or a Suite).

Q. As a photographer what is the most compelling reason to consider an upgrade from CS4 to CS5?
A.
That’s a tough one, because it will be different for different photographers. I think a lot of folks will naturally want it to create HDR images, but I think the built-in masking features (using Refine Edge) is even more compelling for most photographers. Content aware fill is big (and it works amazingly well), but then the Noise Reduction in Camera Raw is just insane, so it’s a tough call to make. Luckily, any one of those is worth the upgrade alone, so if you get all four, this is an easy decision for a lot of photographers.

Q. I still have Photoshop CS3 Extended. Can I upgrade to CS5 Extended or do I have to buy the full version?
A.
You can upgrade from CS3 Extended directly to CS5 Extended.

Q. I’d like to know how the noise reduction compares with third party plugins like Nik Dfine or Topaz Denoise or Noise Ninja.
A.
The noise reduction truly kicks butt—partly because it applies the noise reduction directly to the Raw image (before it’s processed, whereas nearly all plug-ins come in after the raw image has been processed), so that’s a great advantage for CS5. It removes the noise, but maintains an amazing amount of detail. Personally, I don’t think I’ll have a need for any third party noise plug-ins from here on out.

Q. Not a single word about Lightroom 3 in the announcements or on the Adobe site.
A.
Well, here’s the thing: Today was the launch of Photoshop and the Creative Suite. Lightroom is a totally separate product, and not part of the Suite. So, even though they’re designed to work together (if you have both Photoshop and Lightroom), Lightroom 3 hasn’t been officially released (it’s still in Beta Testing), so I’m not surprised Adobe didn’t address it during the Photoshop launch.

Q. Will Camera Raw 6.0 features be available as a separate Camera Raw download or is it CS5 exclusive?

A.. It’s CS5 exclusive (in other words; Adobe doesn’t go back and add new features to software they don’t sell any  longer)

Q. How far back can the new CS5 be upgraded? I am running CS2?

A. I believe you can still upgrade directly from Photoshop CS2 to Photoshop CS5 (but anything earlier than CS2, you’ll have to buy the full version).

Q. What time are your free CS5 Webinars today?

A. 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm EDT. (Here’s that link again)

Q. What if I can’t watch live during those times?

A. We’ll be posting both Webinars online for FREE so you can watch them whenever you get a chance.

Q. What do you personally think of the CS5 upgrade?

A. Honestly, I think it rocks. We all do (Matt, Dave, Corey, RC and the gang). I think it’s the most significant upgrade Adobe has released in years. As a photographer, there’s a lot of really useful and helpful stuff here for me, and there’s some stuff that isn’t just for photographers that I’ll wind up using as well. Adobe made lots of improvements and enhancements throughout the program (much more than they did in CS4), and overall I can tell you without reservation that CS5 kicks butt. I think Adobe knew they needed to knock one out of the park, and to their credit—they did.

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Don’t Miss Adobe’s CS5 Launch Event on Monday
Next Monday, Adobe is taking the wraps off Photoshop CS5 (and the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite), with a global launch event. Without stealing any of Adobe’s thunder, I can tell you hands down that it’s one of the most important, and robust upgrades in years, so you don’t want to miss it (and yes—your mind will be blown!). Here’s the link to attend this free online event.

Moose’s After Show Coverage
Photoshop World instructor, Moose Peterson, did a great photo slideshow (using Animoto) featuring images and video he took during Photoshop World. It does a great job of showing another side of Photoshop World, and if you’ve got a quick sec, check it out right here. (It looks like Moose had a lot of fun that week!).

Meet Me In Chicago on Friday
I hope you can join me in Chicago on Friday for my “Photoshop CS4 for Digital Photographers” seminar (at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center). It’s gonna be a blast—–I hope I’ll see you there. (here’s a link with details).

Check Out Terry’s Top Must-Have iPad Apps
Terry White shares his Top-10 Must-Have iPad Apps for the Apple iPad, over at  “BestAppsSite.com.” If you’ve got an iPad, you gotta check it out. Also, if you missed Terry’s full iPad review (he had massive server issues yesterday), you can read it right here (it’s one of the best, and most complete reviews I’ve seen anywhere).

Check out this iPad video review from Talking Tech
Take a minute and check out these iPad video reviews from USA Today’s Talking Tech crew (Jefferson Graham and Ed Baig), and it will answer a lot of your iPad questions, pros, and cons included. Here’s the link.

Tomorrow’s Guest Blogger is….
…a photographer whose work I’ve admired for a while now, and I finally got to meet him in person when I was speaking at Professional Imaging 2010 in Holland, photographer and trainer, Frank Doorhof. As I mentioned in my report from the event, Frank rocks (I watched his show floor demos four times), and I can’t wait to see what he’s got to share tomorrow, so make sure you check it out.

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In honor of Frank’s Guest Blog tomorrow, I’m giving away…..
…a signed copy of the special edition hardcover Dutch Translation of my books, The Digital Photography books Volumes 1, 2 & 3 (it’s all three books in just one book—as seen above). It’s really nicely done—so nice in fact, that I wish there was an English edition. All you have to do is be the first photographer based in the Benelux region to tell me you want the book, and it’s yours , with my compliments (I’ll sign it, and we’ll ship it to right to you).

That’s it for today gang
I hope you guys have a great Tuesday, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for Frank’s Guest Blog. :)

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OK, I’m Kinda Psyched
I mentioned earlier in the week that I had shot the Honda Grand Prix Indy Race on assignment for wire service Southcreek Global Media, but I was totally psyched when I saw that one of the Indy Car images I shot that day was featured on their Home Page in their “Recent Coverages” section (as seen above). Hey, it’s a start. :)

Camera GPS Smackdown!
My buddy Terry White did an in-depth review and look at the different devices and their specs for embedding GPS data into your DSLR photos, and you can check it out right here.

Neutral Day Reviews My Photo Recipes DVD/Book Combo
I just found this in-depth review of my Photo Recipes “Behind the Scenes” DVD, and while they say “it’s not for everybody” they do a really good job of explaining who it is for and why. Here’s the link. In semi-related news; I just heard from my publisher, and this combo has been such a success, it’s going into its second printing, so if it’s out-of-stock at your local or online bookstore, they’ll have new stock soon.

Brian Bloom’s Photography Rocks!
I learned of Brian’s work through a blog post on Seth Godin’s blog, and his stuff totally rocks. If you want to be inspired going into the weekend, click right here.

David Ziser captures “Big Electric Cat” stills & video with his Canon 7D
“Big Electric Cat” (featuring Kalebra, Felix Nelson, Tony Llanes, Scott Stahley, and yours truly) played a gig at the Photoshop World Attendee party at B.B. King’s Bar & Grill, and photographer and author David Ziser was there taking photos and video with his new 7D, and then he used Animoto to combine the two seamlessly into one video slidesshow, and it really came out pretty cool. Here’s the link to watch it online over at David’s “Digital Pro Talk” blog.

Seth’s new “Fire & Ice” Workshop in Iceland Sounds Amazing!
If you’re into shooting extreme nature, and want to do it with a fantastic photographer/instructor, check out Seth Resnick’s “Fire & Ice” Workshop coming up April 28th to May 4th in Iceland, as part of the Focus on Nature Int’l Photography workshops. Here’s how they describe it: “The majority of the workshop will be spent shooting the dramatic volcano eruption in the south of Iceland and the neighboring area. Also the icebergs on the glacier lagoon on the south-east coast. Finally ice caves if approachable.” Wow!!!! Here’s where to go for all the details.

The iPad’s Here on Monday and….
…..I’m waiting for the Wi-Fi + 3G model, which I already ordered, but I’m going to Best Buy this weekend just to check one out. From what I hear, the App’s are just amazing. Can’t wait (but I’ll have to—-until the end of the month. Ugh!).

Have a great weekend!
Hope you guys have a great one, and I hope to see you back here on Monday. :)

TA4sm

Earlier this week I got my hands on the latest version of one of my favorite plug-ins, Topaz Adjust, which now sports a clean, new very, very, very Lightroom-like interface. In fact, if you use Lightroom plug-in version of Topaz Adjust 4, you might not even realize you’ve left Lightroom, as the layout is so similar. That’s not a criticism—you open it and you immediately know how to get around, and how things will work, and that’s not a bad thing. [Photo above by Stephen Gober].

I use the Topaz Adjust 3 plug-in quite a bit, and this upgrade (which is free to existing customers, which is awesome) is a big step in the right direction. Here’s what the gang at Topaz says is new 4:

…includes many new presets, the ability to handle larger images, a new user interface, faster noise reduction, and greater stability.

So far, I agree with everything, except on my machine the stability part isn’t 100% there yet, as it does occasionally crash, but I imagine a bug fix will be on the way soon.

But there are these two little things….
I do love the new interface—-a huge improvement over the old one, but there are two little things that are driving me a little crazy (but, of course, these may just bother me—you may not bat an eye), but to me it seems like they stuck the “OK” button in the wrong place. Instead of putting it in the bottom right hand corner of the window (where everything from phone numbers in print ads to OK buttons usually wind up, simply because that’s where we’ve all be trained to look for them since just after birth), instead it appears below the center preview window.

So, when I’m done editing I keep going over to click where OK should be, but instead it says “I feel lucky.” At that moment, I don’t feel lucky. ;-) But that’s not the weirdest thing. When you launch the plug-in from Photoshop’s filter menu, the dialog you see below appears:

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OK, so, ‘Why?” I just chose Topaz Adjust 4 from the Filter menu in Photoshop, so I was pretty sure the next thing that would appear was the Topaz plug-in. I’m not sure it’s necessary to reinforce that. Secondly, it goes on to tell the user that when you’re done with filter click OK or Cancel. If my teenage son read that, he’d say “Duh!”

Those two minor things aside, this is a big step ahead for Topaz in refining and expanding their plug-ins. While I can nit pick some of this little stuff (both of which really just make me kind of chuckle), you can’t argue with the quality it produces; the ease of how it does it’s thing, and the incredible value for the price if you’re buying the plug-in for the first time (and of course, if you’re already a registered user, the upgrade is free).

Here’s a link for more details on the new Topaz Adjust 4.

UPDATE: I just got word from Larry Becker (NAPP’s Executive Director) that NAPP members get 25% off Topaz plug-ins (check the member web site for details).

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