Photoshop CS3 – Greetings Pilgrim, your search has ended!

(winner of yesterdays giveaway, Annie Leibowitz-A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005 is listed at the end of this article)

Right, so you’ve been working with the industry standard Photoshop CS2,and then CS3 comes out. Heck don’t we have enough things to deal with it? Then there is asset management software with some correction possibilities:Lightroom, Aperture, CaptureNX? What to use and what to buy. Can’t we agree on a standard ? And are they all really worth the expense? [photopress:cs3.jpg,full,alignright]

Well, after working with the latest version,CS3 , I have seen the light!
And saved time. Simplified my life. Short stroke dough for HUGE new features.


Lets talk about workflow.
You know..the general way you save, file, adjust, and save again, distribute your photographs.

Ok, let’s start at the beginning: Bridge CS3.
If you are familiar with Bridge you will see some significant upgrades. If not, we’ll break it down for you: this program will let you view the media you have either on a card, or on a hard drive in a folder (or just sitting there on its own.)

The power of the program with the upgrades is substantial.
Ok, you can batch rename all of your images in a variety of modes making retrieval a simple task. Then you can rate the images, and sort again based on the ratings (1 star to 5). The next step, and this is just one of the very cool new features, you can look at images side by side, and bring in a digital loupe (magnifier) to see the details and decide on the tech spec. Then and there.


At the end of your process of picking and choosing, you can take the selected top shelf material and create a simple slide show for presentation. Nothing helps a sale like a good presentation.

The main deal here is this is where your work flow starts. You bring in the image, sort, get to the best, save and move on.

AND you can also click the image if you can’t wait to get to work in Photoshop.

Check this video out from supplied by Adobe with PHOTOSHOP superstar Katrin Eisman:

This has changed my digital life. After looking at all of my options, and there are many, this is my new first stop when the shoot is over. Yes, there are some other ways to do it and perhaps I want to do a book presentation, or some other form of final piece. But this is where I am beginning right now.

Now lets go into the main event: Photoshop CS3

For starters, it’s a heck of lot faster on the macpro Intel computer I’m using. The new dock is very sleek and the dissolve appearance as you move in and out is elegant. Nice, but so what? Well, it appeals to the aesthetic.And saves some space on the desktop. Still need it to look like it did? no problem, it can do that.

Aside from the basic interface you know so well, here are some new features which rock:

Black and white for digital imagery has taken a HUGE leap forward in this version. The depth with which you can adjust your image using the digital filters affecting the color values in a black and white world…..Did that make sense? Hang in there.
As each color in your color image has a corresponding value in the world of black and white, you can adjust these with digital filters in layers within Photoshop CS3.


Still have you? Good. Now this video will explain and illustrate the feature and then transition to another new favorite.

Take a look.

In that demo another tool was discussed which is the magic wand or Quick Selection Tool. First saw this in Photoshop Elements in the current version.

Essentially it allows you to select your area of correction and then deal with just that area. So if you wanted to adjust the color/exposure of one building in a scene, you use this tool to stroke without tracing and grab the specific area. To be honest this is a great to tool to start with but fine tuning (like hair for instance) is best done the old fashioned way by tracing the edge of the subject.

Adobe Camera Raw: As you know, RAW files are you best quality of data rich images. Kind of like your straight neg.

There are some new features in CS3, which will make your life easier and faster working in RAW.

As a young photo assistant, I learned the ways of spotting B&W prints with Spotone ink and a fine, superfine, paintbrush. The first 50 prints I did was a good primer.


Well now, you can get today’s spots from the digital sensor. If you have removed the lens when it was windy, or some shmutz (technical term for dirt) got onto the sensor, actually the glass COVERING the sensor, each image will have an identical blotch or mark. CS3 has made the heal/clone tool into a fast useful worker.

Smart Filters: Or “Do Overs”
If you could add layer upon layer (tastefully of course and with purpose) to an image, take a look at it all, then go back and adjust each layer to create the perfect blend? Would that be something that would interest you?
It certainly does every current Photoshop user.

Let’s say you have a simple portrait but want to soften the background. Layer. Then add some some lens flare. Layer. Maybe torn edges would be cool. Layer. OOohhh, Conte Crayon would be nice.Layer.Then watercolor to top it off. Layer.

Ahhh..Dogs Breakfast.

No worries. Go back to each layer, adjust or lose, change opacity of the offending or enhancing layer, and you can do this all day.

Finally you can split apart the layers and put them back in a preferred order without rebuilding the whole sequence as you had to do in the past.

Nicely done, Adobe.


Curves is not just the name of a woman’s gym. In CS3, by the use of sliders and curves you can now make the corrections you wanted from one box. This is the tool you will most likely use everyday. By easily moving the slider, you can adjust contrast, and the Curves line will bend to your will for midtones and fine-tuning.

And if you are the pro looking to sell, or the designer looking to buy, this amazing built in resource is one I’ll be using shortly.
The Adobe Stock Photo resource and pro listing.


But check this out: without leaving the space, you can search, purchase and download an image with all of the business done right there.
Too cool and super easy. And no I’m not 16,but this stuff is pretty exciting.

Now there are a ton of other features that I continue to run across when I need them, necessity being the mother of invention. But idle inquisitive hands are the devils playthings, so there is much ground to cover, even as the tour is constantly moving.
Oh, like Stacks, where you can “stack” images, see what’s different and make a new image. What???
OK, 5 images of a plaza with people, can be combined to appear empty.
Fine, I’ll show you soon.
And improved photomerge, when the lens just wasn’t wide enough or panorama is your thing. With improved blending and blurring, this is the real deal.

One thing that was stumbled upon was the flash converter.
All of the videos on the VIDEO page are Flash. While converting recently, a video not religion, the Adobe program popped up.
Another keystroke saver.

Of course is H.264 going to overtake Flash?

Over all?
Bridge, Black and White ConversionsRAW, Curves, Quick Selection, Smart Filters, and Speed make this a must get or must-upgrade tool if you are serious about your work.
Don’t take our word for it though. Test drive it yourself. FREE FOR 30 DAYS!

By the way, all of these tests were done on a Macbook Pro, 2.33 GHz Intel Core Duo, OS 10.4.10, with 2 GB of Ram.
Always attached on the road is a Firelite ext. 120GB hard drive, and at the office, a G-Raid 1TB.

In case you were curious.

Winner of the Annie Leibowitz book giveaway this week was….Annie U of West Hollywood,CA!
Congratulations and we’ll be sending you this book ASAP.
The T-shirt winners will be notified shortly.

Damon Webster

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