CS5: Sounds like a cop show, but works like a champ

There are a few constants in the world of photography: Light, optics, and Photoshop.
Not the boldest statement we’ve ever made, but it’s true.
The top notch darkroom of today is on your computer and it’s called Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Now we touch this program daily, and it is the end game of our workflow. Starting in Lightroom for our asset management, it’s true that there are so many tools available to you in that program, like lens corrections, and crazy good corrections brushes, it could leave you saying “why would I go anywhere else?”

We’re about to show you.

First of all, the advantage of working with a company like Adobe, whose sole purpose is digital imaging and everything around it, means that with every new version, your tools will get better, and functions will most likely become easily and take less time. And they are not going anywhere.
But what is new and do you need it all?

Well, we like to consider the entire line of product and see what is added in CS5 and what may trickle down to the enthusiast, as well.
Please remember that you should have a good working knowledge of working with layers and the tool bar to truly use these new features, and all of the most robust ones in the program.
We also recommend a Wacom tablet/pen system as you will be way more accurate than with a mouse. Still works with a mouse, but it’s time you moved on.

First on the list is Content Aware Fill.
We have all done some repair work on images that may have that errant power line or light pole or whatever object that takes away from the impact of your photograph. The tough part is making sure that the background surrounding the offending object, still looks the same.
Whatever algorithms Adobe has created has just made your digital imaging life easier.

check this vid:

Next up is Puppet Warp.
Yes, it may sound like a creepy horror movie but it actually is one of the most unique tools we’ve used.
Imagine a model is holding a product with one hand, but they should have been supporting it lovingly with two? This tool will help you out.
And the video:

Now, as we spoke about the Wacom tablet, you should know that even if your hand/pen coordination isn’t perfect, the current edge selection tool for making masks, has been so improved, that the precision available to even neophytes, is remarkable, especially with things like hair. It knows where you want to cut the matte, almost.
This is a function that was also available in Photoshop Elements 9, and works like a charm.

We decided to include the official videos from Adobe on these features, since they give you a good clear explanation.
Here is the original posting we did on the release.

The other new features like the HDR function, works fine, there may be better plug ins out there, and seriously…..why do you want that?
As it’s become all the rage, the amount of over produced HDR images are staggering. Mostly ugly and looking way too manipulated, we are sure eventually, there will be photographic artists who can use it for good.
Until then: put the pen down, close that file , and step away from the computer. At least the HDR stuff. Fine on an iPhone, not for real serious work, in our opinion
We’ll get there, just not yet.

Is it important for you to use the program as your painting tool? The selection of tips, adjustment of the bristles, wet/dry brush selection, blending colors, and everything you may require for a digital painting system rivaling the Corel system, you be thrilled as well.
Although unless you like to paint on your photos, this is not the site to get a ton of info there.

Here is what we see in each iteration of Photoshop: the most used/requested functions get pre-sets and allow users fewer steps to get to the same place.
OK, you may say that “if you get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini , you better be able to drive it.” You may think that some of these functions made easier, are like driving an automatic Porsche. “Go to Elements if you need the training wheels.”

This version has added, not only simplified moves, but background formulas that make the seemingly impossible available to every photographer.

Do we take advantage of each tool, once we done a walk through for the review?
Heck, no.
But it’s good to know the tools are there.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and they concentrated on the most useful, commonly needed, functions for all of us. Even if we didn’t articulate Puppet Warp, we needed it.

We are members of NAPP and watch Adobe.tv
When you feel you are ready for the full Monty, the Master suites of products from Adobe, will give you all of the tools you need to create an entire world.

Like David Fincher did in Social Network
With a package including Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, DreamWeaver and more, your creative life is pretty well supplied with the tools to put it together.
You just need the ideas.
Many different ways these suites are packaged, so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.

We’d like to say that all you need to do is buy the CS5 software package and you’re up and running in no time with all of these tools.
That would be a lie.
Like everything else, it takes time and training to become proficient in photoshop.
It kinda seems like the internet in the range of stuff it can do. Like the internet , we don’t think you’ll ever get to the end.

Our workflow includes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3
for asset management, the Photoshop CS5 for detail and finishing work. We bring it into to the system with 2 backups, and save with 2 backups.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the current gold standard for your digital darkroom. If you invest in your gear, know that this may be the most critical part.
And if you are not sure, download the free 30 day trial.

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