Tag Archives: Photoshop

Coolness from Adobe

Today, Adobe announced that the release of Photoshop CS5 is imminent. That’s cool.

What’s even cooler is that it looks like Adobe has now created a path for upgrades from CS4 Extended to CS5 regular version. That is waaaay cool! I bought the Extended version a while back — CS3, I think — and have found that I’m really not using the “extended” parts. The downside was that there was no real way to upgrade numeric versions from a downlevel Extended to an uplevel non-Extended version.

Now, it appears that Adobe has solved that little problem, and all is happy in the Deauxmayne!

Photoshop CS5 Beta

A few weeks ago, I was selected to join the Photoshop CS5 Beta team. This was quite an honor, and I owe it all to my NAPP membership. Way cool opportunity!

While I can’t speak to features — NDA, ya know — the beta testers have been released to talk about the fact that Photoshop CS5 is out there, and show off some of the work we’ve done with it. Below is a before and after piece that I’ve been working on. All I can say is that Photoshop CS5 seems to really rock, and saved me a TON of time in working through the “after” image.

The kickoff event comes April 12th — can’t wait ’til then, and for the new product!

More on Adobe Camera Raw

After spending most of last weekend playing with various RAW converters — both for output and speed — I finally believe I found the foundational problem in my workflow. ACR was defaulting to Adobe Standard as the camera profile. There were also some other settings that needed tweaking as my defaults, but this was the root of my evil problems. I remember long ago making a change in ACR that had things coming out of it looking good, but somehow with the loading of ACR 5.6, my settings went bye-bye. Or it could’ve been the addition of images from my new 7D. No matter, it’s more or less resolved now. (Thanks Tim!) [BTW, Tim is also doing a Project 365 exercise.]

Of course, ACR can do tons to the image, and this weekend, I swallowed my ignorance, and purchased Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS4. I’ve plowed through the foundational chapters, not yet touching a single control. But that day is coming, and I really do feel more confident in treating ACR as another tool in the workflow, rather than a Ron Popeil “set it and forget it” gateway through which my RAW images stroll.

Snow Leopard! Genuine Fractals! Oh, the Humanity!

I was sitting around today, when my iPhone jingled, telling me that I’d received an e-mail. It was a monthly newsletter from OnOne about their products. I’m a Genuine Fractals 6 Professional user. I don’t use it real often, but when I do, I need it.

So what was the topmost bullet in the newsletter? A strong suggestion to deactivate OnOne products before upgrading OS X to Snow Leopard. Eh? Really?

And with my next breath, I realized that the newsletter was telling me that GF6 was not going to work until I contacted customer support. Period. Oh fudge. Only I didn’t say fudge.

Being in Missouri, there was a healthy dose of “show me”, and I tried GF6 in Photoshop CS4E and Lightroom 2.5… no dice. What I read was right — I was hosed.

So now I’m waiting for OnOne to respond with a hopefully painless way to salvage my investment in GF6.

Frankly, activation that is that deeply rooted in the OS seems a little overboard. The product’s great — nothing else can touch it — so I suppose it’s worth the pain, but I’m blown away that an OS upgrade can cause this kind of problem. Sure wish I’d had this info before I’d done the upgrade — and I’m betting that OnOne does too. It looks like they’re fielding quite a few questions on this one.

Stay tuned.

The Patient Survived!

Doc Oc has his new OS and apps loded. Yahoo! In this entry, I’m gonna try to capture the things I’ve modified/augmented, so next time I have to do this, I can deal with it from a documented position.

My basic plan was to keep things clean, only installing things I use, and trying hard to avoid importing settings and drivers from the old boot drive, which takes the Migration Assistant out of the mix… generally.

  • >Documents and Stuff : I have loads of this kind of thing… ya know, Apple commercials, some images (not my photo library; that’s on another spindle), genealogy stuff, etc. Migration Assistant seemed like it would move all this, but I really wanted to do it myself, as I’m not comfortable with Migration Assistant’s scope, and knowing just much it would copy.
  • Mail : Mail is a biggie for me. I archive waaaaay too much mail in my mailboxes, and it’s always been one of those things I’ll fix “one of these days”. Today is not that day. So how to get my mail setup manually? I copied /Users/me/Library/Mail and /Users/me/Library/Mail Downloads to the newly installed OS image. I also copied /Users/me/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist, and after getting everything over, I opened Mail, and there was everything. The only thing that wasn’t in place was my passwords, which isn’t a big surprise.
  • Adobe Applications : I fully expected CS3 to bark about being reinstalled on the same machine, but apparently it was smart enough to figure it out. I saw several other apps that somehow knew their license serial numbers, and worked well. In fact, the only app that I had to “deactivate” and “reactivate” was Genuine Fractals 6.
  • iTunes : I have had challenges in the past with moving my iTunes library around. This go ’round though, I had no problems. I use an alias to point to the library location, and once I repointed that, iTunes was all smiles.

At this point, Doc is happy again, although I’m sure I’ll run into things here and there that aren’t quite as they were. However, all things considered, I’m happy with where things are right now… Especially given all the “learning experiences” that were part of this!!

Adobe, CS4, CS4E and 64 Shiny Glorious Bits

This week was full of announcements about the forthcoming Adobe Creative Suite releases. To me, the important part of that gaggle o’ code is Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS4 Extended (CS4E). I picked up CS3E less than a year ago, taking advantage of an upgrade path from CS2 to CS3E for a premium cost over an CS2 to CS3 upgrade. More on that later.

With the announcements came the confirmation that CS4/CS4E on the Mac platform will still only be 32-bit. I lamented about this a while ago, but it’s worth mentioning again that I’m not happy about being boxed in to only 4GB of addressable memory space. Nothing I’m doing right now is using anything beyond a GB of RAM, so it’s not the end of the world… yet. Adobe is dismissing this as a non-issue, as they measure the impact with an eye toward speed. Speed is great, and I want all of that I can get, but I also want to have wide, green pastures available to me, even if I don’t use it all. 64 bits of addressing would definitely help.

The other interesting thing about the new Photoshop is utilization of hardware acceleration on the graphics card for a variety of typical tasks. However, it kinda reads that the Nvidia cards (GeForce and Quadro) are the favored cards. I’m still trying to see if there’s any benefit from my stock ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT card. To upgrade the video card, Apple sells the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT (512MB) for close to $300; a Quadro is easily twice that. Unless my card will drag some love out of Adobe, I’m probably outta luck on getting any benefit from this upgrade.

This release is the first upgrade to the CS Extended environment, and I expected to see a similar price for CS3E to CS4E as there is from CS3 to CS4. That ain’t the case. CS3 to CS4 is $199, but the move to CS4E from CS, CS2, CS3 or CS3E is $349! I already paid that version change tax once, and it’s ludicrous of Adobe to expect that same path to be paved in my gold twice, especially when there’s not that much benefit in the CS Extended versions for me… for now.

With the lack of functional benefit for me, the appearance that the hardware accelerator may pass me by, the lack of 64-bit love, and the crazy upgrade policy, I believe I’ll end up waiting for CS5E, and see if the pot’s a bit sweeter.

Genuine Fractals Strikes Again!

Last night, I was working through some images, and Genuine Fractals dropped a tickler indicating that there was an update available. I’m pretty gullable, so I almost always update as soon as something tells me it wants to. I left the code downloading all night — it’s only 50MB (plus or minus), but their download site is (and has always been) very slow.

Today, I go to install the new code, and it tells me there’s no previous version. Since this sounded very familiar, I looked around the Deauxmayne, and found how I’d tackled this before. Sure ’nuff, the same problem with Leopard still exists, and the same workaround still works.

One nice thing about writing all this stuff down — even if no one else is reading it — is that it saves me time and trouble in the future!

Bad Adobe, Good Adobe

I can always tell when something is happening out in the wastelands of the tech world. NewsFire will be screaming at me with multitudes of new feed-matter. Tonight, NewsFire was definitely screaming, and Adobe figured prominently in two threads of thought and chatter.

The first was the Good News. Adobe released the first public beta of Lightroom 2.0. This is claimed to be 64-bit ready code, and chocked full of new features. I haven’t had a chance to load it yet — I wanna see if there’s any caveats about keeping a separate library, etc. You can bet I’ll be playing with it this weekend, and seeing what I can do with it. Currently, I only use Lightroom for DAM, and really don’t use it for quick touches, printing, web site building, and all that other good stuff it does well. Casey keeps nudging toward using it for more than just that. His site is mostly built with Lightroom, and it looks pretty dang good. That’s a pretty good endorsement.

And then came the Bad News. Adobe released some word on the Next Big Thing: Photoshop CS4. (And the crowd goes wild…) And it’ll be 64-bit…. (wait for it)… if you’re on Windows. Yep, the big ol’ Macs like mine will still have to contend with 4GB of memory for the beastliest images we can put together, with our Windows-based brethren able to address vast amounts of memory. From this interview, the guess is that the performance boost would be in the neighborhood of 10 percent, unless of course you’re loaded gigapixel sized images where, with enough memory, the 64-bit version could be 10 times faster!

One path to get around this is to dual boot the Octoputer, running 64-bit Vista (Adobe says that’ll be the supported platform). That would be just like a native Windows machine, but would require me to purchase a new Photoshop license. Currently, I don’t believe Adobe allows you to upgrade version and change platforms in the same fell swoop. The other path to get tasty 64-bit goodness would be to virtualize a 64-bit Vista environment through VMWare (Parallels doesn’t currently support this), and run CS4 in that environment. The big question there is whether you’d burn up the benefit of the 64-bit code by virtualizing it.

So in one day, Adobe delivers both Good stuff and Bad stuff. I’m not sure whether I should be happy or mad. Or both. Or neither.

Wait for it… and the crowd goes “boooooo”

Library Additions

A week or two ago, I mentioned picking up a couple of recent photography-related books — The Moment it Clicks and Scott Kelby’s 7-Point System. These are really still getting a lot of buzz, and I’m almost through with The Moment It Clicks. What a fun read!

Well, this weekend, I found the last tome in the 2008 Photoshop trifecta — Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature by Matt Kloskowski. This book has also been getting a lot of buzz lately, and I’m looking forward to getting into that one. Just flipping though it, it looks like it’ll be a good read.


It seems like this year is gonna be the year for photography books. Last year, everything was all about Lightroom. This year, it seems Photoshop CS3 techniques and general photography are the places to land. In the last two weeks, I’ve stuffed some authors’ pockets.

The first acquisition I wanted to mention was Scott Kelby’s 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3 by (wait for it….) Scott Kelby. Scott is the head of NAPP, and is one of the best Photoshop resources out there. And he’s a prolific writer, consistently at the top in technical book sales yearly. And he’s a Christian, and seems to be a nice guy. Scott released this book recently, and its been getting a ton of press. My understanding is that this book details a seven-step program for taking somewhat average photos and turning them into stunning works of art. Of course, you’ve gotta have good subject matter to start with! Can’t wait to get into this one.

The other book is The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally. Joe is one of the best photographers out there, and has been spotted at some of the DLWS events. This book got huge raves before it was even released, and sold out its first printing in just a week or so. The second printing is in progress, but I was lucky enough to find a copy at Barnes & Noble the other day. This book is described to be about shooting… mindsets, lighting, and other things at the time of the shot. I’ve read that this book is very conversational in its approach, and I think I’m gonna enjoy reading it!