Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is yet another evolution in the life of this impressive and increasingly capable raw photo processing and digital asset management (DAM) application. If you’re not familiar with Lightroom and you’re a photographer, you’ve either been living under a rock or you just got your very first camera kit. Regardless, here’s a quick refresher. Lightroom combines two major modules, along with five additional peripheral modules, all designed to simplify the process of managing and processing the large intake of photographs people take today.
Note: This review was originally featured in the February 2014 issue of the magazine.
Lots of great free alternatives to Photoshop exist, but for a hardcore photo editor it is still the gold standard. The last major revision came with the release of creative suite 5 in April 2010, so an update is long overdue. Photoshop CS6 features a ton of new features such content aware filling, vastly improved performance, and the ability to streamline several of the design tools. If any of the above catches your interest you should probably head on over to the download page and grab yourself a copy of the beta.
Since it first popped up in the iTunes App Store, Instagram has taken the smartphone photographic world by storm. Currently being rocked by more than 10 million users, the free photo editing app allows users to give their iPhone photos a warm vintage look via the use of a number of filters, making mundane image captures a little bit more extraordinary. Wait there’s more! Once you’ve processed your photos, you can share them on a wide variety of services, such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr! Sounds good right? If you’re an Android phone user, take heart: Instagram will be coming to your handset... eventually. Until then, we can be content to use pixlr-o-matic, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
After 9.5 versions of Photoshop (Windows wasn’t supported until PS 2.5) it’s easy to become jaded about Adobe’s stalwart photo editor. Fortunately, Photoshop CS5 gives us something to get worked up about all over again.
Packing more than 250 new features, Photoshop CS5 is an amazing upgrade capable of performing a wide range of tasks we’ve never seen before, while simultaneously simplifying the trademark tasks we’ve come to know and love.
It’s all about control—and when you set your DSLR to capture images in the JPEG format, you’re giving up a whole mess of control. Sure, those images may look pretty good, but your final JPEG output never accurately reflects what your camera sensor actually sees, regardless of how well it converts data into the final picture.
A digital camera captures data on an electronic sensor. At its lowest level, this data is known as the raw file. It’s sensor data at its purist, virtually free of modifications and any digital conversions. All the sensor does is catch photons on millions of receptors and write the data to files. That data is literally raw—and DSLRs and some high-end point-and-shoot cameras give you access to this data in order to manipulate your photos with tremendous control.
Don’t like the ISO setting? Tweak it! White balance doesn’t seem right? Correct it! Editing raw files lets you work directly with pure sensor data, making decisions about exposure, shutter speed, fill light, and more, all after the image has been actually shot.
Even though I have absolutely no interest in computer games, I study Maximum PC for the best information on the best computer components. However, I have not been able to identify graphics cards that are best for graphics-editing applications such as Photoshop. The outstanding gaming graphics cards seem to consume too much power and too many dollars without much benefit for non-gaming applications. Can you recommend a good GPU for non-gaming graphics work?
Read the Doctor's recommendation for Wayne after the jump.
Every fall, you should set the clock back an hour, change the battery in the smoke alarm, and determine whether it’s worth paying for the annual update to Photoshop Elements.
This year, Adobe hits the lucky number eight with the popular photo management app and finally adds the Holy Grail of photo organization tools: face recognition technology. Face recognition software is a boon to those of us who like to push the shutter button but aren’t organized enough to tag the photos with anything useful. With face recognition, the promise is that you won’t have to search through gigabytes of photos anymore, you’ll just ask Elements 8.0 to find all the pictures of Susannah taken in 2009. Elements 8.0 combines the face recognition technology with its smart tagging, so you could also tell it to find all pictures of Susannah that are in group shots that are in focus. Again, the feature goes a long way toward taming our vast gigabytes of digital images.
Future Ubunu installations will no longer include GIMP, starting with version 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), it was announced during the Ubuntu Developer Summit.
According to those in attendance, the decision to kick GIMP to the curb was based on a variety of factors. One of the primary reasons was a feeling that the general user just doesn't use GIMP. The general consensus is that the photo editing software is too complex and better aimed at professionals. Developers also took issue with the amount of disc space GIMP takes up.
While controversial, the decision to remove GIMP from Ubuntu is viewed as an important one in promoting the OS as a mainstream option. And GIMP's developers seem to agree.
"That is pretty much in-line with our product vision," Sven Neumann, a respected GIMP developers and author of the GIMP Pocket Reference, wrote in response to Ubuntu's plan. "GIMP is a high-end application for professionals. It is not the tool that you would advise every user to use for their causal photo editing."
Most likely replacing GIMP for quick-and-dirty photo editing on the mainstream level is F-Spot.
Do you agree with the decision to remove GIMP from default Ubuntu installations? Hit the jump and sound off.
This week, Adobe announced its eighth generation of Photoshop Elements for both PC and Mac, and this time Mac users need to wait only a month for the latest version.
Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows and MacOS includes a number of new photo-editing goodies including Photomerge Exposure, Recompose, and better quick fixes for common photo problems. For more about what's new, why MacOS users won't mind waiting a bit longer for their version, and how to try PSE8 for free, join us after the jump.
Adobe's new Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows adds a number of features for easier photo editing, including:
Photomerge Exposure, which builds upon the powerful Photomerge feature in earlier versions of PE to enable you to combine the properly-exposed areas in two otherwise-identical photos into a "single, perfectly-lit photo." The example Adobe demonstrates uses two photos of friends posing in front of a floodlit building, one with and without flash. It'll be interesting to see how Photomerge Exposure does with a pair of RAW images optimized for bright and dark areas.
Recompose, which allows you to intelligently stretch a photo to fit in a particular frame without distorting the main subject. The example Adobe uses converts a landscape-format photo into a square photo, but inquiring minds (like mine) are wondering about converting 4:3 photos into 16:9 photos (and vice-versa).
Smarter, faster quick fixes for exposure, teeth whitening, bluer skies, contrast, and more with better previews.
Read on to find out what else is new in Elements 8.
Many Windows users have been running Picasa 3 for the past several weeks now, but Picasa development for Linux has always seemly lagged behind.This all changed on Thursday with a public beta release of Picasa 3 with support for all the major Linux distributions. According to the feature overview, the new version includes many of the new editing and retouching features missing in the previous version as well as a tighter integration with Picasa Web. For Linux users looking to further automate the process of importing photos you will also appreciate the auto detect feature that runs each time you plug in your camera. In a blog post by Google Software Engineer Lei Zhang he reminds the Linux community of Google’s commitment to their platform. Some of its largest contributions have been in the form of patches for the open source WINE project with over 2700 fixes. WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator) is an application for Linux which allows users to execute programs written for Microsoft Windows. Want to learn more? Check out the November print edition of Maximum PC on sale now for an excellent how to guide on using WINE for gaming in Linux.