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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photoshop CS5: What’s In It For You

As the newest update to the pro standard enters the creative marketplace, we look at how some of the new features will affect professional photographers

This Article Features Photo Zoom

The new Content Aware capabilities are in CS5’s Spot Healing Brush and Fill command. This feature has been heralded by many in the aftermath of the software launch. In this image, the photographer used the tool in a radical way to remove a tower that was jutting into the frame. Content Aware is a very useful feature for fixing imperfections in an image quickly and easily. Content Aware Cleanup AFTER.

For professional photographers, having the latest version of Photoshop is a good idea. An upgrade to Photoshop CS5 includes some powerful new features (and improvements to existing ones) that have the potential to translate into a better workflow and better images.

The Lens Correction filter appears in CS5 as a top-level filter. The filter now analyzes the metadata for the image, and if there’s a profile for the sensor and lens, it will make changes automatically. You also can select a camera/lens combination or build a custom profile.
Lens Correction
The Lens Correction filter is no longer hidden under the Filter > Distort menu, but rather has been elevated to a position at the top level of the Filter menu. That’s a significant upgrade, and the new capabilities of the Lens Correction filter certainly warrant this new placement. Most significantly, the Lens Correction filter now will read the metadata in the image to determine the lens and camera used to capture the original photograph. If this information is present, and there’s a profile for the lens and imaging sensor dimensions (which is determined based on the camera model), corrective adjustments can be applied to the image automatically. If an exact match isn’t available, you may be able to get good results by choosing a lens and camera combination that most closely matches those used to capture the image, but in that case you may be better off building a custom profile using the Adobe Lens Profile Creator, which is available as a free download from Adobe Labs (labs.adobe.com).

The automatic adjustments include Geometric Distortion (to correct perspective issues), Chromatic Aberration and Vignette. To be sure, these adjustments were available in prior versions of Photoshop. As a photographer who has been using Photoshop for a while, you may be reluctant to utilize any automatic adjustments. But when it comes to Lens Correction, there’s no need to be nervous. To begin with, you can choose which specific adjustments you want applied automatically. Even better, you can choose the Custom tab to reveal the controls you’re already familiar with from a prior version of Lens Correction. There you’ll notice the controls you may already know, though the Chromatic Aberration sliders now include a Blue/Yellow slider in addition to Red/Cyan and Green/Magenta.


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