HOW TO MAKE PHOTOMAGIC WITH THE CREATIVE CLOUD
What you need to know BEFORE you download Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
If you have a Mac you must be running 10.7 or 10.8 to run the newest version of Adobe Photosop CC. That is Lion or Mountain Lion. Don’t believe anyone who tells you differently be they a friend or support person. You need to be connected to the Internet and have Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support. If you have Windows you need a Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 bit processor (2GHz or faster). The tech specs are displayed on Adobe’s tech specs page.
The Tech Specs, I believe, seriously underestimate how much RAM (1 gig minimum) you need to run Photoshop CC. (Apple says just to run Lion you need 2 gigs of RAM. Microsoft suggests 1 gig of ram just to run Windows 7) At the college I work at we suggest at least 4 to 8 gigs of RAM to run Photoshop and still the 3D features are disabled if the video card of your computer has less than 512 MB's of ram or video ram.
Why buy the Cloud? The CS6 discs are scarce and now more expensive than ever, as they will not be offered in the future. Everything with Adobe will be by subscription. Even if you are a student and want to buy the CS6 disk; the price from Academic Superstore and Journeyed is now almost double what it was before. Hmmm? If you are a student, you can subscribe to the cloud for almost 4 years for that price.
The Adobe Creative Cloud applications that were released on June 17th 2013, offer a limited time savings to students (offer ends June 25th 2013) and owners of CS6 (offer ends July 31st), who can subscribe to the Cloud (all the apps) for $19.99 or a single app like Photoshop for $9.99. If you own Creative Suite 4 or 5 you can subscribe to the Cloud for $29.99.
What you can do with the new Photoshop Creative Cloud does approximate magic more than in any previous release; especially for Photographers. As a former photographer for jazz magazines I shot in the dark, without a tripod with very slow exposures because flash was not allowed. As a result many of my photos were blurred by camera shake, something that is all too common with IPhone or Android phone photos.
The new ShakeReduction filter will correct a photo that is blurred by camera shake but not if it is out of focus. To get to the ShakeReduction window click filter>sharpen> ShakeReduction. It diagnoses the amount of shake and the direction of camera movement and then corrects it. Here is one of my own iphone photos that started out extremely blurry and was improved through ShakeReduction. Once you use the filter, you can reduce any artifacts through the slider I have highlighted.
There are a number of different plugins and applications (OnOne's Perfect Resize, Photozoom and the free SmillaEnlarger) that you can buy to upres or resize a smaller image to make it larger. Photoshop’s new image dialogue may not be the best resizer on the market but it is the best included inside any application.
In the revamped image size dialogue change width and height to percent (not pixels or inches) and check Preserve Details (enlargement). If you have picked up a little noise from enlarging the photo you can play with the reduce noise slider till you are satisfied with the result.
You can now open any photo or any layer in Photoshop and apply Camera Raw to it as a filter. In the video below I used a vignette feature that allows you to change any parameter of the photo. The difference in the new creative cloud release is that you can creative multiple vignettes to change multiple areas of the photo. I can take a trio of musicians and make it look like a spotlight is on them only, separating them from the background.
Adobe Exchange Panel
The best things in life sometimes are free like the ADOBE EXCHANGE PANEL. Thanks in a large part to Russell Brown, one of Adobe’s mad geniuses, whose Watercolour Assistant, Painting Assistant and Paper Texture Panel can now be accessed from within Photoshop by clicking window>extensions>Adobe Exchange. Once you are there you can search through all the free offerings, find what you want and then hit install. Here I took the photo I sharpened and used Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel to add a beautiful and complex background to the photo.
Here is an example of what you can do to turn a photo into a painting using Russell Brown’s Painting assistant.
Tim Warfield photo taken by Bob Hershon