Results tagged “applications”

Another View

Macworld critiques Photoshop CS5. Let's not forget about the hand that feeds it etc..

CS5 Roadshow 2010

So; I spent Thursday at the Sofitel in Collins St. in the city, all day. I went to view the circus that is a Corporate sales pitch. In particular, Adobe's new Creative Suite 5.

The Sofitel was an excellent choice of venue, and the crowd was at some where near the 1000 mark.Almost packed to capacity on Twitpic The check-in process looked like it was in a log jam, but went rather smoothly and the guy who handled my 'booking' even greeted me by name, a nice touch, but not the first I'm sure. I was given my red enviro-freindly Adobe bag, full to the brim of printed materials and found a seat.[When I say full I mean 3 or 4 and is it just me or is there somewhat of an oxymoron in the idea of presenting an enviro-freindly bag full of printed materials?]

Once inside the 'vibe' was typically Melbourne, i.e. somewhat reserved. [I feel for the presenters in these instances as it is really hard to work a crowd, at the best of times, never mind one that is reserved almost to the point of hostile]. Free Adobe Rubic's cubes were handed out to the crowd if they were boisterous enough. Which some people tried to exploit. Needless to say not many were handed out, due in part I suspect by the lack of WOW factor in the product being demonstrated. At least the majority of presenters were Aussies, there's nothing worse than having an American Company send American minions to sell you on an idea/product.

The Keynote sold the main features of the Creative suite, they were.

  • 64 Bit processing
  • Publishing to multiple platforms
  • Cloud based services, and several other business level ideas.

The day began with Video Editing, not much there for me, so I used the time to tweet as best I could on my Sony Ericsson C902. The keynote referred to the the fact that all the apps have been re-built from the ground up to run in 64 bit mode, a real advantage for Video editors, not sure where Final Cut Pro sits in the scheme of things here though, but a plus for Photoshop and large raw files.

The big surprise for me was, Flash Catalyst, an interesting looking application that makes building flash applications easier, which is a pity because to quote a friend, far more tech savvy than myself:-

"Flash must die, it is the obese treacle elephant of the Internet and a culling of its inaccessible ass is long overdue."
I have never liked flash either personally, but for me it's more about the semantic nature of the web, for example it makes sharing links difficult, particularly when photographers use it to build 'galleries'. Perhaps it was just me but there also seemed to be a sub-text of anti W3C standards and contempt for the debate regarding Apple and it's not allowing the use of Flash to build apps for the iPhone. No surprises really, but the crowd of, what appeared to me, to be Graphic designers all lapped up every bit of stuff about Flash and the new app called Flash Catalyst.

By now, I am starving and beginning to realise that they are saving Photoshop till the end, I wish I had read the 'agenda' earlier[again this is made in flash so not sure if it will work, it didn't on my mobile device], as I could have saved 1/2 a day. The free wifi was not happening anyway so I gave up and turned it off to conserve battery. When lunch time did arrive I headed outside, and found some free wi-fi across the road at a cafe called, The Paris End Cafe, great sandwich guys and thanks for the free wi-fi.

Back inside, the Sofitel, I found a seat close to the aisle so I could make a quick exit towards the end, a good move it turned out. Next, Indesign's new features were demonstrated and again, it was primarily about multiple platform delivery of content, this is something Quark has been trying to sell for some time, and so Adobe gets no prizes for this, but now it makes sense to me given my own use of mobile devices and their current popularity, an idea that seemed alien to me 3 years ago. There are indeed some cool new features in Indesign, but this is not an application I 'teach' so, it was more about my own personal use of the program. It will help me publish my work to a variety of formats and devices, something that, is important to me now.

Finally Photoshop gets a look in, and of course it begins with the much touted 'content aware fill tool'. This is a great tool if your are a graphic designer or a lazy photographer, I rarely need to remove that amount of visual garbage from my images, in fact it is what makes part of the challenge for me, making a good image when we are surrounded by it, the garbage that is. So this tool worked well, in real life but the software was demonstrated on a PC laptop, so I'm yet to be convinced it will work well on a Mac. The two other features that made an impression on me were, the new masking tools, and the lens correction tool.

The masking tool now speeds up the whole process of removing models from backdrops and has the ability to quickly and easily refine that selection, and either create a mask, a separate file, or a combination of layer mask and file.

The lens correction tool was indeed awesome. After launching the filter, it, the tool draws on a database of lenses and using the metadata embedded into the file 'automatically' corrects the distortions in the image created by the lens. Using the new Adobe Lens Correction application you can even create your own files and add them to the database.

Creative Suite 5 is an impressive set of tools, Adobe have tapped the market well in as much as, they can see that the distinction between DTP, Designer, Web Designer, Videographer and Photographer is really being blurred. However as a photographer, given Photoshop's demonstrated poor handling of colour, there was not much to grab my attention. I am more excited by tools like Aperture and Lightroom than Photoshop now, and probably will only use Photoshop to demonstrate a handful of ideas and approaches in my teaching practice, I can in fact see an end for Photoshop in Photography education already, other than for use as a studio/fashion tool where a photographer works closely with a Graphic Designer or is a DTP operator as well as a photographer.

For a commercial take on the software, try Macworld's review, I'll pass you the grain of salt after you've read it.

Two Projects

Today, I have begun the ball rolling for two projects, an application for a PhD, and a show at the CCP. The show application, will focus on a body of work, I shot recently and may form a larger project, over time; one day a book I hope. The PhD, is at such an early developmental stage, I am reading a book that will help me decide where to go., the book is entitled, The Craft of Research. It has already proved to be a great help.

Cooliris

I recently rediscovered cooliris, it is an interesting way to surf the net with either a broad brush, or a more focussed approach.

Screen shot 2010-03-29 at 9.17.50 AM
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Key word searches can turn up strange results, but it's a pleasant way to scour lot's of information quickly.

Flickroom.app

A new app has appeared, that enables chat and photo viewing at the same time. Photoflow, already does this, but the main difference is that Photoflow.com, is a website, and users to set up rooms based on groups they admin. Flickrapp on the other hand gives you instan feedback on your photos, and the chat is stiil a giant big 'chat'. Be interesting to see if this take off?flickroom
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

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Geek Portal

Thanks to the magic of flickr stats, I found this portal, looks interesting may need to study it for a while?

Skype
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Skitch.com Free Public Beta

I love this little app and have sent invites to a few freinds, now it's in public beta.... yah...

[From Skitch.com]

...very useful too.

Candy Bar is is out!

[From Panic - CandyBar 3 - Change and Organize Your Mac OS X Icons and Dock]

for Leopard users only, still it looks good!

Photoshop Layers 4

Layer Masks, one of my favourite tricks is to duplicate a layer, make some changes to it, whether it be colour contrast b&w, or some other effect I want to, apply to the image then add a layer mask and brush in any differences I want to see applied to the image.

Using a black and white image on top of the other is one of the most common, but intensifying colour using curves or levels is one of my favourites. Again this approach in non-destructive, and infinitely un-doable, while the layers are unflattened.

Lastly the Text Layer, which is relatively self explanatory, I hope? Handy for adding a copyright watermark to your image I guess?

Photoshop Layers 3

Today, I'm going to look breifly at how I use adjustment layers.

From Photoshop's help files:-

An adjustment layer applies color and tonal adjustments to your image without permanently changing pixel values. For example, rather than making a Levels or Curves adjustment directly to your image, you can create a Levels or Curves adjustment layer. The color and tone adjustments are stored in the adjustment layer and apply to all the layers below it. You can discard your changes and restore the original image at any time.

As a small aside you can now access an extensive set of help files on the web directly from the help applicaiton in photoshop.

The key issue here for me is the ability to make and adjustment to say colour balance density or saturation of an image and then brush through the mask to locally adjust the image to best suit my ideas and intentions in photograph.

This approach offers a degree of control unheard of in the history of colour photography. Combined with a desktop inkjet printer like the Epson R2400, I now have a complete home colour darkroom. And of course, again, no pixels are destroyed in the process.

adjustment layers

Skitch, free software

Any of my readers on a Mac, like to try some very cool free software? It's called skitch, and currently is only available as an invite download, you will also be required to register as well.

It is useful for quick screen-grabs and sharing information graphically from computers

Just send me your e-mail address and I'll invite you.

Check the flickr pool for some ideas on what it can do.

Online Photo editing

Picnik, an online Photo Editor I seem to remember dabbling with in some time back is now offering pro services.

Now Picnik offers 26 effects, 5 frames, a totally new touch-ups section, and nearly 200 fonts and shapes! We've added Facebook, Photobucket and Webshots to the list of sites you can open, save and share to, and our integration with Flickr is about to get a whole lot better (stay tuned!).

The move to online application use marches forever forward, will the state of broadband in Australia, however improve enough to make this idea feasible?

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