Posts Tagged ‘PhotoShop’

Photoshop CS6 Content Aware Tools

Every Photoshop release seems to come out with a new feature that makes you jump up and shout, “Wowly heck!” It’s looking like CS6 won’t be the exception.

The content-aware tools have taken their vitamins and grown stronger than ever. Moving objects around in your photos has never been easier. Check out this video for proof:

There’s a few other sneak preview videos available on Photoshop’s Youtube channel. The improved Camera RAW features actually have me a bit more excited than the content-aware magic, but locally adjusting noise in RAW is a little less dramatic than casually moving parts of your scene around in an image.

Photoshop Deblurring Sneak Preview

Check out this video on a plugin for Photoshop that removes blur from photos – a potential feature in future versions of Photoshop just might make you gasp in awe as it did for this audience at Adobe Max 2011:

It looks like photographers may soon be able to rescue images from previously unusable states of blurriness. I don’t expect this to be a substitute for good shooting technique, but everybody makes mistakes. If this software can help fix those mistakes, as Rainn Wilson says, people will love this. If nothing else, it should raise the quality of drunken iphone photos on facebook.

Cross your fingers for this to be included in CS6.

CS5 Officially Unveiled

Adobe has put up a page detailing the new features available in Photoshop CS5 here. Highlights for photographers include content-aware fill, the new warping tools, refined selection tools and improved HDR use.

Get details about all the Creative Suite packages and their components from here.

An official release is expected within a month. In the meantime, there are already a number of videos available at the Photoshop CS5 Learning Centre.

PhotoShop CS5 Comes with Magic

Editing your images looks like it might just get a lot easier with PhotoShop CS5.

Adobe will be revealing details about the upcoming Creative Suite programs on April 12, but if you can’t wait until then to start your salivating, check out this video that features the new Content Aware Fill tool.

If it works as advertised, I can’t even tell you how useful this will be. Seriously, it’s magic!

No release date has been set for the final product, but perhaps we’ll be able to get a better idea of when to expect a launch at their April 12th event.

Quicklinks for Thursday, January 22, 2009

A plethora of photography links for you on this fine day:

  • has a 40 minute retouching tutorial that takes you from start to finish on the retouching of a fashion shot.
  • If you didn’t learn enough from that, Photoshop Support has a few more videos for you to check out on skin retouching.
  • For those of you now using Photoshop CS4, Yuri Arcurs has some tips on how to optimize your settings to get the best performance out of the software. However, some of these tips may end up being unnecessary in the near future as is reporting that Adobe is planning an update to CS4 soon.
  • Five FWD have a fun video in which they compare film and digital prints, big ones. 17 meter ones to be precise. They take a look at how a a 12 megapixel Nikon D700 stacks up against the same shot using 35mm film using massive enlargements. I have to get myself one of those printers (and gallons of ink) and then I can decorate my apartment building with my shots!
  • Simon Hoegsberg has printed the world’s longest photograph.

A few from Digital Photography School:

  • This article gives advice on what you might need to do to start freelancing for your local newspaper.
  • Fashion photographer Adriana Curcio gives seven important tips for aspiring photogs.
  • Lastly, more tips. This time it’s Chase Jarvis dishing out some tips. The most interesting part of it for me is his commentary on the creative gap, an idea I’m going to have to mull over a bit. I had never heard this expression of it before and I like the idea. It’s something that I (and probably most people) already do, but it’s nice to have it spelled out so that you can consciously make the effort to bridge that creative gap.

Assistant Quicklinks

In praise of assistants, today brings a small group of links for and about photographic assistants.

  • This exceedingly detailed article by digital assistant Patrick Lavoie explains the workflow he uses when he works with fashion photographers. I’ve used a very similar workflow on shoots and Patrick’s piece will give you more info than you will likely be able to digest in one sitting.
  • A post from Vincent Laforet discusses a photo of Michael Phelps from the Beijing Olympics in Sports Illustrated and the fact that it is credited to both Heinz Kluetmeier and his assistant Jeff Kavanaugh. As Laforet states, “it’s incredibly rare for photographers to give their assistants any credit for the images they take while on assignment with them,” but in this case, the photographer acknowledged the work of his assistant by sharing the credit for a great photo.
  • And lastly, PDN has two interviews with photographers relating how they made the jump from assistant to photographer here (PIper Carter) and here (Sherry Loeser). The short answer: once your work and confidence are good enough, just do it and commit to it.

Photoshop CS4 Preview Roundup

If you’re a nerd like me, new Photoshop releases always make for a fun trip around the web to check out the previews that detail new features and gadgets in the software.

Content-Aware Image Sizing

This very cool video by Dr. Ariel Shamir shows off his presentation on content-aware image sizing that was presented at SIGGRAPH this year.

It demonstrates a software application that resizes images in such a way that the content of the image is preserved intelligently. The video describes it better than I can, but the basic idea is that if you want to stretch out an image, it will keep the key elements of the photo in sensible places while filling in less important areas. The same goes for shrinking an image – it will eliminate the less important features of an image and leave the main subject areas intact and in the same relative location as they previously appeared in the image.

Just take my word for it and watch the video. It’s cool.

I would love to see some high-resolution before-and-after pictures to see what kind of quality this software is capable of producing. If the quality is good, it could be a genuinely useful tool (with some huge ethical implications for photojournalists!).

I’m also curious about the future plans for the software. It looks like it is currently a standalone application, but I expect Dr. Shamir could make some serious cash if he licensed this program to Adobe for an inclusion into Photoshop.

Update: Thanks to the user migawka below who has made the video available on youtube.

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Adobe Camera RAW 4.1 Released

Adobe has released version 4.1 of the Camera RAW plugin for Photoshop CS3. Mac users can download the plugin here and Windows users get it here.

This release adds support for a number of cameras, but it also has some helpful new features. has a handy article detailing what’s new in Camera RAW 4.1.

Photoshop CS3 Beta Available

Download the beta here!

Photoshop CS3 Preview

The National Association of Photoshop Professionals has a good, first look at some of the new features that will be in Photoshop CS3. Among the highlights are the improved functionality of Camera RAW and a big upgrade to the Bridge application.

There appears to be a lot of other potentially-useful functionality appearing in CS3, so hurry up and have a look!

Photoshop CS3 Public Beta Available this Friday

AppleInsider is reporting that Adobe will be releasing a public beta of PhotoShop CS3 this Friday:

“The Photoshop CS3 beta, which will be posted to the Adobe Labs website on friday, will include Adobe Bridge and Device Central components, and be available simultaneously for both the Mac and Windows operating systems.”

In addition to the feature additions that will be available, this release should get a lot of people excited for the fact that it will be a Universal Binary release meaning that it will be natively supported on Apple’s Intel-based computers. Unfortunately, for owners of those machines, they will have to wait a little longer to try out the UB PhotoShop CS3:

“People familiar with the Macintosh version of the editor confirm it to be a Universal Binary which ‘simply screams’ on Apple Computer’s new Intel-based hardware. However, they tell AppleInsider that this week’s beta will include only the standard version of Photoshop CS3.”

For this Friday’s release, it’s only PhotoShop CS3 that will make its debut. Other Creative Suite applications will stay under wraps a little longer:

“…the San Jose, Calif.-based software developer does not plan to release or discuss details of other Creative Suite 3.0 applications, such as Illustrator, Dreamweaver and InDesign.”

Head to AppleInsider for more details.

How to Remove Tourists from Your Photos

Every notable landmark seems to have one thing in common: visitors, and lots of them. But if you want that postcard shot or that image that shows how the location may have once appeared, you have a challenge ahead of you. This digital photography and PhotoShop tutorial will provide a means to remove the tourist throngs from your vacation images.

Taking the Photos

The technique I will describe here applies to photos you have yet to take. Unfortunately, there is no single easy way to get rid of people in the shots you already have. But instead of agonizing over long clone-stamping sessions, you can take shots that will yield vacant sites with only minimal PhotoShop work.

To start, you’ll want to be taking your photos with a tripod. A remote release or timer will also help (it will minimize the possibility that you may inadvertently move your camera between shots). You will also want to shoot using manual settings. As the scene changes, your camera meter may change your exposure values and that will make your PhotoShop work more difficult.

At busy sites, once you have composed your shot, you will find there is no end of tourist flow through your frame. You may find yourself quickly giving up on an image because you know that as soon as one group of visitors starts leaving, another will soon take its place. You might get lucky and everyone will flee the scene, but if you are short on time and/or patience, you may not be able to hold out forever.

The trick is, with your tripod-mounted camera, you can take your shot with people in it. Then, once people have moved a bit, you can take a second photo.

As an example, look at this photo I took at the ruins of Ta Prohm in Cambodia near Angkor Wat:

A lot of tourists loitering in the scene don’t make for such a great photo of a place that evokes imagery of explorers discovering a long-lost ruin. But with a little patience, I was able to get another shot of the scene with fewer people:

What’s important to note in this scene is where the tourists are and where they are not:

Make a mental note of the parts of the scene that were occupied by people. Then, as those parts of the scene empty, take a shot. The rest of the scene doesn’t need to be vacant, just the parts that were previously full:

Now, while still thinking of our mental note of what areas need to be vacated, we can still see one man occupying part of the photo. When he moves, we can take our final shot.

Putting it Together in PhotoShop

Once you have your sequence of shots you will want to open all of them up in Photoshop then copy and paste all of them into a single document as separate layers with your first shot as the bottom layer in the document. If you are shooting in RAW format, make sure that if you change settings for one of the images, you make the same changes to all of the images so that their exposures, white balance and other settings match.

Image Alignment

If there are small differences between the alignment of your images, select the Move Tool and use the arrow keys to nudge the layers into alignment. A handy trick for this is to change the blending mode of the top layer to “Difference,” then nudge the layer using the arrow keys. The closer the resulting image is to black, the better the alignment. Once you have finished the alignment, change the blending mode of the top layer back to “Normal.”


For now, we will make the top layer invisible (click the eye icon next to the Photo 3 layer). Next with the Photo 2 layer selected, create an empty mask for that layer, by clicking the mask icon while holding down OPTION on the Mac and ALT on the PC. Your mask should now be black and the entire layer is hidden.

Now it’s time to get rid of the people in your photo. Select the brush tool and use a brush with a feathered edge. Make sure the foreground colour is white, then Start painting into the mask of the Photo 2 layer in the places occupied by tourists. You will see the people magically disappear from the image!

Once you have removed as many people as you can by painting on the Photo 2 layer, make the Photo 3 layer visible, create an empty mask for it and paint out the remaining person. If you have to take more than three photos, keep repeating the process to erase any remaining stragglers.

You now have a landmark free of people!

Click here to see a larger version. And check here for more of my photos from Ta Prohm and Cambodia.


While shooting, if you waiting for any appreciable period of time between shots, the light in the scene may have changed. Once you have completed your masking and removed the people, you may be able to discern differences in lighting in the areas where the people were and where they now are not.

If the difference isn’t too off, you can correct this by making active the layer where the people are not present. Then, you can either any of PhotoShop’s tools in the “Image > Adjustments” menu to correct the change in light between the shots.

The Art of Photo-Manipulation

CBS News has an article about the current state of image alteration citing a number of famous photo manipulations that have made the news in recent years.

It includes this quote:

“‘The analogy I always like to draw is, imagine a pile of sand […] And when does it go from a couple of grains of sand to a pile? And surely, taking one grain of sand on and off doesn’t fundamentally change the pile of sand. But at some point, it’s no longer a mound of sand, and it’s just a couple grains. But where did that transition happen?'”

New RAW Processing Software

With the Photokina photographic trade show happening this week in Cologne, there is sure to be a host of news about new equipment, software and technology popping up all over the place.

Major RAW processing software packages are no exception. Apple’s Apeture has been updated to version 1.5. The update will ship this week and is available free to owners of the current 1.1 version. Adobe’s Beta RAW Processor, Lightroom has been updated to version 4 on both Mac and Windows platforms and is available as a free download from Adobe. And if you can’t have enough photo processing options, Light Crafts’ Lightzone 2.0 is also available as a free download.

Photography Links for June 27th, 2006

Creativebits has a brief look at PhotoShop 1.0 that will undoubtedly spawn some sighs of relief that the product has come so far from its early days. Though, one screenshot does reveal that even in 1990, PhotoShop had support for 32-bit colour!

If you’re a Mac user and Software update hasn’t told you so yet, OS X version 10.4.7 is available.

Microsoft has announced the acquisition of iView media whose Media Pro software is an invaluable tool for photographers seeking to organize large collections of images. The iView line will continue develop under Microsoft and will likely serve as part of a larger Microsoft foray into digital imaging.

Lastly, DIY Photography, in this article, shares some musings on the art of photography.

Adobe Lightroom Beta 3 for OS X

Adobe has just released Adobe Lightroom Beta 3, their RAW image processing solution currently only for Mac OS X. Download and try this public beta release at the above link.

For extensive coverage of the functions in this release, read’s article on Lightroom Beta 3.

Edit: I just had a quick look at the program and I personally find that it’s still far too slow for my purposes. I’m running a 1.5 GHz Powerbook with 1.5 GB RAM, so I am above the system requirements, but operations that happen quickly in Adobe Camera RAW just take too long with Lightroom. I hope that the program speeds up in future releases because a number of the features are attractive and it could be a good addition to my workflow.

Camera Raw Default Settings

The Luminous Landscape has a brief, but good article about taking control of the auto settings in Adobe Camera Raw.

I use this trick myself. While I sometimes use the automatic settings as a starting point for processing my images, I find it helpful to begin the process with the image as it appeared in the camera. Once you have changed your defaults so that no adjustments are initially made, it is a quick press of Command/Control + U and you can see the automatic conversion. Going the other way involves a few more button presses.

And like Michael Reichmann notes in the article, it is often the case that the automatic adjustments flatten bracketed exposures into separate images that all look the same. It’s much simpler to view these images initially in their original state than it is to have to uncheck all the boxes that have been adjusted by the auto processing.

Before and After Photo Retouching Examples

Brian Dilg has an interesting gallery of retouching examples that show the before and after of a photo and his thorough adjustments to the original image.

These pictures remind us that in this age of ubiquitous Photoshop trickery, what you see is no longer what you get.

As a side note, this site doesn’t seem to load up properly in Safari, so you might want to check it out in another browser.

Apple Aperture

Apple today announced a new RAW file processing application called Aperture. Check out some of the videos on the site – it looks impressive.

If it’s as speedy as Apple claims it to be and with some of its sexy features, it could end up being my new tool of choice for RAW processing. Tools like the loupe tool, the project management and the dust removal all within one single application could potentially make it find a place into my workflow.

Adobe CS2 Announced

The next version of the Creative Suite line of software from Adobe is set to be shipped in May. dpreview has a succinct round-up of what’s new in PhotoShop CS2.