If you haven’t used any Photoshop software, should you start with its newest version Photoshop CS aka Photoshop 8? If you’re already using an older version, is the reduced price for an upgrade to Photoshop CS worth it?
What and What Not to Expect from Adobe Photoshop CS
CS stands not for Counterstrike but for Creative Suite. The whole package includes new versions not only for Photoshop but also for InDesign, Illustrator, GoLive, Acrobat, and ImageReady.
Version Cue – A file management system that allows you to locate files; its value depends on just how much you’re using Adobe programs.
RAW – This is a new format introduced as an add-in package for the previous version but is now included in Photoshop CS. It is definitely leagues better than the more common JPEG format, but unfortunately, no digital camera currently uses this format yet. Nevertheless, there are a lot of things you can do with RAW. If you convert your photos into RAW, you’ll be able to evaluate the noise reduction of every image and develop or edit it until you achieve the desired results.
Match Color – This option is a definitely a godsend! With Match Color, users of Photoshop CS finally have a simple and trouble-free way of combining two pictures that have been taken with dissimilar levels. Let’s say that you wish to make a collage, and you want all the photos to have a uniform tone or color. You can do that by using Match Color. Simply open all the photos you need to change then start adjusting the slider. Increase or decrease the tone until you achieve complete balance for all photos. Yes, it’s that easy!
Highlighting and Shadowing – This is arguably the best feature of the newest Photoshop version. Instead of painstakingly adjusting the curves and levels of your images one by one, highlighting and shadowing allows you to take an easy shortcut without sacrificing the quality of the outcome. For best results, you should start playing with shadowing first. After achieving satisfactory results, that’s the time you should switch to adjusting the highlighting options.
Blur Filter Option – If you’ve been inordinately fond of the blur filter option in Photoshop 7.0, you’ll definitely fall in love again with the new and improved blur filter option from Photoshop CS. This time, it takes the name of lens blur, and indeed you’ll encounter options that are all related to lenses such as blade curvature, focal distance, specular highlights, and iris. If you know what those terms stand for respectively then yes, you can expect the new lens blur option to work just the way those terms suggest. The only probable complaint is the amount of time this option consumes when applied to images that are larger than usual or contain too much detail.
Photo Filters – Professional photographers would certainly rejoice once they understand how photo filters of Photoshop CS work. To put it simply, photo filters allow you to correct the color choices in a photo almost automatically. To the untrained eye, error in color is quite difficult to spot unlike glaring flaws in contrast and brightness. But this is something that photographers would surely welcome because it gives them yet another digital means to make their already beautiful photos even more exquisite.
Ultimately, Photoshop CS is a dream come true for both beginners and professionals…but only if you’re willing to work hard learning how to navigate around it.