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Adobe Photoshop CS5 Released!

You might have heard that Adobe has just released a new version of Photoshop. If you're like me, you might be a bit tired of constantly fielding upgrade offers from camera manufacturers and software companies alike since each upgrade means a substantial financial investment on your part with no guarantee of any perceived value coming from the new feature set. Let's face it...not all upgrades provide a reasonable enough amount of value to make the purchase worthwhile. Photoshop CS5 is an exception to that. If you are a photographer, digital artist, or graphic designer, get yourself a copy of the new Photoshop CS5. I've spent some time detailing a few of the new features in Photoshop CS5 that I find to be the most compelling. As a point of reference, I'm still running Photoshop CS3 and am planning my own upgrade shortly. Personally, I didn't upgrade to CS4 because I didn't find that the new feature set in CS4 provided enough additional value to warrant an upgrade from CS3. it goes:

The amount of RAM that can be used by Photoshop CS5 can be increased beyond the current limit of 4GB. What this means to you is that you are only limited now by the amount of RAM in your computer. You know how tough it is working with larger images because the speed of Photoshop slows to a crawl and things become really clunky? If you have more RAM that you'd like to allocate to Photoshop, now you can. This should make working with larger files much easier and faster. It should be noted that some computers might require more RAM to take advantage of this feature. RAM upgrades are relatively inexpensive.

Content Aware - Check out this video for more details on this feature:

Adobe Camera Raw 6 also includes a Lens Correction tab. Camera Raw will look at the file you have opened, determine the type of lens that was used in the image, and apply some distortion correction.

Opening an image inside of Adobe Camera Raw 6 will give you access to Luminance Noise Reduction. Dragging it to the right will remove the noise in an image much better than previous editions. Remember, you can use Camera Raw to edit .jpg files now too.

In Photoshop CS5, Refine Edge has been completely redesigned, letting you make selections in things like hair and fur much easier. Adding a larger radius to the selections you’ve made will yield better results than in earlier versions of Photoshop. Also added is a touch-up brush, letting you add and remove portions of a selection more intelligently.

A Gradient Tool preset for neutral density has been added.

The ability to save to unsupported bit depth for JPEGs (down-sampling 16-bit files to 8-bit) has been added.

Straighten image behavior has been added to the existing ruler tool.

That's a pretty stout list of time saving features already and there's tons more. There's alot coming out of this new release so there's undoubtedly going to be a learning curve to consider. I wanted to include in this post a few recommendations on resources to stock your shelves with to help you make sense of the vast amount of changes coming in CS5. Otherwise, it could be quite overwhelming.

This first book is by an author named Scott Kelby who has written many books, several of which I own, and is the founder of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, of which I am a member. His recommendations are always practical and riddled with his wacky sense of humor. They are also always loaded with great material and I find myself returning to them frequently for tips for both behind the camera and in Photoshop. He communicates well to an array of skill levels so no matter where you are in your knowledge of Photoshop, you'll be dazzled by easy to apply tips and tricks.

This next book is the A-Z of Photoshop. If you need to start out with fundamentals and work your way through the basics of photo editing with patient step by step instructions, this book is perfect. It even comes with a CD that includes all of the images that are required to follow along with the activities in the book. It is very comprehensive and works the reader in slowly de-mystifying much of Photoshops most common uses. The context is broad, in contrast to Scott Kelby's book which tends to be more situational in application. This book is not even released yet but you are gonna want to get your hands on it as soon as it is.

I've included a few links immediately below that will redirect you to discounts that Adobe is currently offering on several of their latest releases. I hope you can take advantage.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8Adobe Photoshop CS530% off Lightroom 2 with purchase of PhotoshopNew Adobe CS5 Student and Teacher Editions

If you'd like to take it out for a test drive, you can download a free 30-day trial!

If you have a moment and would like to learn more about Adobe's 20 years in business, check out their new Anniversary Page.

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