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Latest Photoshop?

1. xymonau10 November 2010, 8:07 GMT +01:00

Can someone tell me what is the latest full version of Photoshop, when is it due to be upgraded, and about any other Adobe products that would be sufficient for the type of images I do normally, without buying the whole thing? I might have enough money at present to purchase it, but I'm not sure I even want it right now. I need a new computer, camera and PS if I want to get serious about selling anything.

2. crisderaud10 November 2010, 15:30 GMT +01:00

Photoshop CS5 is the latest version and by far the best one. It was released Oct 2009. The next version will probably ship sometime in 2012.

You will need to get a new desktop computer before you get the software. Chances are your old computer won't have the hardware necessary to run the software. PS may crash your computer in the middle of a project if your hardware is not up to par.

Also, consider getting a new monitor, 22" widescreen, which will run off a digital signal instead of the analog signal like you probably have now. They are reasonably priced these days. The widescreen gives you lots of room for your tools palettes and more actual working space so you don't have to pan as much.

3. Ayla8710 November 2010, 15:48 GMT +01:00

I've found that you can download a free 30 days trial version of Photoshop CS5 from the adobe website, so there is no need to "blindly" buy something.

I agree with Cris - a reasonably fast computer must be there first, even before you start a free test of the software.
--Michael

4. Maffu10 November 2010, 19:18 GMT +01:00

As far as other products go, before you splash out a fortune on Photoshop CS5 consider buying Photoshop Elements 9.
It's a re-engineered version of PS aimed at the consumer level rather than at professional retouchers. Don't let that make you think that it doesn't have all the features you need to sort out your images though. CS5 has features that you will almost certainly never use, which are aimed at print houses and such.
I'd suggest you start by downloading a demo of Photoshop Elements from the adobe website and have a look at it.
Other programmes include Paint.NET (not to be confused with Microsoft's Paint), a free image editing package that is surprisingly powerful, and GIMP, an open-source package that can do almost all of the things that Photoshop can do. The GIMP has a bit of a steep learning curve though and I find it somewhat clunky and counter intuitive, but that's probably because I've used Photoshop for so long.

5. Maffu10 November 2010, 19:24 GMT +01:00

Forgot to say Photoshop Elemnets costs around 85AUS$ as opposed to CS5 which I think will run you about 770AUS$

6. fishmonk10 November 2010, 20:35 GMT +01:00

I could never afford PS, although I have used it in the past.
I use Elements 9 and am very impressed with all it can do - especially for the money.

There is only one thing I used to do in PS which I haven't been able to do in Elements & that is fading masks using layers. For everything else I do, Elements works as well as PS did.

Things I do regularly in Elements include adjusting contrast, colour correction, using curves, fixing colour problems, red eye removal, cleaning blemishes, using clone tool to get rid of logos etc (my favourite), sharpening, blurring, correcting or adding distortion (barrel, tilt, vignette etc), adding effects like posterizing or adding texture like canvas etc

You can create buttons & bevelled edges and add 'age' both tonally & with texture.

If money was no object I would always opt for the newest & fullest version of PS.

Nevertheless I am perfectly content with Elements for my purposes.

Dan

7. crisderaud10 November 2010, 23:23 GMT +01:00

The only reason I have the full version of Photoshop is that my brother found version CS2 at a computer store going-out-of-business sale. He got it for 100USD.

Since then, I have squeezed enough money from the budget to get the upgrades which go for 200USD. Also, since then, I have been trying to learn how to use all of its capabilities. The learning curve is steep and long. It's like playing tennis and golf. It takes tons of training and practice before you can even play the game and then you will never master it.

Elements is a lot more intuitive for making adjustments to photos while PS is good for making the perfect photo or creating a composite from images. If you need to do a lot of masking selections, blending layers and working with text, then that's where you need the full version.

The full version is great to have, but ask yourself first, "Do I have the time and the patience to learn how to use it to justify the expense?"

8. xymonau11 November 2010, 8:56 GMT +01:00

Thanks for everyone's input. I will try the elements, but it sounds fairly basic. I know PhotoImpact didn't get much respect, but it is a fairly complex program, and it's the only one I've ever used - with third party plugins. I have Gimp, but I don't like it much. I am thinking of perhaps being able to sell some stock images in the future, and a decent camera first, then good editing, all backed up on a decent computer, seems to be what I have to do. The problem is I'm not in great health right now, and not likely to be getting better in the short term, so my earning capacity might be cut short. I need to hold onto my money, unless it's an investment for the future. I'm prepared to pay the money if I persist with learning Photoshop, and since I did with PI (a long course with 96 units), I think if I spent the money, I would. They'd let me have it in the dementia ward, wouldn't they? :)

9. crisderaud11 November 2010, 14:04 GMT +01:00

Oh, they would welcome you bringing it to the ward. Anything to keep you occupied! :)

10. micromoth11 November 2010, 14:22 GMT +01:00

I'm using Photoshop Elements 7 but will upgrade to 9 before long. I find it copes well with pretty much anything I want to do with it, though admittedly I've never tried doing graphics like Dez's. Photos I've edited with Elements 7 have been accepted by commercial stock sites (though making a living from sales is still a very, very long way away!!) I would agree that full Photoshop CS5 has far more than most people except the professionals will ever want/need. And it's far too much money for my pocket!

11. lennie12 November 2010, 1:31 GMT +01:00

@micromoth:

I recently noticed you can do drawing on the DeviantArt site:

http://muro.deviantart.com/

Just try the brushes, it's actually pretty good for a browser-based drawing program.

(a recent version of your browser is very much recommended, maybe even a beta)

Supposedly, some do use it.

12. micromoth12 November 2010, 8:19 GMT +01:00

@ 11 That's interesting Lennie, thank you, I'll check it out. I actually have Serif DrawPlus X4, but like all these things it's a matter of finding the time to learn how to use it properly!

13. crisderaud30 November 2010, 4:30 GMT +01:00

I had downloaded the new Photoshop Elements 9 yesterday to see what it has to offer.

I wholeheartedly recommend this software as it has nearly everything you need to make quality photos for this site.

Adobe was selling it for 50USD through the end of November in the US. It;'s still available online for prices slightly higher than that. Upgrades from a previous version are cheaper but don't get that unless you do have a previous version of Elements.

Here is a texture I made with Elements 9 just fooling around. No photo was used in the making of this texture. http://screencast.com/t/xllua8UL

14. xymonau30 November 2010, 9:25 GMT +01:00

It's a great texture, Cris. I'll have a look online.

15. dlritter30 November 2010, 10:48 GMT +01:00

Here's the link to Adobe's Photoshop Elements page.

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopel/

You can download a 30 day demo here to see if you like it.

https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=photoshop_elements&loc=en_us

16. weirdvis30 November 2010, 13:07 GMT +01:00

Yeah. A coping 'puter beast is a must. Because I do a lot of graphics heavy stuff I found the need for a new graphics card too because the old one just couldn't cope. I can tell you that you'll love the software though.

17. crisderaud30 November 2010, 16:51 GMT +01:00

Note: Adobe ships this software through the Akamai Download Manager and I found it was not particularly fast. The file size is 1.75 Gigabytes which took over an hour to complete.

The half price special offer ends today (US only too) so if I were buying this software, I would seriously order the physical disk from a third party vender while I used the trial until the disk arrived.

Also, make sure you get version 9 so that you have the layer mask capability and many other perks that older versions don't have.

18. decar6630 November 2010, 22:55 GMT +01:00

So what about Adobe Lightroom, what's your experience with this software? I've never tryed it. Would you recommend it just for fine tune photos?

19. crisderaud1 December 2010, 0:32 GMT +01:00

I never tried Lightroom because of the low number of pictures I snap. I believe it is named from a combination of the words darkroom and lightbox where you can look at a large number of pictures and do quick selection of the ones you want to process and apply batch processing.

You can view overviews and tutorials about Lightroom at Adobe.TV featuring Julieanne Kost who is an Adobe evangelist and member of the Adobe Hall of Fame.

http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/

20. decar661 December 2010, 9:23 GMT +01:00

"Adobe evangelist" XDDDD Yeah! loving that.

Thanks Cris.

21. Ayla871 December 2010, 9:52 GMT +01:00

I've bought Lightroom and PS5 last month. I'm not very good at photoshopping yet, so Lightroom seems to be a good addition to PS. Not only to organise lots of photos (which I have neither), but because it offers a good range of first steps to improve the picture quality, reduce noise and color fringing and things like that. All of this can be accomplished by PS, too, but I have the impression that it is easier to do the first steps with Lightroom - with surprisingly good results. With a simple mouseclick you can then continue to fine tune your photo in PS, so these two products nicely work hand in hand. There is a free 30 days trial version of Lightroom available for download, too, so I think it is worth a try.
--Michael

22. crisderaud1 December 2010, 17:39 GMT +01:00

I use the RAW editor and import from the Bridge. (use icon or Ctrl + R)
Here are some of my favorite controls and tools http://screencast.com/t/IvDi1ZY10

Starting from right and going clockwise:

- Noise and Sharpen Panel has control sliders for both luminance and color noise

- Hue Saturation Luminance Panel. Under the saturation and luminance tabs there are 8 basic color sliders that effect only that color. Move the blue slider to make just the blue sky bluer, green for grass, orange for fall leaves etc.

- Auto Button. Many times it gives you a good starting correction. Hit and miss but worth trying.

- Clarity Slider. Professional portrait photogs often move it to the left (negative) to soften the skin. Move to right increases contrast along edges which results in a sharpening enhancement.

-White Balance Tool. Instant color correction when clicked on anything neutral (gray) and not totally white or totally black.

-Spot Remover. A little tricky to use but works well once you get the hang of moving the correction circles.

The RAW editor works with jpeg too.
RAW adjustments can be readjusted or undone after you had applied them and returned to Photoshop or the Bridge.

23. Ayla872 December 2010, 14:52 GMT +01:00

Thanks, Cris, these are very useful tipps. I was astonished, too, to learn that the RAW editor works with jpgs. My Camera can't produce RAWs, so it is really great to work with a jpg in the RAW editor instead.
--Michael

24. weirdvis2 December 2010, 15:02 GMT +01:00

I didn't know that RAW works with jpgs too. I am so going to try that out...

Thanks Cris.

25. crisderaud2 December 2010, 16:26 GMT +01:00

You are welcome.

For some real training on Lightroom 3 go to this series of lyndapodcast videos on YouTube. These are professional tutorials from Lynda.com.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IMUmvPMpKQ&feature=sub

Lynda.com has generously posted over 2,000 professional tutorial videos on YouTube under the name lyndapodcast. All the Adobe products are listed, Illustrator, Elements, RAW, Photoshop etc.

This is really a gold mine of information and too good to pass up. Remember too that YouTube videos are easily saved to your computer so you can refresh your memory on a technique without having to search through YouTube again.

Edit: I was signed into YouTube and didn't realize I have extended access to the Lynda.com tutorials because I have an account with Lynda.com. Although I was not signed in at Lynda, it recognized my access. YouTube and Lynda.com must have a joint arrangement I was not aware of.

There are still 331 videos to watch by lyndapodcast, but if you really want to do some in depth training, sign up with Lynda.com for a couple months and absorb as much as you can at her website and not YouTube.

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