With improved tools, faster workflow and some new tricks Adobe has concentrated considerable effort on streamlining workflow in Photoshop CS4, from the easy integration of files between other CS4 programs to a simplified user interface and faster processing. Many older features have been vastly improved, as well, from the Dodge and Burn tools to Layers and Masking. In addition to refinements, Photoshop CS4 also includes new features for both enthusiasts and professionals alike, like the Depth-of-Field Extender and Content Based Scaling.
Buyer's Guide 2009: Online Sharing & Services
A few stars in the universe of web-based options for photographers What's the best way to share, print and store your digital images? For millions of photographers—from casual shooters to pros—the answer can be summed up in one word: online. Over the past 10 years, web-based photo services have honed their skills and become an essential part of many photographers' workflow. Even pros who routinely perform all of these tasks on their own can benefit from the efficiencies of using online experts.
Buyer's Guide 2009: Software Plug-Ins
Extend the power of your photo processor with these smart apps Plug-ins are one of the best tools photographers have in the digital darkroom. They extend the power of our primary photo application-some by adding new functionality and others by making complicated adjustments much faster and more intuitive. There's a plug-in for just about every essential task, from color correction and noise reduction to creative effects and finishing touches.
Buyer's Guide 2009: Image Processing Software
The latest generation is more photographer-friendly than ever, with powerful
Photoshop has become one of those brands, like Coke® or Kleenex®, that's so iconic, it represents a whole category of products. It even has become a verb, as in "to Photoshop" an image. So it may come as a surprise when we say that it might not be the best choice for your photo needs.
Tiffen Dfx Digital Filter Suite
Replicate the effects of traditional filters and beyond with Tiffen’s Dfx Digital Filter suite
Known for its glass optical filters, Tiffen has taken some of its most popular filters and translated them into digital equivalents. Tiffen's Dfx Digital Filter Suite offers an enormous array of options for postprocessing creativity. And this suite of tools goes far beyond approximating common glass filters—you can simulate up to 1,000 different filter effects, reproducing the look of specialized lenses, optical lab processes, film grain and more.
Trade Tricks: In The Dark
Rescue your low-light photos from image noise with this powerful software
Digital noise is perhaps the Achilles heel of digital photography, but it doesn't have to be. Noise happens when not enough light reaches the image sensor. The less light that falls on the sensor, the more noise will be found in your photos; higher ISO settings may exacerbate the problem.
Short Report: The Perfect Cut
Fluid Mask 3 makes precise selections easy and quick
The technique of masking usually involves neck-straining precision and a tedious amount of time refining your edges to get the perfect outline. This requires a variety of brushes or selection tools and loads of time to get right. That's where software like Vertus Fluid Mask 3 can drastically cut down on the time you spend masking.
First Look: Nik Viveza
Speed through color and tonal adjustments with the ease and control of U-Point technology
Fans of Nik Software's intuitive U-Point technology (which is everybody who has used it in applications like Color Efex Pro or Capture NX) are in for a big, happy surprise with Nik Software's newest application, Viveza. If you're not familiar with U-Point powered Control Points, they allow you to apply adjustments selectively to particular areas of an image without the need for complicated masking.
Short Report: ACDSee Pro 2
Simplify image management, raw processing and common adjustments with this all-in-one solution
ACDSee Pro 2 is the latest upgrade to ACD Systems' popular workflow-management software. Besides making it easy to download, organize, archive and locate images, ACDSee Pro 2 provides powerful editing and RAW-processing capabilities. One-click Visual Tagging and extensive batch-processing capabilities greatly speed up and simplify workflow.
First Look: Aperture 2
The first major revision of apple’s image workflow app makes excellent refinements and extends support for third-party plug-ins
If you're a Mac user, there's a lot to like about Aperture, and its version 2 includes new features that greatly improve the efficiency and capabilities of this powerful imaging application—all at a new, lower price of $199. There are more than 100 new features, but we've focused on some of the more important changes that make this new version worth the upgrade.
Trade Tricks: Color Harmony
For the best prints, get your printer and monitor on the same page
The path to getting a better print starts with a color-managed workflow. Calibrating your monitor is an important first step, but for the ultimate in control, you'll also want to create ICC profiles for your printer.