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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do You Need Photoshop?

The venerable powerhouse application does it all, but there are alternatives that may be better suited to your needs

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Adobe is aware that the complex possibilities of Photoshop can be overkill to many photographers, and with that in mind, it introduced Adobe Lightroom in 2007, a much more user-friendly image-management system. For both beginners and seasoned pros, Lightroom is well regarded by photographers of all ages, combining a nicely designed, easy-to-understand interface with the basic editing tools that most photographers use on a regular basis.

Much more sophisticated than Photoshop Elements and offered at only $299, the price is set to be inexpensive enough for pros to embrace as a day-to-day companion to Photoshop, while also offering enthusiast photographers an affordable image-editing suite.

Lightroom 3 concentrates its efforts on fast image processingof multiple files, with five self-explanatory modules that switch rapidly between Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print and Web. There are a variety of creative presets that also can be manually adjusted, saved and published.

There's support for video files, and it's simple to perform a variety of adjustments like watermarking, lens correction and film grain simulation. You can post to Facebook, SmugMug and Flickr right from the software, and for more complex image-editing needs, Lightroom is designed to easily export photos to Photoshop and import them right back into Lightroom once final adjustments have been made. List Price: $299 (Mac and Windows).


Adobe Nav
Addressing the mobile market and tablet computers, Adobe has released three Adobe Photoshop Touch apps for the Apple iPad, as well: Adobe Color Lava, Adobe Eazel and Adobe Nav. These touch-screen apps allow users to perform a variety of tasks on images from the iPad, like Lava and Eazel, which let users fingerpaint on the screen to mix and create colors and effects that can be imported into Photoshop. Adobe Nav allows users to work with Photoshop tools right from the iPad for a customizable control panel that's far more interactive than the traditional mouse-keyboard combo. You can keep Photoshop files cached on the iPad to share with others when away from the computer. Thanks to the recently announced Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit (SDK), there will be even more apps coming your way soon. The SDK kit lets software developers work with Photoshop to build new and exciting apps for Android, BlackBerry and iOS (iPads and iPhones) mobile operating systems. List Price: $4.99 (Adobe Eazel); $2.99 (Adobe Color Lava); $1.99 (Adobe Nav).


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