Photoshop CC2015.1.2 What’s New

Photoshop is a primary tool for many photographers. Some photographers prefer Lightroom because it easier to learn. I think Lightroom has limited use and almost everything in Lightroom can be done with more control in Photoshop. The bottom line is that both programs come for one price about $9.95 US\month as subscription to the cloud. A monthly subscription means you don’t have to shell out $700 plus for Photoshop, but it also means you have to pay as long as you use it. The price can go up anytime, but I think if that happens many photographers will search for an alternative. There are free alternatives to Photoshop like GIMP.

I have been teaching Photoshop at local colleges for almost two decades. One of the good things is that now each college classroom will have the latest version of the software. Some colleges would only upgrade the software every few years or use free 30 day download and that made it frustrating when I taught advanced courses.

Photoshop is a primary tool for many photographers. Some photographers prefer Lightroom because it easier to learn. I think Lightroom has limited use and almost everything in Lightroom can be done with more control in Photoshop. The bottom line is that both programs come for one price about $9.95 US\month as subscription to the cloud. A monthly subscription means you don’t have to shell out $700 plus for Photoshop, but it also means you have to pay as long as you use it. The price can go up anytime, but I think if that happens many photographers will search for an alternative. There are free alternatives to Photoshop like GIMP.

I have been teaching Photoshop at local colleges for almost two decades. One of the good things is that now each college classroom will have the latest version of the software. Some colleges would only upgrade the software every few years or use free 30 day download and that made it frustrating when I taught advanced courses.

Once you subscribe to the cloud you can download the software on two computers, and one can be a PC and the other a Mac. Also if you want more copies, you need to register with a different email for each package that you purchase. I have 2 accounts – a total of 4 copies of Photoshop CC. The Mac vs PC issue doesn’t interest me, neither does the Nikon vs Canon or any other brand – it’s the photographer that matters not the hardware – folks. As for Photoshop vs Lightroom – well I believe those that want more control will choose Photoshop.

New Photoshop CC 2015.1.2 Features

In this article I am going to show some of the new features that have been added to Photoshop. The first new feature when you open Photoshop is a new start screen. I find this screen annoying and turn it off in Preferences. Edit > Preferences > General > uncheck show Start Workspace When no documents are open.

The second feature that stands out is the modified tools panel. It can collapse into a single column which provides users with more editing space on a laptop and this has been around for several versions, but since I have used Photoshop since 1989, I prefer to double it up. The new feature is the ability to modify the tools palette as you like by clicking on the “…  ” 3 dots – hold for about 3 seconds and a new palette appears shown below or just click the … and select edit tool bar. You can drag tools from the right side into the left where you want them to appear. Nice feature, but I was fine with where the tools were. In addition on my PC but not my Mac – the Quick selection mask was disabled and I had to click on it for it to appear on the tools palette.

A new feature added to Photoshop Cloud is the Camera RAW filter. By selecting Filter > Camera RAW filter it is easy to open a .jpg or .tif file in Adobe Camera RAW. This is quite a nice feature as you can now quickly modify the white balance or exposure and several other features of a .jpg. You can upsize the image in Camera RAW like you can a  RAW file. I am not saying you can now photograph .jpg instead of RAW files, but often I am given .jpg file to work on. I still recommend you shoot in Camera RAW most of the time if quality and flexibility is crucial.


Oil Painting Filter – its Back!

While its possible to use the Mixer Brush tool to simulate an oil painting, this takes time and sometimes I want a quick way to convert a picture to a simulated oil painting. The feature was added, then removed and I presume after receiving complaints it was brought back. To apply the filter you simply open an image and select Filter > stylize > Oil paint – and play with the sliders in the pop up box. Nice, quick and easy.

Artificial Trees

This feature allows you to add a variety of trees to a landscape. I imagine this was done for folks working on computer games and architecture. If you are going to add trees to a picture you should first create a new layer so you can resize and position the tree where you want – otherwise it will appear in the center of the image and won’t be editable. To add a tree Select Filter > Render > Tree.  You can select quite a variety of trees, change their branching pattern and color of the leaves. They look OK, but its easy to see they are not real trees and hopefully this feature will get better in future versions.

Add Frames

It’s not difficult to create and simulate a picture frame in Photoshop and there are many tutorials on the web.  Still Adobe has made it even easier to add a picture frame to your images. Select > Filter > Render > Picture Frame – and modify the various sliders to get the type and size of frame you want.

Dehaze Filter in Camera RAW

To use this filter open a RAW file in Camera RAW Select > fx tab > and then slide the Dehaze filter to the right to remove haze, to the left to add haze. I like this filter because it can remove haze, or add it to a photo to add mood. Below are a few examples.