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Although I mainly use GIMP because it is free, I have had the opportunity to use Photoshop. It is a powerful, expressive image manipulation package. What does this mean in real terms. Well Photoshop is to the image as Microsoft Word is to the written text (although it is worth bearing in mind that whilst Microsoft Word costs a lot of Money, just like photoshop, there is counterpart available for free, which is completely legal).
My use of Photoshop has been mainly concerned with manipulating photos. Any digital image or scanned photo is never going to be as good as an original printed from film. Digital images can be noisy and a little soft. They also lack the range from darks to lights that a film negative will hold. This is where Photoshop is really handy.
You open your digital image, the same as you would any other file. You might find on opening your image that it has some of the above faults - I don't have an order in how I do things, but I do leave sharpening till last.
The first thing I have done is to remove any noise. The obvious thing to do would be to go in for the noise filter, but on its own this is not much good. You really need to experiment with the LAB mode and use gaussian blur on each of the channels, in varying degrees, depending on the size of your image - it takes some experimentation, but as soon as you are used to it this is the better way. There are also some commercially available plug-ins which will do a much better job than Photoshop - these also require a lot of experimentation, but they work much better.
Next I usually adjust the colour levels, brightness and contrast and general levels. Again you have all the controls here at your disposal and some might seen daunting to the new user, I found the key to understanding these controls lies in your own ability to assess a picture, i.e. to know if it is weak or overstrong on contrast, or to have an awareness of colour balance. If your eye isn't set up to recognise these things, it is no use plunging in and trying to understand what these controls will do. Some seasoned photoshop users, swear that you only need one menu item to cover everything, and that is the curves control. I have tried doing everything through the curves control and it is time consuming.
Once I have done these basics as I call them, I then decide on the crop and final output size of the image and adjust this via the various controls. Last of all I sharpen the image using the unsharp mask - NEVER use the sharpen short cuts, unless you want an image that looks falsely oversharp - the unsharp mask gives you a huge degree of control. Better still only sharpen the parts of the image that really need it. This will require some practice of using layers and the eraser tool to make things flow smoothly.
I have more or less told you the basic workflow I use with the GIMP, using Photoshop terminology
I would recommend you don't buy Photoshop as it costs hundreds, when you can get the GIMP for free - this is a program written by a collaboration of programmers who believe in 'free' legal software.
Understandably, these free programs seem to be constantly in BETA and do crash from time to time, so if you intend using Photoshop at a professional level (i,e, you can claim the cost against tax), then why not go for it.
Although I use GIMP, I am not going to knock Photoshop, it is excellent and if it is within your price range, at the end of the day you will be better off with it.
I've had photoshop for a couple of years now, and I think that its a great product. I have it for personal use only, enjoying playing with and editing images, rather than for a more business based use. With this programme, you can edit photos, create wallpapers, and much more. I mainly use it to create wallpapers, cards, posters and just to pass the time!
You can import brushes, meaning you can download them from various websites, thus tailoring the software to meet your needs.
As well as cropping and adjusting the colors of images, you can blend images and place them together graphically on one page.
It's great to develop your graphic skills and is great value!
The only criticism I have of this product is that it took me a while to learn how to use it, as it is rather difficult to work. I personally would prefer a software such as paint shop for the way I use it, as its easier to change the sizes of images, however, nonetheless, this is a fantastic product and does exactly what it says on the box!
Having used Adobe Photoshop for over 5 years now, I find this an essential piece of software to have installed on the PC. Initially the primary use has always been for photography and graphic design. Unlike the more simple photo editing tools, Photoshop includes more advanced features beyond the basic picture enhancement, sharpening and cropping.
Although Photoshop provides many useful features for graphic design and photography, for a novice to get the most out of such software one such either enroll in a graphic design course or at least get a book such as photoshop for dummies.
This software itself while very useful for editing and collaging images, there is a limit to its uses. If one is serious about graphic design I would highly recommend using Photshop in conjuction with other software such as Adobe Indesign. Indesign is specifically designed by Adobe to allow images to be imported from Photoshop and then manipulated so that one can make books, pamphlets and posters.
Unfortunately the price is very expensive in the region of several hundred pounds. This may be fine for a business or professional designer who will profit from the work they do using Photoshop but for the individual this is very expensive.
For the average technophobe or the sort of person that has a typical cheap budget consumer camera and just wants an easy and simple way of editing their photos, software tends to come free with the camera is fine. However for those who are serious about photo editing, I highly recommend Photoshop.
What a product! Adobe Photoshop 7 can take you from a web designer to a fantastic web designer. Adobe Photoshop is the number one software kit for creating graphics, images, image editing and web design. I always wondered how people made cool graphics and those amazingly cool websites ? well I found out and it was all the doing of Adobe Photoshop. This is a graphic?s creator or web designers dream. With this product you have hit the jackpot. ► What you get? ------------------------------- With your Adobe Photoshop product you will get all the usual stuff you will find, CD, manual etc. The important thing is the CD. Your holy grail if you like. You?ll also find Adobe Imageready on the CD. This is another Adobe product that works with Photoshop to make animations and such. Just pop it in and get the installation under way. ► Is Installation Hard? ------------------------------------- With a happy tone in my voice, installation was a breeze. I have a PC and my operating system is Windows ME. Whether anyone else has found difficulties in installation I?m not sure but I have never heard a complaint about Adobe Photoshop. Just follow the on screen instructions, which are simple to follow. ► What can you use Adobe Photoshop for? --------------------------------------------------------------- There are loads of things you can use Adobe Photoshop 7 for. Here are just a few: » Creating Graphics » Web Design Layouts » Editing Images » Editing home photos » Creating skins for applications such as winamp, notepad, etc » Creating user interfaces for applications or websites » Create Company Logos and other designs Adobe Photoshop 7 has many great features. You can make great designs using the superb filters within Photoshop to make things wavy, swirl, blur, pixelated, sharper, clearer, etc. The amount of things you can do is phenomenal. Recently I t
ook a photo of a car and lowered it and added neon lighting at the bottom of the car. I made the car look modified, lowered, and made it look like it had neon lights at the bottom in just a few minutes and the main thing is that you can?t even notice that it was changed using Photo editing software. The list of uses is endless. It?s just a matter of if you need it. If you?re a budding web designer/graphics designer then I?d say definitely go for it. ► What Else Can I do With It? ---------------------------------------------- With Above Photoshop you can create a professional image, and export it to other pieces of software to perform animation. I use Abobe Imageready that?s comes with Adobe Photoshop, which is also fantastic. You can also easily pop your web design or graphic into Macromedia?s Dreamweaver for easy website tweaking / maintenance, etc. If you use Dreamweaver, Photoshop is compatible and they work quite well together. I personally like to just make the image, slice it into little images and save it as a HTML page where I can manually code my website the way I want it using HTML. Others have their own way such as the Dreamweaver option I mentioned. ► How Much Will It Cost? ----------------------------------------- Well this is a big one. It will cost you in and around the region of £400! That?s very expensive for the home user but for the business looking to be modern, that?s not too bad for a fantastic product. If you find this price tag to large, you can purchase an earlier version of Adobe Photoshop such as 6, which retails in and around £300. This is also expensive but it?s just an example of how much the price drops when you buy an earlier version and in this case its only one version before 7 and there are versions 1-7 so you have a large selection. Obviously the newer version is going to be more advanced and will prove to be the best buy, buy the earlier
versions will also do a great job for you. ► How Does It Compare With Other Rival Products? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- + + Simply put, Adobe Photoshop it the best product of its kind on the market. + + The other major product that rivals Adobe Photoshop 7 is Macromedia?s Fireworks MX. Fireworks is another great product that does a similar job to Photoshop, but it is not quite as good as Photoshop, but this you another option to check out for yourself. I have both products and I was previously using Fireworks before I discovered how good Photoshop actually was and now all I use is Photoshop. One main advantage is that Photoshop has literally thousands of great tutorials across the Internet whereas Fireworks has fewer and they are harder to find. Photoshop also has more filters that allow you to manipulate your images more. ► Top Tips -------------------- Well, my top tip is when you have Photoshop on your computer, you need to start somewhere, so get yourself a few tutorials of the Internet and get cracking. Within no time you will be making your first creation on Photoshop. Start with the easy / beginner tutorials first. I would also advise that you get to learn the basics pretty well as Photoshop is a massive piece of software and you can become lost very easily. Here are a few tutorial sites that you can learn from: www.good-tutorials.com http://www.b-man.dk/ http://www.hateralligator.com/index.php http://www.webclass.ru/top.php These are just a few and there are hundreds of great sites that you will find. Just type ?Photoshop tutorials? into www.google.com and you will be shown loads of sites. ► Conclusion ------------------------ If you are anyway into graphics creation / web design, etc, then this is THE product for you. If you don?t use it, you are already starting from behind the st
arting line. With this you can become at the brink of your industry and be one of the best. Without it, you may just be average. And hands up who wants to be average when you can be a whole lot more. No one? Didn?t think so. But seriously, this is a great product. If you buy it, do some tutorials that are relevant to you and you were disappointed with Photoshop, I would be extremely surprised to say the least. Ask advice from other people that use Photoshop on what they think. But before you buy, make sure that you would find a use for it, because it is a lot of money to pay out for something that you may not use. Anyway, hope this has helped you. If you have any questions, don?t be afraid to ask and I?ll try and help out where ever I can. Liam ☺
I do a fair bit of freelance digital photography and I needed a professional photo-editing program. After trying a few cheaper alternatives, I splashed out on Abode Photoshop 7 (£550 worth of software!) and I now use it almost every day. For the price, I don’t recommend it for non-professionals, but pros will gain some really handy features on this new, improved version of the Adobe program. _______________________________ Adobe Photoshop 7 - The Package _______________________________ Here’s what you get for that ridiculously large some of money: Adobe Photoshop 7 – The main program has the same layout as before and all the features you’d expect to find for professional photo-editing are here. There are also some new features such as “Heal” and new transparency options for web graphics, but more about those later. Adobe ImageReady - This is mainly for creating Web graphics. But as the two programs (Photoshop and ImageReady) both have so much in common, I don’t see why Adobe didn’t just bundle them both together. Personally, I can never figure out which one to use for a certain job. Help Booklets - And plenty of them! But they're not really that much “help” anyway, and I find it easier to learn through using the program. The interface is user-friendly and experienced Adobe users will definitely not have any problems. If you do get stuck, there is an on-line help, but this only covers the major features. ____________________________________ Key Features of Adobe Photoshop 7 ____________________________________ What doesn’t it have? There are so many features on this thing that I’d bore you to death discussing every one; suffice to say this has all the tools you’d expect for the money plus a few new ones. Photoshop 7 doesn’t have quite as many new creative tools as I’d expected, bu
t the designers do seem to have sped-up the process of editing your photos with simpler and more effective tools. These are the most notable improvements on the old version and advantages over similar packages: File Browser - This gives you good access to your photos by letting you organize them according to size, resolution, name or a number of other pre-defined rankings. It also lets you preview photos in the same way that Windows does. Multiple Prints - This is self-explanatory, really; you can print many different photos on a single page. You can now also label and add captions to your printouts (I don’t think this was possible on the older versions). Transparency feature for Web graphics - Although you can get the same effect with a bit of fiddling about on most photo-editors, this tool makes it far easier. You can either use the “dither” tool to make an object’s outline become transparent and superimpose it over a new background, or you can make a certain color transparent so you can see the background through it. Being more of a traditionalist, I don’t go for this kind of editing, but if you use digital enhancement and superimpose a lot, you’ll save hours with this function. The “Heal” tool - this is by far the most useful improvement. When you get scratches on a photo or undesirable marks (like spots on someone’s face - not that I've ever had that problem with photos of me!), you can select a clean area of photo and paint that over the marked area. Unlike other “clone” tools I’ve used, though, this actually blends the tone and texture to match the area you’ve copied it to. It’s also very speedy – much faster than cloning. I can’t tell you how useful this feature is! __________________________________ The Verdict on Adobe Photoshop 7 __________________________________ Adobe Photoshop 7 is
impressive, but not what I’d expected. The new tools are much faster and have saved me lots of time, but I had expected more special-effects and creative tools at this price. I’ve also benefitted from a few of the less important features that I haven’t discussed, like the new tools for automatic color correction and tools for creating Web “rollover” buttons on ImageReady. If you do a lot of photography like me and need a program to edit your pics, the extra cost is justifiable. But if you just want to touch-up a few family photos, you should consider the software suggested under Other Programs to Try. __________________________________________ Detailed Information on Adobe Photoshop 7 __________________________________________ Minimum system requirements – Pentium 300MHz, Windows 98 (Windows 95 isn’t listed, so check the compatibility before you buy), 128 Mb RAM. Cost – Around £550. You get what you pay for, though. Where to Buy – I think E-Bay (ebay.com) sometimes auctions these. Amazon will also do you a fair deal (www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com). __________________________________ Other Programs To Try __________________________________ Ulead Photo Express - basic photo editing. It costs around £40, but won't do for the professional user. Microsoft Publisher Deluxe with Photo Editing 2002 - Predictably, this is one of the bestsellers. Publisher is mainly for businesses doing marketing, but this version has a photo-editor included. Costs £100-ish and can be found on Amazon. Roxio PhotoSuite - A great package for £30. Lets you remove red-eye on photos as well as having a wide range of special effects if you just want a play around. It's got a good feature for stitching together panoramic views, too. Probably the best software for home use, in my opinion. For further inform
ation on Adobe Photoshop, I recommend visiting www.adobe.com - they tell you far more than a humble reviewer ever could, but admittedly they'll try to sell you the thing...
Unless you've been living in a cave or are quite simply dull, you'll have pretty much certainly have heard of Adobe Photoshop. The latest incarnation is Version 7, following unsurprisingly in the footsteps of Version 6.0 (or to be more precise 6.0.1). Adobe and Macromedia have been slugging it out against one another for supremacy in the graphics department, which each new release of Fireworks (Macromedia's offering) and Photoshop adopting more and more features - all good for the consumer! After the usual painless installation (make sure you have no other Adobe apps open and you'll not even have to restart your machine!), Adobe Photoshop 7.0 on first impressions looked and felt very much like Adobe Photoshop 6.0 apart from a minor tinkling with the toolbar icons (nothing radical). To a certain degree I had expected this to be the case, especially as there had been such a leap between versions 5.5 and 6.0, and therefore I was only really expecting the tweaks to be superficial. As with the previous version, there is Adobe Image Ready included, except this time it is version 7 (a suitable tie-in). One of my gripes from having done a lot of layout work and web graphics using Photoshop was that you often had to have an explorer window open in the background if you wanted to preview the various files you were working with. At least Adobe have included an inbuilt "browse" function very similar to the browse function that has been present in Paint shop Pro since time immemorial. The browser lets you search through directories, producing thumbnails, as well as displaying certain metadata for you - e.g. file type, creation date, file size etc. There are also various sorting options which is a welcome development so that you can "rank" your images e.g. by file size, height width etc. which is more useful that it sounds. To date I have experienced a few problems under Windows ME using the file manager, but Windows XP has
not had any troubles... Similar to the Digital Camera Assistant in XP, you can also rotate pictures without opening them - great if you have a load of scanned pictures or pictures taken with a digital camera that are all landscape rather than being portrait orientation. Another great photo related tool is the "Healing brush" which as the name might suggest "heals" a photo by removing the scratches, dust marks etc. to allow you to restore the photo to its former glory. The cloning effect allows you to copy lighting effects that have been added, and the patch tool allows you to work more precisely on a specific area. In Photoshop 6 the most considerable work over was given to the Text tool (it needed it!) and this time round the brushes tool has been given the face lift, and special effects and patterns can be added to a brush e.g. chalk with a leaf effect, which provides the user with. Of course Image Ready which is an essential part of the bundle (as per Photoshop 6.0 there is a shortcut to toggle between the two) has also been given attention, as had the web-focus of Photoshop (clearly aimed at Fireworks which did this in its Version 4 as a swipe at Photoshop's version 5.5!). The web optimising process has been given the treatment to include improved transparency features, including the function "Map to Transparency", which allows you to select a colour in an image and for all occurrences of this colour to be then turned transparent - great for similar techniques to blue screen! And there is also a dithered transparency feature to allow for partial transparency - great for those gradual fills. A rollover palette has been included in ImageReady to help make it easier to produce killer rollovers, animated gifs and image maps, with rollovers being viewable in their various states. There is also a new emphasis towards the mobile internet - Photoshop 7.0 features the new WBMP export format for PDAs, which w
as previously only possibly by saving an image as a Bitmap (.BMP) and using third party software, as well as Adobe's unified XMP format (intended for simultaneous use in print design, web design and E-books) (for more info visit: http://www.adobe.com/products/xmp/main.html) which has hitherto been included in Adobe InDesign 2.0, Illustrator 10 and Acrobat 5. The Web Gallery tool has been given a make over - there are new styles and colour schemes, improving greatly on previous offerings and there is also password protection for pictures - similar to the previously used plug-in from Digimarc, and its offerings work very well. At the end of the day, most of the changes are merely like giving the product a general lick of paint, and there is no real departure from the tried and tested approach. System specs have not drastically altered - a P III processor is a recommended minimum, with 128Mb RAM and 280Mb hard disk space the recommended minimums, although it is highly unlikely that someone willing to fork out for this will be running a P III 600 Mhz machine in the first place. The OSes supported are from Windows 98 onwards, through ME and 2K to XP, although I have found a couple of teething problems unless ME - maybe more RAM will improve this. The software is also available for Mac (G3 or later, MacOS 9.1 or later, 128Mb RAM or more and 320Mb hard-disk space). Finally the pricing: EUR 270 (quoted from Internet Professionnel Magazine (German) for an Upgrade (for users of Photoshop 4 and later only!) or a hefty £449 + VAT (£527.57) for the Mac or PC full versions (from dabs.com). Ultimately this is not one for your home user, but one for the pros to use, as the price tag reflects. The home user is far better off sticking to the Paintshop Pro type of software - cheap, relatively high on features, although this will remain the standard piece of software. Photoshop is very powerful but takes a while for the beginner to master - a lot of features are
self explanatory, but not everything is clear if you have never used an Adobe product before in your life. By rights it gets five stars for being a top product, but given the fact that there is not that much improvement on Photoshop 6.0.1 - I have kept both installed for the time being, I think it is only four stars for this product, although once the extended playtesting has occurred I'll gladly revise my judgment.