No need to upgrade to Photoshop CC in 2013

Having used Photoshop CC for a week now I can confirm that there is no real usability advantage in Stock Photography uses over Photoshop CS6. I therefore advise clients not to upgrade to Photoshop CC from Photoshop CS6.

Not only will this save you money it will save you a lot of money.

I do hope Adobe will come to their senses and reverse the 100%+ increase in pricing for clients who regularly upgrade their software would have to pay in renting CC as well as the fact that stopping renting will leave you without access to your files edited in none destructive ways (layered proprietary files).

In the meantime Copyrightimage supports the #adobe2014 campaign, described as “half a plan” in a very pragmatic way it uses the short term reaction by investors against the poor decisions made by the upper management at Adobe as a leveraged way to force change.

Let’s keep things in perspective, we just need fair price increases and perpetual licenses so we can keep things real for our own clients.

Stephen Johnson

Photoshop CC initial review

Spent the day retouching some Clive Nichols Plant and Flower images  for NEXT and some nice people pictures from Tim Pannell for MINT images.

I was using the newly downloaded Photoshop CC. How was it? well, no major changes to Photoshop CS6, performance felt better in parts but seemed to slow down in others, didn’t need to use the new tools as not relevant to the images I retouched (shake filter etc). For some reason best known to Adobe (and nobody else) the Output module has been removed from Bridge CC, so downgraded functionality, bit of a surprise that one.

Update: Adobe have said: The Bridge team is working on providing a separate, downloadable solution to reinstate the output functionality after Bridge CC is available.”

Are you missing anything by not renting Photoshop CC? – no.

Adobe are going to have to work a lot harder to make Photoshop CC worthwhile over the next 12 months because as things stand at the moment it is a waste of time and money upgrading from the perpetual licence of Photoshop CS6.


Update: Client Advisory on the use of the Shake filter.

I have been experimenting with some very slightly shaken images from a recent edit to see if the new shake reduction filter in Photoshop CC could make the images suitable for submission to Getty Images.

As you may know Getty Images have the tightest standards in the industry for the Premium Rights Protected brands, unfortunately the artefacts from the shake filter are visible at 1:1 checking view and would not in my opinion pass Getty QC.

Not the end of the world, all the submissions I make are on behalf of Professional Photographers and its very rare to find a shaken image. For printing/none critical/web images etc the new shake filter does a good job.

With Adobe considering Photoshop a Professional tool its a wonder they didn’t incorporate the shake filter into Lightroom instead.

Update 2:

A few days in and I thought I would try the shake filter again. This time not so bad. Still artefacts that are visible, the trick was to apply the filter on a layered copy and reduce the transparency then mask the worst of the artefacts. The resulting image was better and may have moved the image into a state where Getty may pass the image.

When I used the filter on day 1 there was a poor result, I had bought into Adobe marketing and assumed it would just work and it didn’t. So let me restate. The shake filter in Photoshop will not necessarily  make a shaken image suitable for Stone+ or any other of the premium collections in Getty. However, if the shake is minimal and you attenuate the effects of the shake filter then you may move the image to a more acceptable state.

Does this make it sensible to advise renting Photoshop CC? – no, not enough.


Lightroom 5 advisory

I have been running the retail code of Lightroom 5 this morning and it appears to work well.

As in the beta I’m particularly pleased that the delay in going from the library to develop module has been considerably reduced compared to Lightroom 4. The only other significant improvement is the smart preview technology which helps working on the collection away from base on a space restricted laptop.

Other new features are a bit so-so, nothing to dramatically improve client workflow other than the improvements mentioned above. You can read an independent review about the changes here:

It is possible to install Lightroom 5 alongside Lightroom 4 but I suggest existing clients not yet convert their working catalogues over to Lightroom 5  for a week or two just in case there are any surprises, if there is money involved then best tread carefully.

Lightroom 5 is available as a new or update perpetual licence though a cloud version is/will be available for those who like to spend more in the long term (and lose the right to use their catalogue it if they stop paying every month)

Having used Lightroom 5 across several updated catalogues as well as using it at a live capture NEXT flowers shoot supporting Clive Nichols I’m happy to report that I have not come across any glitches and consider version 5 to be my main choice when running Lightroom.

Updating older catalogues:

Make sure you have a backup of your main catalogue first:

Run Lightroom 3 or 4 and open your main catalogue. If closing the catalogue doesn’t give you the backup dialogue then open it again and select the following Lightroom menu item: Edit : Catalogue settings. From the General tab select “When Lightroom next exists” from the backup drop down. Exit Lightroom and make sure you select the “Back up” button.

Do not uninstall Lightroom 4 just yet.

Purchase the Lighroom 5 update and download it.

Install Lightroom 5, it should start up and offer to convert the most recently used catalogue, say yes to this.

That should be it, leave Lightroom 4 where it is for now but use Lightroom 5.



Processing batches of images in Photoshop that stop because of a quick mask?

Occasionally when working on an image I forget to delete a quick mask before saving the file. Not too much of a problem most of the time but a real pain if that image is included with hundreds of more images that need to be processed through an action.

For instance when preparing files for Getty I need to intelligently adjust the output levels using a custom curve . If the action is run on an image with a quick mask it will stop the action.

I like to walk away from the computer when processing lots of files so it not good to return and find that a batch of 200 images is only 4 pictures in because of an empty quick mask.

Because the quick mask tool is a toggle (Q key) it cannot be included in an action as it will turn on quick mask for images that don’t have one as well as turn it off for ones that have. It is however possible to sort this!:

1. Open an image and press the Q key to give it a quick mask.
2. In your action click on the top action item and press the record button
3. Open the channels tab
4. Click on the Quick Mask channel
5. Alt or right click on the Quick Mask channel and select delete
6. Stop the recording and move the new action step to the top of the action.

From now on the action will delete any quick mask layer if there is any, if there isn’t one then it will just fail gracefully and continue.