More memory = faster Photoshop

I recently spent just over £120 to upgrade my main retouching workstation from 2GB of memory to 4GB. Photoshop running on Windows XP can only use 2GB of memory directly (see below) but the remaining ram can and is used by the operating system as a cache for disk writes.

I did try turning some of the system ram into a virtual disk in order to set it as a Photoshop scratch disk but got identical timings to when I just left the operating system to manage the memory.

Photoshop is faster now when handling large files, filters such as lens blur appear much quicker than before. Worth the money spent.

There is an option when running XP to set a special /3GB switch in the boot.ini that enables windows to allocate 3GB of ram for applications. I managed to get this working (you need to add a command line switch to account for the memory allocation of your video card). However I found that my timings were not as good as the timmings I acheived before using the switch so I abbandoned it.

X-Rite buys Gretagmacbeth

Having used instuments from both companies Im confdent that X-Rites impending takeover of Gretagmacbeth will not cause any problems.
A company statement says that they will continue supporting existing products for a minimum of 7 years so nobody should lose out.
Having said all that it would be nicer for their customers if they didnt merge but rather competed against each other to provide the best products.
All a bit too cosy in my opinion.

Windows Tip

perhaps you already use the Windows key to get to the start menu but did you know that if you press (and hold) the windows key together with the D key you can get to your desktop (all open programs are minimised).
Pressing the same combination of keys again restores the windows. This is very useful when you have lots of programs open but need to do some file management or such.

Improved Camera Raw for Photoshop

Version 3.3 of Adobe Camera Raw has been released with support for more cameras (including the Nikon d200). It also features improvments in other areas including display speed and image detail so I would ask everyone to spend the time getting the plug in and installing it.

You can read more about it here (also talks you through the install):

Adobe ReadMe.pdf

Download ACR 3.3 for the Mac

Download ACR 3.3 for the PC

New Terrastations

Buffalo have added some new Network Attached Storage devices (NAS) to their range. They will be available in the UK from Febuary. I have seen a price of £577 + VAT for the 1TB version.

We like these (and earlier) drives because they can be configured in a RAID 5 array, a great place to store valuable images in some safety. The capacity of the drive is lowered when set to RAID 5 but they can still store approx 12,000 60MB files which works out at about 5p per image (The price of a GePe slidemount 15 years ago!).
This new version has much easier access to swap the drives out if one fails. Im not certain as yet what the real life file transfer rate is but I have a feeling that like a lot of other similar devices they are not very quick.

These drives are suitable for individual photographers and small photolibraries. Larger organisations may need something bigger and faster. Contact me if you have any queries.

Buffalo website

Advisory – Adobe Bridge

I have noticed that Adobe Bridge displays images with a different colour balance than Photoshop CS2. Furthermore if the files are 16bit in depth the problem is worse and there is posterisation and colour artefacts present in the Bridge thumbnnails on some images.

This appears to be a display problem with Bridge (possibly a trade off to increase speed?) I will look into the matter to see if there is a fix.

In the meantime be careful of making colour judgments of images using Bridge, check colour by opening them in Photoshop.

This behaviour has been noticed on both Windows and Mac platforms

I have come across other references to this problem in the Adobe forum but have seen no feedback from the engineering team, perhaps they are busy with Lightroom…

Getty deadline for Digital Submissions

If you are a Getty photographer and would like help with meeting the April deadline for digital only submissions then please feel free to get in touch. I can help on a one to one basis to ensure that your new work is up to the required technical standards and provide training to help keep these standards.

Whether you would like a second opinion on a new submission or have no electronic imaging experience at all and need to start from the beginning I can help.

Tel: 01263 825277 or 020 7871 7519
Skype: copyrightimage

New raw workflow program from Adobe

Adobe have pre anounced a new program (still in beta) that they hope will take the wind out of Apple Apeture sales. Its called Adobe Lightroom and the free Mac beta can be downloaded from here:
(Short registration process to get it)
Adobe are reported to be working on a Windows version of the program.

more information on lightroom here:
Apple insider
Adobe Lightroom Forum

It looks like Adobe have decided to make a separate workflow / editing program for RAW files rather than bending bridge to fit. They describe this arrangement as being “modular” to Photoshop.

I will be checking out the beta this week once I have gone through some urgent client work.