The Adobe corporation has released a beta version of Photoshop CS6 that can be downloaded from labs.adobe.com/technologies/photoshopcs6/
The pre-release Photoshop CS6 is called Superstition. Why? No idea.
The new Photoshop comes with a new version of Adobe Camera Raw – version 7 – which has some changes to the way the adjustment sliders are named and how they work. They bring ACR 7 into line with Lightroom 4.
CS6 has a new interface with a different colour scheme (customisable) and redesigned icons and cursors. There is nothing to frighten users of previous versions, and that may be the main criticism of the new release – it is not different enough.
New Content-Aware Move works by selecting the element in the picture that you wish to shift from the right to the left of the frame, or whatever, and it does a pretty good job of relocating the item, filling in the space and fitting it nicely into its new position. How well it works depends very much on the complexity of its original and destination context.
The Marquee tool now displays the dimensions of the frame being drawn. And the Iris Blur tool is welcome. It has been possible to create an out of focus effect in an image area but now it is easier, using the new tool. A rough, adjustable outline is overlayed on the image and the user chooses the centre point for sharp focus and the edges of the blurred area.
The overdue new feature is auto-save, something we have had in Microsoft Word for years. At our place the power always goes off just as we are putting the finishing touches to a three hour Photoshopping job, which we have not been sensible enough to save along the way, and it is all gone, usually literally in a flash. Now with the autosave feature recovery from catastrophe is automatic.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 will be free to download for a few weeks, the splendid New Zealand photographic magazine f11, on the other hand, looks as though it will always be gratis. (f11magazine.com)
The current issue, 102 pages, is number eight and is available for PC, Mac, iPad and tablets – on some platforms it needs to be downloaded as a pdf. The layout and design are superb, although we could do without the simulated page curve where facing pages meet at the spine.
The work of New Zealand and Australian photographers displayed in f11 is inspiring. Give it a go, and do subscribe – it is free but presumably the more readers who sign up the better the advertising revenue for the publishers. They deserve it.