A few days ago, Adobe released several major product updates to the Creative Cloud offering. While the notification to update your software isn’t exactly a thrill-of-the-day, it is exciting when it’s a major product update from Adobe! The most notable update for photographers – Photoshop CC 2014. As geeky as it sounds, getting a brand new version of Photoshop feels a lot like being a kid on Christmas morning. There are loads of new features and pixel-twisting fun to be had, so let’s look at some of the new photography-related features.
Our top 5 new Photoshop features include:
- Focus Area Selection
- New Blur Gallery
- Content Aware with Color Adaption
- Type Tool Improvements
- New Warp Perspective Tool
Focus Area Selection
This is one of the coolest new features that is going to dramatically help photographers to extract subjects from their photographs. Focus Area selection analyzes your photograph and makes a selection containing areas of your photograph that are in sharp focus. This makes extracting people and/or objects extremely easy. There’s one magic slider within the Focus Area selection dialog box that does a fairly decent job to start the selection process, which can be further refined with a handy +/- brush tool to add or remove those pesky areas that need more detailed attention. You can also access the familiar Refine Edge dialog with one click to further improve your selection if necessary. Awesome!
New Blur Gallery
It’s always fun to play with artificial blur, especially for automobile enthusiasts. Now you can easily create motion effects with your still images. This one is for the more artistically inclined crowd, but still a very cool feature that will come in handy for many photographers.
Content Aware with Color Adaption
When Adobe demonstrated Content Aware Fill for the very first time, there was a reaction of jaw-dropping amazement. I remember thinking how this was going to change the wedding photography industry forever. Now we finally had a simple way to remove those unwanted relatives from wedding photos (*smirk*). However, through practical use, it became quickly apparent that it was not without some quirks – namely, dealing with color gradients and light/dark variations in photographs. With Photoshop CC 2014, Content Aware Fill with Color Adaption renews that first sense of amazement as you can make very rough selections around your subjects, then magically banish them into content-aware oblivion. You can also use this new feature with the patch tool for extra precision. In addition, there are two new controls to help Photoshop understand how much emphasis to apply to structure (details) and color.
Type Tool Improvements
While not exactly a tool photographers will use on a daily bases, the new improvements to the Type tool are worth mentioning. They’ll come in extremely handy for scrapbookers and card-makers alike. Now it’s quick and easy to find the right font suitable to your image. If you need a nice bold font for your image, you can now search for fonts in the top toolbar by entering terms such as “bold, light, italic…”.
Howard Pinsky of IceFlowStudios.com has put together a fantastic video to demonstrate these features in action. Howard is one awesome dude, and provides FREE Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom video tutorials to the graphic design and photography community. As an Adobe Community Professional, Howard’s Photoshop tutorials have been recognized by schools around the country, design blogs, and by Adobe. To date, the videos uploaded to the IceflowStudios YouTube channel and website have been viewed over 80 million times.
New Warp Perspective Tool
Sometimes we take beautiful wide-angle photographs of buildings and architecture that wind up with massive lens distortion. Photoshop already had some cool ways of dealing with this before, but now it’s even easier with the Warp Perspective tool. This works by drawing a simple grid over your photo, adjusting the corner anchor points to match your subject, and then warping to your heart’s content! Serge Ramelli covers this feature, as well as some of the previous features in the following video. Enjoy!
We’d love to hear your comments about this new release of Photoshop, so let us know which features you like best in the comment box below. Also, if you enjoyed this post, please spread the word using the buttons and join our insider community by subscribing below (for free).