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A new version of Photoshop comes out, I'm initially really excited. But then I step back a bit and I say, okay, well what's the deal with this version? And is it really worth it? That's a pretty important question and whenever I begin to ponder that question, whenever I begin to ponder, okay well what's this version of Photoshop all about? I typically turn to one of the Photoshop product banners; I typically turn to talking to John Nack. Now John Nack has an amazing blog. It's blogs.adobe.com/jnack or you can simply Google his name, John Nack, and that will then lead you to his blog. Well, anyway I like to talk to John Nack about Photoshop because he has some really interesting ideas. And John and I have talk about Photoshop CS3 and about Photoshop CS4 and in talking with John I always think about this one experience that I had. And that was the experience that has to do with the Swiss Army Knife. There is this one amazing Swiss Army Knife; it has so many features in it, it is practically unbelievable. But it has so many features in it that it's actually unusable.
On the other hand, I was in a train in Switzerland, I was riding to the Swiss Alps and there was a guy in the Swiss Army who was in my train car and then I asked him, hey, is it true if you are in the Swiss Army do you actually use a Swiss Army Knife? And he said, well yeah, here is my knife. It was a pretty small and simple knife, and you know isn't that kind of interesting? A lot of times what the pro wants or what the pro needs isn't all of these features. They don't want to stuff in all of these excessive features that bloats down the functionality of something but rather they want something that's simple, that's effective, and that's productive. And that's a lot of how I think about Photoshop CS4. What they have done with Photoshop CS3 and now even more with CS4 is they have taken a tool that's good and they have made it better, not simply by adding new features, but by taking the features that are there and making it more flexible, more functional and they have increased the overall performance of Photoshop.
Ultimately what this means for me is it will help me to be more productive, it's helping me to be more creative and it's put a little bit of an oh back into the adventure. It's helped me focus in on the process of creating images. I don't have to think about all these new features that I need to learn rather I can be more productive and effective and creative with the features that I have because those features are now better. In addition it's helped me focus in on the details or on the content. I don't need to think about the interface. Now it's kind of interesting, I actually think about Photoshop less and I think about my photographs more. But it isn't that the whole point, right. The point isn't Photoshop, the point is photographs. And the new version of Photoshop helps me do that and ultimately the new version of Photoshop CS4, it helps me thrive, it helps bring some passion back to the game, back to the art and craft of photography.
So back to the initial question, is Photoshop CS4 worth it? Well, for the answer is a resounding yes, and I know for you perhaps that question isn't quite resolved. Yeah, one of my hopes is that throughout this training you will pick up some of that passion, you will begin to see how this application can help you get more out of your own photographic workflow.
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