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As I believe I've mentioned before, I approach Photoshop from the perspective of a graphic artist. That is to say, I regard photographs as raw materials for my final designs, but if you're a photographer, we're not so far apart. If you'll forgive me, you aren't trying to capture the world the way it really is. Even then casually employed, the camera does that without your help. Your job is to show us the world as you perceive and imagine it. In other words, as an artist sees it.
Enter Photoshop's Advanced Painting tools. Although designed by engineers, the Advance Painting tools are artistic inventions designed to emulate traditional brushes. And because this is Photoshop, they let you paint with photography. The image becomes the palette for your imagination, which brings me to this. This is a Wacom Intuos, or more generally, a state-of-the-art drawing tablet with a pressure sensitive stylus; combined with Photoshop, you can draw as easily with this as with the pen on a piece of paper.
Only the pen becomes a thousand brushes dipped into a million colors and the paper is a snapshot from life. Whether you're a graphic artist or a photographer, you need this. If you spent your years communicating with Photoshop using a mouse or trackpad, this is an entirely different metaphor, one that gives you far more nuance control and responds to the emphasis of your touch. The simple act of writing your name is impossible with this, and absolutely implicit with this.
Now, imagine that degree of agility and responsiveness applied to everything you do in Photoshop. And now imagine that Photoshop CS5 is several times better at interpreting this than it's predecessors and you have a match made in heaven, as I will demonstrate for artists of all varieties, in the following exercises.
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