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Whenever a new release of Photoshop comes out, I am always asked, hey Chris, what do you think about it? What's your take on it? What's your take on Photoshop CS5? And whenever I start to evaluate and think about a new release of Photoshop, I always go back to something that John Nack once said to me. John is a product manager for Photoshop. He works at Adobe. A fascinating guy, really bright. He has a cool blog. If you haven't checked it out, it's blogs.adobe.com/jnack. But anyway, what John said to me in a conversation about a new release of Photoshop was that Photoshop is really interesting because its been growing and growing, getting bigger and bigger, and we can either add new features and just that, or we can add new features and also take what we have and make it better, make it stronger, make it leaner, make it a little bit meaner.
That's really what's happened with Photoshop CS5. I kind of compare it to this analogy here. Take this Swiss Army knife on the left. It's huge. It weighs 7.5 pounds. These are all the features in this tool. So many features, it's not even really useful. Now, what we want as photographers are tools that are really simple. Sometimes, like in this picture of myself here with all these cameras, we bog ourselves down with too many tools. In comparison, one time I asked someone in the Swiss Army, do you really have a Swiss Army knife? Is it true if you are in the army, you get one of these? He said, yeah, and he pulled out a knife that looked like this.
This is a tool which is really interesting. It's pretty simple. It's pretty lean. It's pretty mean. It's pretty strong, and it works well. And a lot of times the professional tools are just that. Yeah, they have lots of different features and there's a lot in them, but what's in them works really well. So how does that make sense and how does that relate to Photoshop CS5? Well, in Photoshop CS5, there are some new features, and I have listed some of them here just to highlight a few. But even more importantly, what they have done is they have taken this tool, which is incredibly strong, and made it stronger.
So now we have better control over our selections. We can fill certain areas or remove things in really unique ways. We can work on tone, or we can reduce noise or sharpen or do better retouching. Masking is much stronger. Color is a little bit different. We can work with layers in a new way. We have different types of output, and we can change the way we work with brushes or access our browse our files. We can correct distortions. We can crop and compose. And as you can kind of see here, I have designed some of these highlighted new features in the shape of an hourglass.
They are all sitting on this line down here. For me, all of these new features, what they empower us to do is to work more quickly. It's about speed, right? Because if this doesn't speed up our workflow, it's not really worth it. If it doesn't make us more creative or innovative or inspire us to keep working, it's not really worth it. So is Photoshop CS5 worth it for me as a photographer? Heck yeah. And as a photographer what I feel that this tool does for me is it adds more flexibility to the way that I work, to my overall workflow.
It's a very functional tool, meaning it's a tool I can rely on, kind of in a day in, day out process. Also, it improves my overall performance. In other words, I can execute more quickly and I can come up with more interesting and compelling photographs. Ultimately, in my opinion, Photoshop CS5 helps me and helps us to be more creative and productive. If I had to distill it to one thing, I would say that Photoshop CS5 is all about helping us create more compelling photographs. So in answer to the question when people say, hey, is Photoshop CS5 worth it? Well, of course you are going to need to come up with your own answer.
But for me the answer is definitely yes. Because what they have done is taken this tool that I rely on and they have made it stronger and leaner and meaner, so that I can work more quickly and so that ultimately I can be more creative and create more interesting, engaging, and compelling photographs.
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