5 Cool Things I Saw at Photoshop World
Yesterday I was reviewing my notes from Photoshop World in Vegas, which I returned from a week ago. There were lots of great things to see at Photoshop World , but some really stood out. Listed below, in no particular order, are my top five “take aways” from PSW Fall 2010.
One of the best workshops I attended was titled, “The Copyright Zone”. It was presented by attorney Ed Greenberg and photographer Jack Reznicki. The pair write a regular column with the same title for Photoshop User magazine. Both of these guys have extensive experience dealing with copyright infringement. Their program focused on the importance of copyrighting photos to protect your photos from unauthorized use. Greenberg and Reznicki used real-world examples to demonstrate the importance of copyrighting even the most mundane images. The bottom line: Every photographer should copyright everything they shoot. It’s easy and it’s cheap. You can upload and copyright thousands of images for a mere $35.
Greenberg and Reznicki have a new book titled, “Photographers Survival Manual, A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age“. It’s a short book that’s easy to read,and it’s packed with useful information. Even if you think you understand copyright, you should read it. Otherwise you may be basing your opinions on one of the Top Ten Myths on Copyright, (which are covered in the book).
Cool New Photoshop Plug-in from Adobe Labs
Photoshop Expert and Adobe Digital Imaging Evangelist, Julieanne Kost, did a great program on how to shoot time-lapsed photos and combine them into a video using Photoshop CS5 Extended. During that program she also demonstrated a new Photoshop CS5 plug-in, named Pixel Bender, that’s available for download from Adobe Labs.
With features like Fisheye, Kaleidoscope, and Tubeview, this new plug-in enables you to do a number of unusual things to a photo. However, the coolest feature is the OilPaint setting. When you choose it, a brush stroke pattern is applied to the image. The resuling look is different from the typical Photoshop Artistic filters because the texture is added intelligently. Additionally, a series of sliders can be used to control Stylization, Colorization, Brush Scale, and other stylistic aspects of the process.
The dahlia photo at the left is a section of a photo I used Pixel Bender to stylize. Click on the photo to see a larger version. Like most Photoshop filters, OilPaint option in Pixel Bender does have a distinctive look. I find it best to run it on a duplicate layer and then blend that layer into other duplicate layers that have had other creative filter treatments. One thing to keep in mind with this plug-in is that it currently only works with files that are 4096 pixels in their longest dimension, or smaller.
Speaking of Julieanne Kost…
Julieanne Kost is one of the top Photoshop trainers in the world. Because I do lots of training and public speaking, I consider myself a student of training techniques and public speakers. I have to say that Julieanne was everything and more than what I expected. Her style was warm, confident, and engaging.
Though I’ve been aware of Julainne Kost’s digital expertise for some time, I never realized what a talented fine-art photographer she is. Before her presentation we were treated with a range of images from two of her projects, Window Seat, and Motion Color. Window Seat is a series of photos shot from window seats of airplanes. Motion Color is a series of impressionistic photos created by motion during the exposure.
Window Seat is also the name of a new book by Julieanne Kost. The full title is Window Seat, The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking. I haven’t read it, but if it’s like the rest of Julieanne’s books, I’m sure it’s worth taking a look at.
3-D Printing is Here
Some of the coolest things I saw at the vendors expo were new printing techniques and technologies. The one that really got my attention was 3-D printing from a company named Snapily Pro, Snapily Pro offers a wide range of online 3-D printed products, primarily intended for graphic design professionals. Products range from super-cool 3-D business cards to large signs. (There’s also a consumer version of the website simply named Snapily.)
The Snapily Pro booth featured several large sample prints, mounted and framed. Though they did have the typical etched plastic finish of traditional 3-D, they still knocked my socks off. Unfortunately, it’s hard to share the 3-D look of these prints on the web. You have to see it in person to experience it. With that said, the Snapily Pro website does have a gallery section where you can get a feel for the effect.
Secret to Photoshop’s RAM Sweetspot
Finally, a nuanced tidbit that appeals mostly to the true geeks among us. Most people tend to purchase computer RAM in multiples of two gigabytes: for example 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. However, I found out that Photoshop actually works best with RAM in multiples of three gigabytes: for example 3GB, 6GB, 9GB, and 12GB. On a modern system, the difference between 8GB and 9GB may be inconsequential for most software. But according to Adobe engineers, it does make a difference in Photoshop. How big that difference is, I can’t personally say. If you decide to check it out, please let me know what you find.