I’m delighted to announce that the beta of the 64-bit-native Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 has been posted to Adobe Labs. Everyone is free to download the beta build and try it for 30 days, while customers of Lightroom 1.x are free to use it for the duration of the beta program. (This build expires Aug. 31.)
The Aperture changes keep on coming: Apple today has released Aperture 2.1 for Mac, an update that incorporates various bug fixes and feature tweaks. But the centrepiece of this version – the seventh Aperture-related software release from Apple in a little over six weeks – is the rollout of image editing plug-ins to Apple’s pro photo management and RAW conversion application. While Apple has included an example plug-in of its own, the roster of outside developers already working on plug-ins is the real story: among early plug-in creators are Nik, with Viveza, and PictureCode, with Noise Ninja.
I’m happy to report that Photoshop Express, Adobe’s new online tool for organizing, editing, and sharing images, has launched in beta form. Some highlights at a glance:
Includes tools for applying spot healing, distortions, sharpening/softening, color tweaks, image filters, and more
Offers 2GB of storage space for storing images
Supports tie-ins to Facebook, MySpace, and Picasa
Runs in any browser on Mac, Windows, or Linux using the Flash Player (v9)
Will include an AIR-based desktop version (useful for editing images offline) and printing services
Will remain free, with paid service adding more functionality
Why bother buying a pricey selective focus or tilt-shift lens when you can just “work on it later in Photoshop”? Well hotshot, it ain’t always that easy and you know it. That is, it wasn’t always that easy until now.
If you like offering the “beautiful blur” look in your portraits but don’t have the time or the knowhow to “work on it later in Photoshop,” onOne Software unveiled their new Focal Point 1.0 plug-in today at the WPPI 2008 show in Las Vegas.
Adobe has released updates to Photoshop Lightroom (Mac|Win) and the Photoshop Camera Raw (Mac|Win) plug-in, both available immediately for download from Adobe.com or via the Adobe Update Manager (choose Help->Updates from within Lightroom or Photoshop
One of the challenges that comes with maintaining a graphic-intensive website like Shifting Pixel is finding a way to get high quality images throughout the site with as little effort as possible. To tackle this, I developed the Smart Image Resizer and have been using it around the site for the past few months. I couldn’t be happier.
The major advantage of this script is that it allows me to resize and crop any image on my website without touching the actual image or writing any code. I upload each image once at a high enough resolution and can then reuse it at any size I want, anywhere I want. It doesn’t matter if the images are in a post, on a page, or in a template file–it just works. All of the magic is done through the query string part of the URL in the src attribute of the img tag.
The Photoshop Action Pack provides 87 Actions (86 in the CS2 version, and 85 for CS) that allow you to control a tremendous number of Photoshop’s functions. In addition, the Action Pack includes special filter operations that let you sort images based on various criteria including EXIF and IPTC tags, color mode, size, orientation and aspect ratio. With the Photoshop Action Pack, you can execute complex batch operations that are impossible with Photoshop’s own internal Actions. In addition to filtering by file properties, you can create branching logic for more complex functionality. While Adobe Bridge provides a simple interface for launching batch processes, it limits you to only operating on the files within a single folder. Automator has no such limitations, and provides are more ways to launch a batch process.
Because Automator can control much more than just Photoshop, you can automate entire photography and graphics production pipelines. For example, you can use Automator and the Photoshop Action Pack to batch process the manipulation of your images and then automatically upload the results to a server, or archive them to a CD or DVD.
A public beta of Microsoft Expression Media 2, the application formerly known as iView MediaPro, is now available. New in Expression Media 2 is hierarchical keywording, faster catalog creation and updating, basic catalog sharing across a network, better use of multiple monitors, support for new, mostly non-image file formats and more.
liveBooks, Inc. (www.livebooks.com), a leading provider of customized portfolio websites and marketing software for professional photographers, today announced the Spring 2008 release of liveBooks Professional. Research has shown that more than 80 percent of Internet users first find websites through organic search. To address this need, this latest release adds new features to enhance the search marketing functionality integrated into every visually rich, custom Flash website built by liveBooks.
When Gus Mueller released Acorn, his fundamentally rethought bitmap image editing app, I was excited. Partly because it filled a void in my tool belt, but more because I knew it was the start of something big.
For this lovely little app, good things are starting to come. Congratulations to Gus on today’s release of Acorn 1.1! I’m already looking forward to the next episode.
Without a doubt, the new official Apple Aperture 2.0 website is a truly excellent primary resource.
My favorite section in the newly revamped site is the Tutorials. In this section, Apple presents more than 50 excellent compact video tutorials, that is somewhat similar to a lot of the fantastic iPhone tutorial videos. There are also about 10 text tutorials in the same page.
EOS Utility 2.3 for Mac corrects a remote shooting problem that under certain conditions led to photos not being saved to the computer. The update is for Mac only, and the bug affects only Canon’s shipping digital SLR models that have Live View: the EOS 40D, EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III
Volume 2, Issue 1 of Adobe Magazine, the company’s quarterly design and technology mag, is available for download. The new issue features Photoshop being used for concept art, architectural illustration, and scientific imaging.
(Photo in screenshot by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)
A chat today with Apple’s Kirk Paulsen, Senior Director of Applications Product Marketing, and Joe Schorr, Senior Product Line Manager for Photo Applications, revealed a number of interesting things about Aperture 2, the most significant upgrade to Aperture since the fall of 2006.
While that all changes with Aperture 2 which can read RAW files from the Nikon D3, D300, Canon 1Ds Mark III, Hasselblad H3D-II and other cameras, some photographers may already be wondering about the future. Will Aperture 2 be ready for the coming wave of digital cameras or will photographers have to wait until the next version of OS X comes out first?
We got a chance to talk to Kirk Paulsen, Apple’s senior director of Application Product Marketing, and Joe Schor, Apple’s senior product manager of Photo Applications; about this very issue. Read what they said after the jump.