Adobe improves Lightroom


Lightroom 5

My personal favorite imaging application continues to get better: Last week Adobe briefed industry reporters on the new version of Lightroom, and this week the company is offering everyone an advanced look at the app, with a free beta version.

Lightroom organizes and enhances images with ease. The latest version adds an improved healing brush, an automatic leveling function, a radial gradient, and updated previews, slideshows, and book features.

The test software is here.


Photoshop on a phone: Adobe Touches Android and iOS


photoshop phone

While most of us take plenty of pictures on our phones, how many of us want to extensively edit them on the tiny screen?

Plenty, thinks Adobe. “Mobile phones are increasingly becoming the primary tool for people to take and edit photos, “the company says. “…Photoshop fans wanted some core Adobe imaging magic on their smartphones.”

The Photoshop Touch phone app “brings core features of Photoshop desktop software to mobile devices” and offers “intuitive, touch-based gestures and features,” Adobe says.

New features include layers, selection tools, filters, tonal and color adjustments, all with a 400-percent touch zoom. It can select and combine image elements with the Scribble Selection tool, Adobe adds. The $5 app can work with photos as large as 12 megapixels. [It’s a separate app — and purchase — from the previous tablet version.]


More information is here.


PixelTone audibly edits images



The next time you talk to your computer while fixing a photo, it might not be because you’re losing it…. Instead, you might be directing your image editing app to carry our a command.

A team of Adobe researchers are working with the University of Michigan to develop PixelTone, which they bill as a multimodal interface for image editing” that combines speech and direct manipulation.

“We observe existing image editing practices and derive a set of principles that guide our design,” they write. “In particular, we use natural language for expressing desired changes to an image, and sketching to localize these changes to specific regions. To support the language commonly used in photo editing we develop a customized natural language interpreter that maps user phrases to specific image processing operations. Finally, we perform a user study that evaluates and demonstrates the effectiveness of our interface.”

A full video demonstration of the software is here.



Adobe frees Revel online image organizer


From $5/month to free: Adobe is now giving away its Revel photo library organizer service, which syncs your photos among multiple devices.

Users can now import their entire photo libraries for free, Adobe says – ”As many photos as you want in the first 30 days.”

Adobe is still offering a $6/month premium paid subscription, to import more than 50 new photos per month after the first 30 days.

Revel lets you access your photos almost anywhere you go, Adobe says, back-up your photos to the cloud, organize and share all the photos you have, apply non-destructive edits, and share web galleries that update automatically.


New Photoshop features in the Cloud


I haven’t even tried all the features in the last version, and now there’s more — but the latest features are only available to subscribers: Adobe Systems says its new Photoshop CS6 capabilities available to Creative Cloud members include smart object support for blur gallery and liquify, 3D enhancements including improved live previews of shadow effects, and support for Retina displays on Apple’s MacBook Pro.

Also, the new “Creative Cloud for Teams” makes it easy for creative professionals to collaborate with colleagues, with easy management of virtual workgroups, and 100GB of cloud storage per user.

Adobe Creative Cloud membership for individuals is $50 per month; Creative Cloud for teams is $70.

Adobe expands DNG format with Lossy option

Many cameras have aspect ratio crop modes, e.g. 4:3 or 16:9, yet still save the entire sensor image to the raw file, says Adobe Systems.  A new tag in its DNG format will allow the crop setting to be respected but to also allow the customer to “un-crop” the image to see the entire sensor area.

[The technique is also available as a plug-in for Adobe’s Lightroom software here.]

Also new in the updated 1.4 specification are improved Transparency tags: When images are “stitched together” in an alignment process or panorama process, Adobe says, the resulting image could have “undefined” pixels around the edges.  The new specification update now allows for those undefined areas to exist in a raw file format.

Other advances include 32-bit floating point storage of information, for a larger amount of dynamic range, and a lossy compressed DNG file option that is based on JPEG but offers a compact compromise between that format and the full Raw image of a standard DNG: files are around a third of the size.


Adobe improves Elements

Photoshop Elements 11 makes photos look their best with editing options that offer virtually everything from quick fixes to a number of creative possibilities, Adobe says.

The program now has a “completely refreshed, user-friendly interface” built atop the same imaging engine as Adobe Photoshop — and new “Guided Edits” make pro-level effects like tilt-shift, vignettes and high and low-key easy to create.

The application can organize photos based on people and faces, places (via Google maps geo-tagging) or events.

Three cool new filters – Comic, Graphic Novel and Pen & Ink – “inspire creativity by turning photos into stunning illustrations,” Adobe adds.

Adobe also announced Premiere Elements 11, “with automated moviemaking options to take the work out of editing.”

New features include Hollywood-style “FilmLooks” that apply slow and fast motion effects; dial-in colors with slider controls; effortlessly integrate blends for seamless transitions; and make adjustments with presets, Adobe says.

The programs are $150 bundled together, or $100 for Photoshop Elements and $80 for Premiere Elements.

“Photos and videos allow us to capture and share moments in time,” Adobe says, and its “powerful – yet friendly and easy-to-use” software “inspires creativity and help consumers make the most of remembering and sharing these personal memories.”

Adobe updates Photoshop Touch


Adobe has added Retina display support and higher-resolution image capabilities (up to 12 megapixels) to its Photoshop Touch app.

Photoshop Touch 1.3 offers core Photoshop features in an app specifically designed for iPad and Android tablets, the company says, and creates layered images, edits images, and applies effects.

New effects in v 1.3 include Shred and Colorize. The update is a free update for existing customers on the iTunes App Store or on Google Play; Photoshop Touch is $10 for new users.

Adobe updates Revel

Revel 1.5 adds new album and captions capabilities to keep photo libraries organized on the Mac, iPad and iPhone, Adobe says.

The Revel photography app “marries powerful and intuitive organizing and editing tools with a cloud technology uniquely designed for photos,” the company says. “With Revel users have one place for all their photos, which they can access using their iPad, iPhone, and Mac.”

New features in Adobe Revel 1.5 include album creation on one device that is now automatically updated and accessible everywhere; sharing private albums with friends and family; captions;  and an updated UI which “makes the app more intuitive and easier to navigate,” Adobe says.

Subscription pricing for Revel is $6 per month.


Adobe Lightroom sponsors Trip to Tahiti photo contest

Adobe is asking you to enter your best travel photos in its “Around the World with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom” contest, for a chance to win a photo expedition to Thailand with photographer Steve McCurry.

Just submit a photo on the Facebook contest page, “and then join a rapidly growing community of Lightroom users who take amazing photos,” Adobe says.

The entry period ends August 23.

The contest is here on Facebook.