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Photoshop Q&A With Martin Evening

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Photoshop Q&A With Martin Evening: Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

In conjunction with the release of Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, we asked author Martin Evening some member's questions.

We asked members of the ePHOTOzine community if they had any questions for Martin about CS6, as he is a Photoshop expert. A big thank you to all those who contributed in the forum! We sent your questions over to Martin, and this is what he said:

Carabosse asked: Could you expand upon the new features of CS6 and how they can best be used to enhance our image processing?

Martin Said: Well, that would require a very long reply! To provide you with a short answer I would say that you need to look firstly at Photoshop CS6 image processing in terms of what is new in Camera Raw 7. Here, the new Process 2012 processing provides a much improved update upon Process 2003 and 2010. The new Basic panel controls now allow you greater control when editing the tones in raw and also non-raw images. So lots you can do there to improve the look of new and legacy images. As for Photoshop itself, there are a number of new features such as better automatic image adjustments that can also help improve the pixel image processing.

Big Bri asked: What do you consider the most useful new feature in CS6?

Martin said: In my view it is undoubtedly the new Adaptive Wide Angle filter. I think this filter will be a particular hit with landscape and architectural photographers. In the work that I have done with it I have been particularly impressed at having the ability to interact with an image and selectively define the edges or areas where the perspective needs to be corrected. I have found several good examples where it is possible to edit an image and achieve an edited view where the perspective ends up looking much closer to the way I actually perceived the original scene. The difference between this approach and applying a global lens correction adjustment is quite an eye-opener!

JackAllTog asked: Why should i choose photoshop over Adobe Lightroom and Elements 10?
Is CS6 all about warp tools and reconstructing the original picture elements, or is it still a worthwhile product for enhancing photos as taken?
Can you explain how Photoshop produces better (not simply quicker) results than Lightroom and Elements?

Martin said: This is a very good question. Why should people spend more money on Photoshop? Look, I like using Photoshop and wouldn't want to be without it. But on the other hand I fully recognise that if you purchase the Lightroom 4 program from Adobe, you are getting the exact same Camera Raw features as are in Photoshop CS6, but for a fraction of the cost (and they are much easier to use in Lightroom). If you can do all the main image management and raw processing work in Lightroom, then the post-production work can be done just as easily using Elements rather than Photoshop. My advice to photographers on a budget would be to look at upgrading Lightroom first and consider using Elements in place of Photoshop, especially if you don't really need the latest version features and aren't reliant on the need to do things like CMYK conversions.

Joshwa asked: What are the computer specs required for CS6? Is it hard on your machine?

Martin said: For a precise answer check out Adobe's Tech Specs page here.
I am currently using one of the latest Mac Pro computers, which has only recently been upgraded to Mac OS X Lion. I haven't really had any speed issues on my Mac and from what I can gather you can achieve as fast if not faster speeds running Photoshop CS6 on one of the latest PC computers. You can also carry out your own speed test by visiting clubofone's Photoshop speedtest page here.

davidburleston asked: Why can't you apply a texture without bevel and embossing? Is there a way to do this?
Are there plans to expand the preset features?

Martin said: Texture patterns are generally created by making use of direct light hitting a surface to reveal the texture. This can be done simply using the bevel and emboss controls as part of the layer style options, combined with a texture map of some kind (which I assume is what you are referring to here). So I'm not sure what kind of effect it is that you are after, but it is possible to create textures by sampling images and blending these using layers in Photoshop. For example, I have used shots taken of exposed brickwork and added elements such as this to a layer to add a brick texture effect.There are also the preset textures that ship with Photoshop, which you mentioned. I don't see Adobe adding to these, but if you go to the Photoshop exchange site here you may well find textures that are available to download from there.

Nik111 asked: What are your top tools in Photoshop that everyone should know how to use?

Martin said: I would concentrate on the basic tools that every Photoshop retoucher needs to learn to use. The retouching tools I use the most are the spot healing brush (in content-aware mode), the regular healing brush and the clone stamp. I also use the brush tool to paint with, both on the image directly and on to layer masks. On that note I should mention the use of layers, adjustment layers and layer masks is crucial to working effectively in Photoshop. One of the good things Photoshop CS6 has done is to make it easier to manage layers and filter layers when working on a complex image. So, if I was teaching someone how to retouch in Photoshop I would urge them to concentrate on these key aspects of the program and how to work effectively with them before getting into too much detail with all the other clever things you can do in the program.
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