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Adobe Photoshop CS6: New Features, Price, Release Date

It is the world’s premier image-editing software. Adobe’s Photoshop is used by everyone from Hollywood visual effects artists to moms who want to remove red-eye from their family vacation photos. The latest version, Adobe Photoshop CS6, releases on May 7, 2012.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 offers many improvements and new features. Photoshop CS6 will retail for $699, but current users can upgrade for $199. An enhanced version of Photoshop CS6 (Photoshop CS6 Extended) will sell for $999, although for existing users to upgrade, it’s only $399.

The latest version of Photoshop has been vastly improved and both artists and photographers will be impressed with the upgraded CS6. And to add to the wow factor, CS6 will also have a noticeable performance boost due to the faster processing power of the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine.

Eleven Great Adobe Photoshop CS6 Improvements
Not only are there lots of new features in CS6, but existing features have also been improved. Grab your favorite photo and let’s take Photoshop CS6 for a spin!

1. “Vector-y!”
If you’ve used Adobe Illustrator, you know how you can add a stroke or gradient to vector shapes. Photoshop CS6 now lets you do the same thing (and as with Illustrator, you don’t have to add layer styles in order to do it). Working with complex shapes just got a whole lot easier.

2. Moving Pictures
New tools for video editing, including controls for adjusting color and exposure levels and working with layers. And when a piece of video has been edited to your satisfaction, Photoshop CS6 provides a range of options for exporting that clip.

3. Layer Slayer
Anyone who’s spent any time editing images in Photoshop understands how quickly an image can require multiple layers, and how difficult it can be keeping track of all of them. Photoshop CS6 addresses this problem with a new Layer Search feature. Now you can search through stacks of layers and locate just what you’re looking for. Filtering can be performed according to Kind, Name, Effect, Mode, Attribute and Color.

4. Straighten Up!
One of the niftiest aspects of Photoshop CS6 is the new Straighten tool. Here’s how it works: You draw a line anywhere on the image you’re working with and Straighten will shift the canvas accordingly so that your new line becomes completely horizontal. (This tool was implemented so you can create perspectives based on reoriented images.)

5. Special Effects
Photoshop already contains plenty of effects to give your images extra zing, but now there are even more effects to choose from. New effects include a very cool Field Blur, Iris Blur, Bokeh Effects, Tilt T-Shift and Image Deblurring.

6. Background Check
Here’s a real time-saver. With Photoshop CS6’s new background-saving feature, you can save an image at the same time you’re editing one. No more waiting for the program to compile and archive one project before you get busy on another.

7. Get Your Share
With Photoshop CS6’s Preset Sharing, you can export your presets, brushes and patterns between computers. Even more impressive, the Preset Sharing lets you share these items between different versions of Photoshop.

8. Holy Crop!
Cropping is an essential part of image editing. New and better cropping options offer better image manipulation, as well as various grid views (which will help you get a better look at the cropping you’re performing).

9. New Look
With each new version of Photoshop, Adobe always receives a fair amount of input from graphic designers. In response to recent suggestions, Photoshop CS6 features a redesigned User Interface.

10. Are You (Content) Aware?
Photoshop’s Content-Aware tool has long been a mainstay of the program. For Photoshop CS6, the Content-Aware tool has been augmented with new capabilities, such as Content-Aware Move and Content-Aware Patch. The patch allows you to select the image area which Content Aware will utilize in order to create your patch.

11. No More “Oops!” Moments
Ever spent a good chunk of time editing an image, only to lose all that productivity because you forgot to save your work, or your system crashed? With Photoshop CS6, you’ll be able to customize the auto-save feature (Auto Recovery) according to your preferences and work style.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 offers a convenient new Tilt T-Shift filter, which works in conjunction with the program’s new blur effects.

Photoshop CS6 vs. CS5: What’s New 
Still not convinced this is the greatest version of Photoshop ever? A free download of beta version of Adobe Photoshop CS6 is currently available for both the Mac OS X and Windows platforms. And if you’re still looking for a feature that wasn’t listed above, don’t worry. We’ve also included a comprehensive list of features and the main differences between CS5 below:

  • A much-requested darker and modern user interface, with 4 different shades of presets
  • Redesigned icons, buttons, dialogs – plus rich cursors
  • New Content-Aware Move, Extend, and Patch tools
  • DSLR video editing in both Standard and Extended versions
  • Skin-Aware Masking with Face Detection, which includes auto-generation of skin-tone masks
  • One tool now does the work of 14: completely overhauled 3D (available in Photoshop CS6 Extended)
  • New, realistic brushes, including Erodible Tips and Airbrush Tips, ability to increase the brush size to 5,000 pixels
  • Brand new Camera Raw 7 technology
  • White Balance and Noise Reduction as a selective brush
  • Text/Character Type Styles and Paragraph Styles
  • Adaptive Wide-Angle Lens Correction (to fix distortion and straighten lines)
  • PixelBender now built in (for oil painting filter)
  • Enhanced and more flexible Brush Pose, Brush Projection and Color Dynamics
  • Rewritten vector engine, real vector strokes with dashed and dotted lines
  • Mercury Graphics Engine gives 10-100X faster Liquify, Transform, Warp & more
  • Big gains in performance throughout, due to much greater usage of the GPU
  • Blur Gallery for creating shallow depth of field, tilt-shift blur and graduated blur
  • Much smarter “Auto” for better starting points and one-click corrections
  • Lighting Effects are vastly improved, with better controls and 3D
  • Completely reengineered Crop Tool works much better
  • Background Save, including tunable Auto-Save and Crash Recovery
  • Integrated Layer Search/Filtering – by name, effect, style, mode, or attribute
  • Easy migration tool imports/exports custom presets and settings
  • New “Bicubic Automatic” default for Image Size automatically does the right thing
  • Path snapping & anti-aliasing improvements – critical for exacting work
  • Easy insert of “dummy text” (Lorem Ipsum, etc.) from the Type Menu
  • The return of Contact Sheet II and PDF Presentations in Photoshop
  • A completely redesigned and enhanced Print dialog


Making adjustments to color and other image variables is more simple and straightforward in Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Mastering Photoshop
Adobe continues to revolutionize the way photographers and designers manipulate images. The program has become increasingly intuitive, but that doesn’t make mastering it any easier – especially if you spend hundreds of dollars for the software. In short, you want to get the most out of it.

The best and least painful way to learn how to use Photoshop is to take a course that provides hands-on instruction. In fact, there is a great technology summer camp called Digital Media Academy that can help you advance your Photoshop skills and make you a master in no time. Get the picture?


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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Apple’s Updated MacBook Pro Line

Apple Inc. updated its MacBook Pro line of laptop computers on Monday. The update was made with little fanfare; the machines will keep their current style and price points, but now offer faster processors and better graphics.

The new MacBook Pros feature the same familiar styling but revved-up processors and better graphics. 

The line is based on a trio of MacBook Pros, each of which are powered by Apple‘s Mac OS X Lion operating system:

  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro and it’s being offered in two configurations: a 2.4-gigahertz dual-core Intel i5 processor priced at $1,199 and a 2.8-gigahertz dual-core Intel i7 chip available for slightly more.
  • Stepping up to the next model, the 15-inch MacBook Pro (starting price: $1,799) features a 2.2-gigahertz quad-core Intel i7 processor and a 500-gigabyte hard drive. Like the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, the interim model has an Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphic card, but also sports an AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics card that has 512 megabytes of dedicated memory.
  • The 17-inch MacBook Pro (which starts at $2,499) contains a 2.4-gigahertz Intel Core i7 processor and AMD’s hot new Radeon HD 6770M graphics card.

As you can see, the updated line is pushing its stronger graphics capabilities, as well as its faster processors. The end result for users is that tasks can be accomplished more quickly and the graphics are not only more eye-pleasing but will also enable faster video playback that’s more stable…which makes the new PowerBooks ideal for anyone (such as filmmakers and other creative professionals) who might be using Apple’s Final Cut Pro video-editing software or programs such as Adobe Photoshop.

Apple’s offering the updated MacBook Pro in three models. (Check out the new MacBook Pro specs.)

Test Drive a New MacBook 
Want to get your hands on one of these new machines? Do it while you’re also learning something cool under the watchful eye of a seasoned Apple pro. At Digital Media Academy‘s computer summer camps, students use the latest Apple technology in almost every course and summer camp. DMA offers a wide variety of programs that are located on many of America’s greatest college campuses and they use only the latest state-of-the-art technology, like the new Apple MacBook Pros.


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posted by DMA Jordan in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

DMA Digital Photography and Photoshop Courses Jump Starts a Photography Business


Copyright Heather Reid Kwok Photography

Images Copyright Heather Reid Kwok Photography

In July of 2006 I spent two weeks at the Digital Media Academy immersing myself in the world of digital photography and Photoshop. Since Photoshop was not the most intuitive software to me, I was glad for the hands on training to get a handle on the basic and more advanced editing tools that it provides.  The instructor knew his stuff!  He was able to show us how to achieve the same result using at least three different methods and explain which method he thought was best which helped me grasp just how much Photoshop had to offer.  It felt like drinking from a fire hose at times!  However by the end of the week, everything would start to come together and it was amazing to see how much I had learned in such a short time.

The courses were a great combination of out in the field shooting and in the classroom learning Photoshop.  I learned some valuable photography skills that helped me take better photos from the start and in the end saves me tons of time since getting the shot right the first time takes less time then trying to correct problems in Photoshop.  The small class size made it easy to get personal time with the instructor to ask my questions and learn what I was specifically looking to learn in these courses.

After two weeks I had gone from never using Photoshop to using Photoshop to edit all of my photos.  DMA’s courses allowed me to gain the skills and confidence to launch my photography business shortly thereafter.  Without the DMA course I never would have gotten my business off the ground and running so quickly.  Since the summer of 2006 my photography business has taken off thanks to DMA!    It’s the best investment of time and money that I’ve put into my business and I recommend these courses for any aspiring photography who is looking to lauch or take their photography business to the next level.

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Digital Photography Lesson : Tips from DMA Pros with Aperture

Written by Jeff Sobel of the John Lennon Bus

In my last post I talked about the saturation and vibrancy adjustments in Aperture 2.  I mentioned that these powerful tools are great when you want to adjust the color in the entire image but not a good solution for selectively adjusting color in only parts of the image.  Aperture provides an often overlooked tool which is fantastic for making these types of selective adjustments.  It’s the Dodge and Burn plugin and it can be found in the Images>Edit With> menu as seen in the screen grab below:


Though Dodge and Burn is included with Aperture 2 it is actually a plugin so when you select it in the menu your image opens up in a new window.  It’s much like sending the image to an external editor except that it’s more tightly integrated with Aperture.  The name Dodge and Burn comes from the darkroom technique of using a card to dodge (lighten) or burn (darken) select areas of a photo print while it is in the chemical bath to manipulate the exposure of the photograph.  The Dodge and Burn plugin in Aperture 2 allows you to do the same thing with your mouse, no noxious chemicals required.  The great thing about the D&B plugin is that it not only allows you to adjust light/dark but a half-dozen other effects as well, including saturation (see screen grab below).


By playing with this tool you’ll quickly learn how to manipulate the color saturation in certain areas of your image while leaving other areas in their natural state (or manipulating those areas in a different way).  Here are some examples (all images can be clicked to embiggen).

I took some photos at a friend’s wedding last year.  They were married in Golden Gate Park and the grass and trees were a vibrant green.  I found that even though I had a fairly shallow depth of field that threw the background out of focus the vibrant color of the plants was distracting the eye from the important parts of the image (the bride and groom!).  
mukh_1_thumb wedding photo edit

I wanted to reduce the saturation of the plants and people behind my subjects to separate the bride and groom from the background.  However, I couldn’t simply reduce the saturation in the whole image because I certainly didn’t want to take away from the bride’s amazing gown.  So I turned to the Dodge and Burn plugin.  Using the Desaturate setting I ‘painted’ desaturation onto the background.  It took a little time but I loved the results:
wedding photo edit 2

By applying the same effect to all the photos a consistent look can be achieved which can really tie an album together (much like a good rug ties the room together).  Here are a few more examples of using the Dodge and Burn plugin to desaturate the background while leaving the subjects vibrant:

Wedding Photo Before being Edited
 After Editing the Photograph

Now here’s one final example that has a similar look but was produced using a slightly different method.  Instead of using the D&B plugin to desaturate the background in this photograph I first reduced the color by adjusting the saturation and vibrancy sliders in Aperture:
Before Editing Photo in Apeture

Then I sent the image to the Dodge and Burn plugin and using the Saturate setting I added color back into the photograph by carefully painting the bride’s dress and the flower lei each is wearing.
After Editing the Photo in Apeture

Spend some time with the Dodge and Burn plugin and I think you’ll find it can do some interesting things to your photographs.  These are the same techniques you will learn in this summer’s Digital Photography and Photoshop courses at Digital Media Academy.

Or, you can learn Photoshop with DMA on a Final Cut Pro and Photoshop Cruise this summer! Learn more about DMA on the Sea!

dma on the sea : final cut pro and photoshop cruise

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments