Adobe Photoshop CC – 6 months later

by blogshaxe

Adobe moved away from the suite-based model of packaging its apps to a subscription based model exactly 6 months ago. For those of you’ll whom haven’t yet made the switch, maybe the following might convince you to do so.

First up, let’s talk business. Granted, the feel of a hard-case cover DVD with the perpetual option to install and run a software might feel better than “renting” one. But how many serious users can claim to

be fine using older versions of the Creative Suite? The fact is that most users want the latest features from Adobe that make their work-flows faster and easier. (let us not reminisce over the days before selections could be refined and objects were not smart – you get the drift)

So in a nutshell, a Creative Cloud (CC) subscription would mean

  • Constant free updates to the latest features
  • The option to get a full CC subscription for SS$66 a month or a single app (Photoshop CC only for example) license for SS$26(special offer) a month. Existing customers with CS3 or later, however, can get CC memberships for SG$39 per month

These prices are especially attractive if you consider that some photographers spend far more per month on batteries.

Now, let’s talk about the features of Photoshop CC that could make things far easier for you. From day 1, I used PS CC to replace my older CS6 workflow and by simply entering my adobe ID, I was back at the familiar  start pane.

It was so easy that I probably didn’t notice that I shifted through an entire paradigm of how this software works. The CC app manager now runs updates to your apps similar to how many smartphones would do theirs.

Enough of looking under the hood. Let’s get straight to the features that make all the difference.


1) Improved Healing Brush in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)

Most of my regular work-flow is accomplished within ACR and for those nagging blemish-fixes, I need to move in to PS for some layered action. This is not ideal as my work has to be saved in PSDs for it to stay non-destructive.

The new Healing Brush is no longer limited to a circle – you can paint shapes with it. This takes a lot of the PS work back into ACR. And it’s non-destructive with perfect finished product previews viewable in Adobe Bridge!









This portrait was great, except that on closer inspection, a stray hair moved over the model’s face.

Expand to see more

This would normally take a trip to Photoshop, yes?

By simply drawing over the hair and sampling from a clear portion of skin, the issue is fixed!

And there’s also a nifty “Spot-Visualizer” to help clean things up. Especially great for a dusty sensor

Pay attention to the dust spots in both images

2) Scaling up images while retaining detail

A client recently needed these Archive images of Old Singapore blown up into a 4x6m panel. That’s almost goal-post-huge!

I had two options:

1) Shoot this with a medium format camera and pay a lot on rentals

2) Shoot 7×4 35mm (28 images per poster!) segments of the images and stitch them together in PS.

A third option was to shoot fewer section images and stitch them together – and use the new Photoshop CC

intelligent up-sampling feature.  I was able to breeze through creating these 3Gb files. (thanks to my 32Gb of RAM too, I suppose) It’s pretty

awesome so see the details still preserved on a larger version.

3) Massive improvement to the Liquify tool

No more drawing a selection in your image to apply the liquify tool. You can now load the entire image and “liquify” any portion without

having to take a break to get coffee, while the thing renders. What’s more, it now loads as a smart filter! (provided you make your layer a smart object)

I didn’t have a real application example so look at this work of art instead:

These are full images from a 5dMk2











Smart liquify filter? Pretty cool, yes?









4) Using Camera Raw within Photoshop

As I mentioned earlier here, I love using ACR and sometimes when I’m within PS and looking at a layer, I wish I could

adjust its Vibrancy or selectively push the highlights or shadows. All of which are only possible with the ACR control panel.


It’s now possible to have the same controls not only on a JPG image, but within layers of a  PSD file. And again, it’s non-destructive

as it’s a smart filter!








5) Improved Lens Aberration Correction in Camera Raw

While some perspectives just need to be fixed using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter released with CS6, a large majority of alignment issues and

perspective corrections can be done within good ol’ ACR. Yet another reason to not go to Photoshop!


















6) Camera Shake blur reduction

This filter promises a lot, but only works if it’s genuine camera shake. Normally, camera shake is coupled with subject motion blur which won’t give you ideal results.

But when it works, it fixes photos that could have been write-offs with hardly any artifacts.












These are just a few of the many features rolled out with the CC launch (check out Smart Sharpen, layer isolation, shape handling etc. )

The exciting thing is that we can expect iterations far more frequently with the CC system, so we don’t have to wait ages for the next big improvement. What’s more is that if you use multiple machines like I do, you can

sync your settings over them- no more pesky importing of shortcuts and pane layouts / workspaces. You even get space on the cloud and a Behance integration to show off your awesome work  – hot from the press!

Go on and visit the adobe CC page now!