Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Are Your Favorite Photoshop CS6 Beta Features?

Composite, drop shadow, canvas size and type created in Photoshop CS6 Beta.
If you are a serious photographer, you should download the Beta version of Photoshop CS6. Hey, it's free, fun and fantastic.

There are lots of new features (more than 20), including my favorites, which are listed below.

Create a spotlight effect with Lighting Effects for a more dramatic portrait.
- Dark and cool-looking interface;
- Updated icons, buttons and dialogs;
- New Camera Raw 7;
- Re Camera Raw... they don't call me Rick "Raw Rules" Sammon for nothing:
- New Crop Tool (more on that toward the end of this post);
- New Content-Aware Move, Extend and Patch tools;
- New and improved Lighting Effects (see end-result above on the right, which is just one of many lighting effects effects);
- New Blur Gallery (see title-shif effect below).

Tilt-Shift blur effect can create miniature-looking images. Selective blur is also possible.
Tilt-shift effet in Photoshop CS6 Beta. 
Like my friend Dave Cross, I use Photoshop more than Lightroom, although I teach both application on my workshops - as well as plug-ins for both programs.

Another one of my favorite features in Photoshop (CS6 Beta and CS5) is Shadows/Highlights.

Check out the before-and-after set of images below. With a quick adjustment using the S/H sliders, I was able to see more details in the birds without blowing out the sky. You might want to try this feature on your high-contrast images before going to HDR.

After Shadows/Highlights.
Before Shadows/Highlights.
You probably noticed that the above picture is cropped from the standard format. Photoshop CS6 Beta also has a new Crop Tool - which offers non-destructive cropping.

Hey, if you are into shooting HD video, Photoshop CS6 Beta also supports video. If you want to get into HD video with your SLR, check out the DVD that Juan Pons and I produced.

I'd love to hear from you. What are your favorite PS6 Beta features? Please leave your comment in the Comment section here on my blog.

Explore the light,

P.S. If you want to spend less time in Photoshop and Lightroom (that is getting the best possible in-camear exposure), check out my apps. They are packed with how-to info.


Ali said...

the new crop too is wonderful and much needed change.

Ali said...

i very much appreciate the updated and improved crop tool. It's a vast improvement over CS5 (whose crop tool i've ranted about a few months ago)

W. Kirk Crawford said...

In the beta version, it's FREE!
Otherwise, love the improvements.
Makes cleanup and retouching easier.

Charlie Duncan said...

I really like the iris blur, makes it easy.

tom baker said...

Great post Rick..The two features that stand out as "must have" are the newly improved Content Aware patching and the adaptive wide angle filter. The Content Aware patching now makes the promise of content aware a reality - being able to PICK what I want to fill with vs Photoshop guessing is fantastic.

Second the new wide angle filter allows me to quickly correct complex distortion and perspective issues. It's not perfect, but it's close.