It’s been raining cats and dogs on the Photoshop Elements Facebook page! It’s even raining rabbits, horses, hamsters and squirrels. For the last month, the Photoshop Elements community has been sharing photos of their favorite four-legged friends to our Fur-tography gallery. So far, we’ve received over 2,600 photo submissions showcasing pets of all shapes and sizes.
Stop by the Fur-tography gallery to see the photos that have been shared, and submit your own by May 3. In the meantime, don’t forget to read our pet photography tips to see how you can get better shots of your animals.
We’ve been working hard on the next version of Lightroom, and now we’re giving our customers a chance to try out some of the new technology available with the release of Lightroom 5 beta. Since the initial Lightroom public beta release in 2006, we’ve learned a tremendous amount through a collaborative dialogue with our customers, and I’m excited to continue that collaboration to receive feedback on the Lightroom 5 beta.
With this release, our goal was to add some highly-desired features that allow photographers to quickly process and enhance their images. We’ve added more robust healing options, the ability to create off-center vignettes, and a one-click auto perspective correction tool. We’ve also added the ability to edit photos when not connected to your original images. Each of these improvements is a result of feedback provided by the Lightroom community. Thank you.
There are a lot of new features in the Lightroom 5 beta. Here’s a brief description of some of our favorites:
- Advanced Healing Brush: Enhancements to the Spot Removal tool allow you to heal or clone using brush strokes. A new “Visualize Spots” tool highlights sensor dust spots for easy removal.
Where you might see a fire hydrant, San Francisco photographer Adam Kennedy sees something bigger, a lot bigger. He sees planets. His Planet Universe series of images shows off his skills at creating planetary bodies from common fire hydrants and has recently turned Adam into a photography superstar. He was kind enough to discuss intergalactic vision vision and how he creates his art with me.
Tell us about yourself!
I am a photographer/filmmaker/designer from San Francisco, currently studying cinema as an undergraduate at San Francisco State University. I have a passion for blurring the lines between different mediums of art, and telling stories in unique and captivating ways. When I’m not doing video editing and motion graphics with the 12FPS team, I’m walking around the streets of San Francisco taking pictures of rusty fire hydrants and turning them into planets.
What inspired you to turn rusty fire hydrants into planets?
I made my first planet as a result of taking a bunch of photos of textures and random objects around the city and pulling them into Photoshop. When I photographed a rusty fire hydrant for the first time I didn’t see a planet, I just saw a rusty fire hydrant. It wasn’t until I isolated a circular region and began to toy with the colors that I realized I had revealed a celestial object.
Last week, we profiled professional photo retoucher Becci Manson, who was a part of an All Hands Volunteers team that restored photos for victims of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Yuko Okamura also joined the restoration effort with some Photoshop experience, and quickly developed a passion for photo restoration.
Yuko shared with us what she has learned as a volunteer. I hope her story can serve as an inspiration to anyone looking to get involved in a similar photo restoration project.
Tell me a little about your background and how you came to help out in Japan.
I am an architect by trade and through my education was familiar with Adobe Photoshop. I volunteered in Japan originally with Habitat for Humanity and through them got connected with All Hands where I met Becci. I didn’t have any experience restoring photos before volunteering in Japan, but wanted to see what I could do with the skills I had.
When you think of disaster relief, you probably think of manual labor, debris removal and rebuilding. When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, Becci Manson, a professional photo retoucher by trade, joined in the volunteer effort expecting to be down in the muck, clearing debris. She ended up contributing in a completely different way.
As Becci helped clear the streets of Tohoku, working with the disaster relief organization All Hands Volunteers, she couldn’t help but notice something about the debris; buried within the piles of wreckage were countless photos. Becci, the lone photo retoucher in the group, noticed many of the photos could be easily restored using Photoshop and realized she could do something about it.
She quickly launched an effort to restore damaged photos for the affected Japanese families. She was able to recruit photo retouchers like herself from around the world.
When she returned from Japan, Becci presented her story in a TEDTalk:
Becci opened up about her experience on the All Hands Volunteers photo restoration project:
When Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast last fall, I remember reading stories about the survivors (by chance I’d escaped it myself by just hours a week before) and one theme kept popping up – people facing great danger to retrieve their family photos. Brave survivors were running into hazardous buildings, fighting through rushing floods and putting their lives at risk to retrieve precious memories. Those photos were people’s most valued treasures, and the storm was damaging them the same way it damaged their homes and their lifestyles.
I needed a way to help. It was unbearable to see these victims fight to recover their most prized photographs, only to find them damaged by the storm. Knowing Photoshop’s tremendous power for retouching and restoration, I looked everywhere for tutorial content to share, but nothing seemed right. I knew my background in photo restoration could be of use, and the solution seemed to be one that everyone could appreciate (we all have old, damaged photos – right?).
Luckily, the team at lynda.com came to the rescue. They offered me one of their studios to record a video series about using the tools in Photoshop to recover photos. I wanted to make the series available to anyone for free, and their team absolutely understood that.
Calling all animal lovers! We love sharing photos of our pets…and we know you do too. We want to see shots of your furry friends exploring, getting into trouble, or just being themselves. Beginning today, we want YOU to share photos of your pets or favorite animals with the Photoshop Elements community in our Fur-tography gallery.
If you live in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Germany, your photo submissions will qualify you to win a weekly prize (Photoshop Elements/Premiere Elements 11 and a token with your pet’s photo!) or the Grand Prize Package. The Grand Prize winner will not only be the new owner of the ultimate photography set-up (including a Nikon D3200 DSLR, a camera bag, strap, monopod and more!), but we’ll also make a donation on their behalf to the SPCA location of their choice (or other local animal shelter) in the form of pet food.
For today’s interview we travel to Vilnius – the capital city of Lithuania – where 29 year-old native, Tadao Cern tells me his story of inspiration turned into action. Two years ago, after finishing his Master’s degree in architecture, Tadao decided to try something completely new. That ‘something new’ turned out to be wedding photography. A year later, he opened his own studio in Vilnius, and today he embodies just how much blind faith and a fearless life-change can really pay off.
Although you probably haven’t attended a wedding in Lithuania (or traveled there, for that matter), chances are you’ve already heard of Tadao Cern, and may not even know it. Tadao is the man behind the recent photo-gone-viral portrait of Van Gogh. He also gained a bit of notoriety with his photo project entitled ‘Blow Job,’ featuring portraits of people whose faces are hilariously distorted by high-speed fans.
We love to celebrate creative, hardworking Photoshop customers who put time and effort into mastering the digital photo editing craft. There are so many mind-blowing projects that come out of Photoshop that it’s easy to look past the hard work that goes into Photoshop.
The Photoshop Facebook page recently reached a milestone that we couldn’t be prouder of: 5 million Fans! What better way to celebrate our loyal Fans than to compile some lesser-known facts about the production of Photoshop CS6: How many user-suggested features were added? How many lines of code did it take to finish the program? And perhaps most important of all, how many cases of beer were consumed during production?
Watch the video below to learn all about what went into the making of Photoshop CS6.