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Commander Hadfield, The Earth is ready for its close-up

You’ve seen his music video cover of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” that was actually performed in space. You’ve marveled at his zero gravity water demonstrations, in which he actually uses his own tears. If you’re Canadian, you may have even seen him on a Canadian $5 bill. And if you’re a fan-boy like me, then all of this has made you nerd-crush on Chris Hadfield…hard.

Chris Hadfield during his first mission in 1995

Hadfield returned to Earth in May 2013 after five months spent commanding the International Space Station. Since returning, he’s released his new book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything. He was gracious enough to chat with me about all of these subjects, as well as another one near to my heart: photography.

Hadfield first photographed in outer space during his first mission, STS-74, in 1995. As part of his third mission, Expedition 35, he had the opportunity to capture thousands of photographs, thanks to the advent of digital photography.

“I think I took about 45,000 pictures during my time at the International Space Station,” Hadfield told me over the phone, “and tweeted between one and two-thousand of them.” And he did all that while commanding the International Space Station, too. Slacker.

To capture his arresting Earth portraits, Hadfield used a Nikon D2 and D3, as well as lenses ranging from fish-eyes to 400mms. In some instances, he used Russian lens doublers, resulting in focal lengths of 2,400. (Examples of earlier Hasselblad cameras astronauts used during earlier missions can be found here.)
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CS3-CS6 Customers: Photoshop Photography Program Extended through Feb. 28 (UPDATE)

UPDATE: The Photoshop Photography Program is back for a limited time. Take advantage of the offer here.

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Hey Photoshop and Lightroom Fans! Tomorrow is the last day the Photoshop Photography Program is open for everyone to join at $9.99 a month. Sign up by midnight on December 31, 2013 and get access to Photoshop and Lightroom, plus all the benefits of a Creative Cloud single-app plan for just $9.99 per month.

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After that, the program will be available at $9.99 per month for anyone who owns a CS3 product or later. That special price is available until February 28, 2014.

Happy New Year from the Photoshop and Lightroom teams!
Pam Clark
Director of Product Management, Photoshop

Sketchfab Brings Artists’ 3D Expressions to Life

Have you ever seen a gorgeous 3D model spinning on a website – maybe a modern architectural rendering you can rotate around or zoom in and out of, or an original creation someone’s showcasing in their Behance portfolio? The magic behind it all is Sketchfab, a web service to easily publish and display truly interactive models – you simply, embed and share.

Residential Exterior from 1 Pixel Studio on Sketchfab.


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Francois Veraart Experiments with Blending 3D Effects and Photography

You might have to do a double take when you first see Francois Veraart’s 3D creations. Veraart joins a modern wave of creatives whose work harkens back to the trompe l’oeil style painting of the 17th century masters. Those artists created still life paintings with detail and depth so astonishing, you wanted to reach out and touch them.

Veraart is a freelance designer in the Netherlands who has spent the last twenty years as an illustrator in the advertising world. He began his career hand-drawing his designs and over time adopted a digital workflow. More recently, he’s been exploring new creative avenues, blending 3D effects with photography to achieve a realistic effect. As more and more clients request this type of treatment, he’s able to play with 3D in ways that feed his own personal fascination with depth, light, texture and realism.
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Photoshop Photography Program Extended to Dec. 31 (UPDATE)

UPDATE: The Photoshop Photography Program is back for a limited time. Take advantage of the offer here.

We are delighted to announce that we are extending the period that the Photoshop Photography Program is available without restrictions to December 31, 2013. The offer is available to everyone, regardless of whether you have purchased a previous Adobe product.  Sign up before the new deadline and get access to Photoshop & Lightroom, plus all the benefits of a Creative Cloud single-app plan for just $9.99 per month.

Photoshop Photography Program


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Kirsty Mitchell Reveals Her Latest Masterpiece in ‘Wonderland’

As a member of the Photoshop team, I am lucky to experience incredible digital photography on a daily basis that involves thousands of post-production intricacies. What struck me about Kirsty Mitchell, based in Surrey, England, was the amount of detail in each of her photographs, most of which is created during months of pre-production. At first glance, you might think her stunning images are the result of heavy Photoshop editing, but in reality her final product stems from a sublime mixture of artistic vision, intricate set and costume design, old school work ethic and an unwavering dedication to tell a very emotional personal story from the heart.

She'll Wait For You In the Shadows Of Summer, By Kirsty Mitchell


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Photoshop Playbook Tutorial Series Solves Common Problems

One of the best parts of being on the Photoshop team is seeing how eager our community is to learn more about Photoshop. This is evidenced by the hundreds of Photoshop tutorials across YouTube and the web. We’ve noticed over time that most of our customers don’t seek Photoshop help as it relates to individual features like content-aware patch and camera shake reduction. Many customers want to learn how to use a combination of Photoshop tools to solve a problem.

That’s why we created a tutorial series just for solving problems. It’s called the Photoshop Playbook, and it’s dedicated to answering the questions we see most across our social channels, like how to make a fine-hair selection, how to remove an ex from a photo, or how to whiten teeth.


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Photoshop CS6 Perpetual License Updates Now Available

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(13.0.6/Mac 13.0.1.3/Win) Perpetual License updates

November 07, 2013

Today we released Photoshop update version 13.0.6 (for Macintosh perpetual license customers) and 13.0.1.3 (for Windows perpetual license customers). This release corrects a number of issues.

Notable bugs fixed (Mac & Win)

  • Transformed text layers have character and paragraph settings that are different/inconsistent from previous versions
  • While transforming type the values are updated correctly in the Character Panel but not the Options Bar
  • Text returns incorrect tracking value after transform.
  • After a transformation, changing leading values for text by scrubby slider unpredictable
  • Multi-line text not rendered correctly in saved PDF files

Notable Windows specific bugs fixed

  • While using Photoshop (e.g. Color Picker or Layer Styles) PS launches browser with Help URL and crashes
  • Move Tool context menu to links layers broken

How to get the Update

In Photoshop, choose Help > Updates…

If you need help with installing the update, please post questions on the Photoshop User to User forums

(13.0.5/Mac 13.0.1.2/Win) Perpetual License updates

June 03, 2013

Today we released Photoshop update version 13.0.5 (for Macintosh perpetual license customers) and 13.0.1.2 (for Windows perpetual license customers). This release corrects a number of issues.

The new version for Creative Cloud customers, Photoshop CC, will be release on June 17th – and will include any fixes that aren’t already in version 13.1.2 along along with all the new features.


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Astrophotography Tips from Michael Shainblum, Josh Bury and Alan Erickson

With more access to incredible technology than ever, there’s been an exciting upswing in shared astrophotography photographs and timelapse videos across the web. To take a closer look at how these beautiful photographs are created, we gathered tips from our recent Google Hangout on Air with photographer Michael Shainblum, and Adobe Computer Scientists Josh Bury and Alan Erickson. Armed with these tips and advice from our resident experts, you should have everything you need to either dip your toe in the pool of astrophotography or dive right into the deep end!

Equipment:

Camera/Lens:

SkyTracker

  • Choose a full-frame camera with high ISO capabilities. Michael uses a Canon 6D, and Josh uses a Nikon D700. To the right, Alan shows us his DSLR with 40mm lens on a tracking mount. Digital SLRs give you full manual control, which is needed for proper long exposures.
  • Use a sharp wide lens with a 13-24mm focal length that can stop down to f2.8 to let in as much light as possible.
  • For more advanced astrophotographers, a telescope can be purchased for deep-space photography.

Accessories:

  • Use a cable release for exposures longer than 30 seconds. This lets you lock the shutter open.
  • For star-stacking shots, an intervalometer triggers the camera every 20 or 30 seconds with no hassle. Our panelists recommend using an external intervalometer since it’s more flexible than one built into the camera.
  • Keep your camera steady with a tripod. If you have a sturdy camera tripod, a battery-operated tracking mount may be useful to get longer exposure images, especially for wide-field shots. Just line up the scope with the North Star and let the tracking mount run. It will rotate according to the Earth’s rotation automatically.
  • If you’re shooting constellations, a softening filter allows brighter stars to expand in the photo and makes it easier to tell between the brighter and fainter stars in an image. Softening filters also bring out star colors by diffusing some of the light.
  • Bring extra batteries! Taking long exposures of the sky burns through batteries quickly since the shutter is kept open for long periods of time. Our panelists keep about seven batteries handy when shooting long exposure astrophotography.
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