Monthly Archives: September 2007

New Adobe vids: Russell Brown, Layers, & more

  • Adobe’s Russell Brown has teamed up with xTrain to create Dr. Brown’s Photoshop Laboratory.  For more on the free classes they’re doing together, check out the xTrain site.  Here are direct links to his recent tutorials on 3D, Black & White, and video in Photoshop CS3.
  • Russell has posted a whole set of video experiments created using PSCS3 Extended in Dr. Brown’s Video Gallery.
  • Layers Magazine has launched Layers TV–"The How-To Podcast for Everything Adobe." Hosted by Cory Barker and “RC” Concepcion, the podcasts are also available via iTunes.
  • Hitting the century mark and going stronger than ever, the NAPP‘s Photoshop User TV celebrates its 100th episode.  Congrats, guys! Thanks for rocking out to make such a great community resource.
  • And, perhaps hiding right under your nose, the Flash-powered Bridge Home (part of Adobe Bridge CS3–see screenshot) delivers info and training content (including more than 200 CS videos) right to your desktop.  Seems that someone is discovering the service, however: according to manager Jennifer Deming, Bridge Home racked up more than 125,000 unique visitors this month.  More info on Bridge Home is in Terry White’s podcast.

Cool Recent Photography, Part 2

New Adobe Magazine available

A new issue (download) of Adobe Magazine, the company’s quarterly PDF for designers, photographers, and other creative folks, is available for download. Designed by São Paulo-based Kiko Farkas, this issue includes:

  • Natural Synthesis: Discover how London-based artists use Adobe Photoshop to capture unique versions of reality.
  • The Incredible Shrinking Screen:
    In many countries, efficient and intelligent design is the king in mobile branding.
  • Fine Filmmaking:
    Los Angeles director Jacob Rosenberg works within a budget, without creative limitations.

More than 100,000 folks are already subscribing to email updates for the magazine.  You can join the list via the site.

What's in *your* histogram?

Heh–this is one of the cooler things I’ve seen in quite a while.  David Friedman of Ironic Sans has hidden a picture in an innocuous-looking gradient.  Can you find the image?  It’s fun to poke at the pixels a little to see what you can discover.  To see the hidden image plus the steps for hiding it, check out the follow-up post.  [Via Marc Pawliger, Tobias Hoellrich, & Jeff Tranberry]

Elsewhere in the realm of genius through illegibility: check out this recruiting ad for Lunar BBDO, rendered in typographic dingbats.  (That that, Google math nerds. ;-))  For more on steganography (hidden writing) of all sorts, check out the Wikipedia entry.

Going to MAX? Let's talk Photoshop, AE, Flash…

Greetings from O’Hare, where I find myself en route to this coming week’s Adobe MAX conference in Chicago.  If you plan to attend the show and are interested in talking about the future of Photoshop & how all this stuff fits together, please drop me a line.  In particular, Michael Coleman & the After Effects guys are looking for customers who use AE & Flash together (or who would like to do so).  Drop him a line if you’re interested in that, and hope to see you at the show.

[PS: There will be Birds of a Feather sessions featuring the Photoshop team Monday night. Photoshop is 7:30-8:30.
Suites teams (Design and Web) are 8:30-9:30.  I’m not yet sure about the location(s).]

New AE, Photoshop, Lightroom tutorials on Design Center

The Adobe Design Center offers up a taste of new content:

* New Think Tank:

* New Tutorials:

Adobe training czarinas Luanne Seymour and Jen deHaan are blogging, so check out their sites for fresh material.  And as always, check out some of the 1000+ Adobe links on  Info on how to contribute links is here.  [Via]

Adobe's 3D raytracing in the news

As I’m sure you know, we’re pretty excited to have 3D capabilities inside Photoshop CS3 Extended.  That said, we know that what’s there today is really a first step into a pretty big realm.

Giving a glimpse into what the future might hold, the MIT Technology Review talks about Adobe’s research into real-time raytracing.  In a nutshell, says principal scientist Gavin Miller, "Adobe’s research goal is to discover the algorithms that enhance ray-tracing performance and make it accessible to consumers in near real-time form."

These techniques scale particularly well on multi-core systems, which is why you tend to see rendering tests show up in high-end machines’ benchmarks.  A brief slideshow accompanying the article demonstrates the differences between ray-traced images & those produced by the kind of interactive renderer used in Photoshop CS3. [Via Aravind Krishnaswamy, who works in Gavin’s group]

Feedback, please: User-powered help inside Photoshop?

I have a very simple idea–one that I think could be very powerful.  I’m proposing that Photoshop (and other Adobe apps) become living organisms, platforms that constantly improve as users learn & share.  Whether the idea sees the light of day depends largely on what you say about it.

I want to start by addressing a simple problem: Let me preserve what I’ve learned & keep it at my fingertips.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably jotted down a million notes about software over the years, storing them on sticky notes, on legal pads, wherever… most of which are nowhere to be found at the moment you need them.  Instead of settling for this, what if you could capture your knowledge about Photoshop inside Photoshop?

It’s the simplest idea in the world: let’s let people jot down notes and stick them into the application itself.  Instead of living only on the local hard drive, the notes would be stored on the network.  That way, no matter where you found yourself working, your accumulated knowledge would always be there, in the context of the tools themselves.  In essence you’d be micro-blogging from within Photoshop.

Ah, but the network is built for sharing.  So what if you could elect to share your notes with others, and what if you could see what they’d shared?

Here’s a practical example.  Let’s say you go into Photoshop’s Unsharp Mask dialog box.  “Amount” is straightforward, but what the hell do “Radius” and “Threshold” mean, exactly?  Let’s say you make sense of it, or you find settings that work really well for certain images.  Why not jot down a note right there?  That way you’ve enriched Photoshop with that knowledge, in context, and made it part of your permanent collection.

But what if you don’t know what something means?  Maybe you could see what Bruce Fraser has to say on the subject–reading a note with Bruce’s tips right in the dialog.  Inside Illustrator’s Live Color feature the other day, I was dying to have Mordy Golding drop by my office and give me the straight dope.  Why couldn’t I see Mordy’s writing–or hear audio narration, or see a video, for that matter–right within Live Color?  Why can’t I see Mac Holbert’s best practices for printing–right in the print dialog?

As I envision it, notes would be searchable, and you could give a quick thumbs-up/-down, TiVo-style, to each note.  That way the good stuff would bubble up while the crap falls into obscurity.  (And, of course, you could always elect to keep your notes private–which they would be by default.)

Here’s a really simple mockup I created to depict the concept running in a palette/panel.  (Yes, it would look slicker when real UI designers did their thing.)

So, what do you think?  Would you find value in jotting down what you’ve learned, making it portable and permanent?  Would you share that info with others?  Would you read what they’d shared?  Is any of this worth a damn?  I’m dying to know your take.  Here’s a 3-question survey, and comments are welcome.


PS–At risk of overloading the concept, I may as well confess that I regard notes as the “thin edge of the wedge.”  I want not only my knowledge to live “in the cloud”; I want everything that makes my copy of an app mine–custom palettes, brushes, swatches, font styles, everything–to live on the network, to be synched seamlessly and to be sharable with others.  If I come up with a kick-ass skin for using Photoshop for Web design, I want you to type “JNack” into your copy of Photoshop and have it, bang, zero friction.  Viva the Photoshop Nation.

Cool Recent Photography, Part 1

Of jazz, Jawas, carnage, & more:

  • Kent Phelan shares a great shot of octagenarian jazz man Roy Haynes. [Via]
  • TrueGrain is "a pro-grade tool for accurately recapturing the aesthetics of black and white film with digital photography."  It’ll set you back $300.
  • The NYT features a slideshow from Turkey’s barren & striking Cappadocia; Jawas sold separately.  According to the gallery, the caves have been carved from soft rock.  I’d like to see caves carved into some really soft rock, like Nerf.  ("Or Air Supply," interjects Margot.)
  • Speaking of the NYT, they’ve been offering excellent prints for sale from their archives.  Dig Ruth Fremson’s photo of trams in the fog (info).  See also the ghostly Twin Towers in the fog; Lower Manhattan in the 60’s (hello, old office); Feeding the hippo at the Bronx Zoo.
  • The paper remembers the life and work of pioneering female photojournalist Gerda Taro (partner of Robert Capa), offering a slideshow of her work.
  • "Don’t look at me like a piece of meat!" But look at my hair that way.  If Julia Kissina’s carnage trips your trigger, see Pinar Yolacan’s work. [Via]

*Bahw-tchika-WAhow* typography

"When I hear ‘The 70’s’, I reach for my gun…"

I picked up a 1974 Car & Driver at a vintage goods store a few years ago, and after thumbing through the pages, I wanted to put my head in an oven.  Honestly, I have to thank my parents for letting me miss most of that godforsaken decade, beset as it was by Bookman Swash, brownness, and gas shortages.

Ah, but maybe things weren’t quite that bad.  Gene Gable presents a tour of 70’s typography*, showing the ways that evolving technology enabled new type treatments.  Check out part 2 for more horrific excellence.

In the vein of type treatments that cry out for a greasy bass line (or maybe an acid rock riff), peep these others I’ve stumbled across:

* Hey, is that the Photoshop family logo? >;-)

Photoshop Tennis returns

I’m excited to see that Coudal Partners’ Photoshop Tennis (background)–now rechristened Layer Tennis–is due to return, after a long absence, this coming Friday.  Emphasizing not just what two designers can do head-to-head with a PSD file, the contest is gearing up to be more community-driven. According to the site, "You’ll be able to download the raw elements from every match to remix or remash any way you like and then post a link back to your creation."  

All matches take are due to take place on Fridays, live at 2pm Chicago time (GMT+6, meaning 3pm in NYC, Noon in SF and 7 in London).  Upcoming matches:

September 28th
Shaun Inman vs Kevin Cornell
Commentary by John Gruber

October 5th
Neil Durden vs Mathew Star Thomas
Commentary by Debbie Millman

October 12th
Chuck Anderson vs Steven Harrington
Commentary by Jason Kottke

Should be a ball–a fuzzy, RGB #CCCC00-colored digital ball.

On the personality of Lightroom

Over in the Lightroom Journal, software architect Mark Hamburg shares his thoughts on power vs. complexity & other aspects of the personality of Lightroom.  I find his thoughts refreshingly candid:

We wanted Lightroom to seem elegant. To exhibit grace. To show an attention to style beyond the utilitarian aspect that dominated Adobe’s products up to that time. We wanted a richer UI experience.

We’ve been successful in many ways. At the same time, we are painfully aware that there are places where we could be yet more graceful or elegant.

If you’re interested in more, see also Mark’s interview on, or listen to the podcast in
which he & other members of the Lightroom team tackle these issues. As for the personas of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash, see previous.

RapidFixer CS3: Powerful add-on for Bridge

The new RapidFixer extension for Adobe Bridge CS3 helps unlock the power of Camera Raw.  Created by photographer Peter Krogh & developer Tom Nolan, RapidFixer adds quick adjustment strips to the Bridge interface.  Now, instead of needing to pop into the Camera Raw dialog to apply image adjustments (converting to black & white, say, or bumping up exposure by 1/3 stop), you can use RapidFixer to tweak settings on one or more files.

Peter provides a nice overview of the tools in this video–adjusting white balance, applying vignettes, and more.  At around the 2/3rds mark he shows some interesting modifications that facilitate working on photographic negatives.  

I don’t shoot massive numbers of images, but I’ve found RapidFixer extremely handy in reviewing and tweaking my shots.  If you’re crunching a large number of images via Bridge & Camera Raw, you’ll likely find the $49 price of RapidFixer a bargain.

Feedback, please: kuler in Photoshop?

Every time I’ve demonstrated Illustrator CS3’s excellent Live Color feature, the first question I hear is predictable: "Great, but when can I have that in Photoshop? [Or in Flash, or InDesign, or…]"  Selecting harmonious colors is a necessary part of just about every design discipline.

Adobe’s kuler online application offers a subset of Live Color in a Web-hosted, Flash-powered environment.  It offers powerful tools for creating color harmonies, plus tools for saving color sets & sharing those with others.  As noted recently, feeds of these colors can be sucked into other apps.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to make it possible to extend Photoshop (and all Adobe apps, for that matter) by dropping in Flash-based palettes/panels.  So, here’s a thought: what if we gave Photoshop (and maybe other Suite apps) the ability to use kuler to create and modify color harmonies, and to upload/download color sets to share with others?

Here’s a really simple mockup I created to show how it might work.  You’d be able to use the color wheel to create color sets based on rules (Analogous, Complementary, etc.).  Clicking on the resulting colors would let you paint with them in Photoshop, and/or save them as color swatches.  You’d also be able to view, search, and use harmonies created by others & shared via kuler.

What do you think?  I created a two-question survey to gauge your response.  Comments are also welcome. [Update: The survey is open again. I didn’t realize that Survey Monkey had a 100-response limit on their free account. Clever, clever…]


Typography: Of Highways & Hell

Time for another typographic gathering:

kuler + screensaver mashup

And the hits keep on coming… File this one under "Eine kleine Bildschirmschoner": a German-speaking developer has created a simple but attractive Mac screensaver (same page auto-translated) that sucks in a feed of popular harmonies on Adobe kuler.  Gut! [Via]

Elsewhere in the world of cool screensavers, groundbreaking Flash coder Yugo Nakamura has created Kaze to Desktop, a Windows "screensaver which moves according to the current wind (=kaze) conditions of your city."  Check out the video to see some super-smooth action. (The scattered piles of Windows chrome remind me of the "crash board" Mordy Golding spotted on a client visit.)

"Scanners," minus the exploding heads

Adobe’s own Russell Brown took his 3D head-scanning show (see previous) on the road to Photoshop World in Las Vegas this month.  Not only could attendees get their heads scanned & turned into 3D models for use in Photoshop CS3 Extended; they could get the resulting skin texture files printed onto fabric.  Scott Kelby volunteered to make sure the apparatus was safe (video), only to have his head printed onto a football that was kicked into the audience.  Here’s a quick gallery featuring some deeply disturbing imagery ;-).

Musing on mediocrity

I often wonder why, in the midst of working with a brilliant team on a beloved & respected product in a company that’s doing better than ever, I’m kind of a miserable bastard.  I get this insane privilege, and yet no matter how full the glass, I see only the flaws, only the things that could and should and must be made better.

I found a little solace in Paul Arden’s It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be.  Maybe, if you’re like me, you will, too:

Why do we strive for excellence when mediocrity is required?

There is little demand in the commercial world for excellence.  There is much, much bigger demand for mediocrity.

The truth is, I’m glad it’s this way.

Imagine a world where all clients were wonderful, where we could produce whatever we felt like with no restrictions, with everybody having freedom to produce all their fantasies unfettered by tedious clients.

What would we do?

We would react against it, saying, “Isn’t this boring.  How can we be dull?  Let’s do it badly, let’s make it ugly, and let’s make it really cheaply.”

That’s the nature of the creative person.  All creative people need something to rebel against.  It’s what gives their lives excitement, and it’s creative people who make the clients’ lives exciting.


Or, as George Bernard Shaw succinctly put it:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. All progress, therefore, depends upon the unreasonable man.

Keep your head up,

Adobe-Leopard Non-Issue o' the Day

Various people have been wondering about this statement:

“CS3 hasn’t fully been tested under [Mac OS X] Leopard,” Adobe Chief Executive Bruce Chizen told Reuters in an interview. “If it doesn’t work, we will make the necessary adjustments.”

Here’s my take: It’s impossible to say that something has been “fully tested” on a platform that is not yet finished.  Therefore, until Leopard ships (expected this Fall), Adobe can’t say with confidence that everything is A-OK.  Once Leopard hits the streets, if the various product teams discover that something isn’t working well on the new OS, they’ll work on addressing the problem.

In the meantime, lots of folks at Adobe and Apple continue to work together, as they always do, to make things work as well as possible out of the gate. (The same is true with Microsoft & Windows updates.)

Anyway, I hope that provides a little peace of mind.

Photoshop gets a new logo

I’ve been remiss in not sharing the news sooner, but I wanted to give it a chance not to get overshadowed by the Photoshop Express excitement.  In any case, I’m pleased to report that the Photoshop family of products now has its own logo and tagline: See What’s Possible™

As you no doubt know, “Photoshop” has grown far beyond the side project of Michigan grad student, and even beyond a single application, to encompass a range of functionally different apps–Photoshop CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Album Starter Edition, and soon Photoshop Express–that all share a solid core of imaging smarts.  As the press docs say,

To represent this rich family of products, Adobe is introducing the Photoshop visual logo.
This logo will soon appear in all Photoshop-related marketing, so keep an eye out for it. The
Photoshop logo on a product, service, or technology, represents the rich legacy, technical
quality, and attention to detail that has made Photoshop the gold standard in digital

Or, as The Dude might say, “It really ties the room together.” 😉 Here’s a quick screenshot of the main variations on the logo. [Update: Jeff Schewe has posted a giant version, complete with E.T.]

So, whaddya think?

PS–In light of the above, I can’t resist passing along a totally different example of “Photoshop branding.”

Cool Recent Art, Pt. 2

Camera Raw 4.2, Lightroom 1.2 now available

I’m pleased to report that Camera Raw 4.2 (download for Mac|Win) and Lightroom 1.2 (Mac|Win) are now available for download from, and via the Adobe Update Manager (choose Help->Updates within Photoshop or Lightroom). 

These releases add support for a number of cameras (and yes, 40D shooters, you can stop stuffing the feature request form now ;-)):


  • EOS 40D

  • DMC-FZ18


  • FinePix IS-1

  • K100D Super


  • Aptus 17
  • Aptus 54s
  • Aptus 75s
Phase One

  • P 20 +
  • P 21 +
  • P 25 +
  • P 30 +
  • P 45 +


  • EVOLT E-510

  • Alpha 700

It’s possible to use these cameras in older versions of Photoshop by converting their proprietary formats to DNG using the new version of the free DNG Converter.  In case you want the full details of what’s new & improved in these releases, read on for this post’s extended entry.

Continue reading

Adobe kuler mashed-up with Visio, more

As you may know, kuler is Adobe’s rich Internet app (RIA) for creating & sharing color harmonies.  About a month ago the kuler team unveiled an API that enables other applications to suck in feeds of the most popular, most recent, and highest rated harmonies found on the site.

Now Microsoft engineer Saveen Reddy has used the API to enable drawing kuler colors in Visio.  Not having a copy of Visio, I can’t give this a spin, but the integration should make it easy to apply popular color themes to your artwork.  Very cool.  [Previously: It’s also possible to pull kuler feeds onto your desktop or into Dashboard, and to use them inside the Flash authoring environmentUpdate: A free script lets you use .ASE swatch files in After Effects, making it possible to pull in kuler harmonies.]

In other kuler news, PM Sami Iwata reports that they’re running a “theme drive” to collect autumn-inspired themes.  She writes,

kuler members can submit themes around the autumn season and also “vote” for
themes by rating and downloading them. At the end of the drive, the
kuler team will select a few of the highest rated and most popular
autumn themes to appear on a kuler t-shirt. If your theme is selected,
you will get 6 kuler t-shirts with your theme on it.

Hustle up, though: the theme drive runs from now until this Friday at 5:00 PDT.  More details are here.

Photoshop comes to the iPhone (!?)

Hmm, let’s see: start with one high-res newfangled multi-touch display; add a powerful graphics processor; and throw in built-in telephony.  The result: handheld iPhonetoshop?

Er, maybe not yet, but Scott Kelby & co. had fun making a 2-minute spoof that played during the keynote address at Photoshop World.  You can see the very funny results in Terry White’s latest Creative Suite Podcast (direct link to video; “Photoshop CS3 for iPhone” starts at 3:10).  [Update: Here’s just the spoof itself–easier to see and hear, though you can’t hear the crowd reaction.]  And hey, maybe OnStar-style Photoshop support (“Would you like me to unlock that background layer for you?”) could have some legs. 🙂

Other demos captured in the podcast include the Flash/Flex-powered Photoshop Express (starting around 16:10), 3D hook-ups from Daz3D (23:45) and Strata (29:10), as well as an example of Photoshop Extended turning flat medical imaging data into a translucent floating 3D skull (37:40).

PS–If the Flash Player ran on the iPhone, might we see Photoshop Express running there as well?  Hmm–it’s an interesting prospect, anyway.

Free new presets for Camera Raw

I’m delighted to see that author Jack Davis & the folks at onOne Software have teamed up to release more than 100 presets designed to work in Adobe Camera Raw. Available previously for Lightroom, the set of presets has been expanded and refined for Camera Raw.  According to the site,

PhotoPresets with One-Click WOW! tackle only one development parameter at a time allowing you to optimize your image at each step to create the look you really want without sacrificing any one quality. You start with adjusting your images color and tone and then add effects like black and white conversions, tinting, split-toning and vignetting.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for video training, or just download the presets’ installer and start going to town. [Via]

Good training for scripting Photoshop

At Photoshop World on Friday, Jeff Tranberry & Tom Ruark from Photoshop engineering presented a very popular four-hour session on scripting Photoshop.  Despite having printed out 150 copies of their training hand-outs, they found that the pile disappeared very quickly.  A number of attendees asked me for info on where they could find the materials, so I’m pleased to report that Jeff has posted them on his Web site.  The info (freely downloadable by anyone) ranges from basic to more advanced & includes a number of sample scripts.

Jeff notes that people can ask questions via his feedback form.  For additional resources, he points out Deke McClelland’s Photoshop CS2 Actions and Automation title (6.5 hours of video training from and Chandler McWilliams’s Adobe Scripting title.

Cool Recent Art, Pt. 1

//NA// I’ve been coming across all kinds of interesting artwork lately:

  • Shout at the devil: Brian Dettmer has sculpted a skull using melted heavy metal cassette tapes.  Rockin’ like Dokken. [Via]
  • Andrew Huff points out Michael Levy’s gut-busting Deep Fried Liberty (see details). I want to see Lou Dobbs suck one of these down on air while supplying “the facts, not fear.”
  • What if people walked around with their names floating above them, World of Warcraft-style?  Aram Bartholl & Evan Roth give it a shot. [Via]
  • Jethro Haynes creates rather amazing shoe art.  Here’s a particular fave.  [Via]
  • The book Dictator Style catalogs the design tastes of colorful despots–what PJ O’Rourke calls "felony interior decorating." [Via]
  • The Want/Need glass reminds the user to sip, not guzzle. [Via]
  • I found myself enjoying an NYT slideshow covering new architecture in the Netherlands.  Unfortunately it concluded with the line, "Mr. Neutelings and Mr. Riedijk have fashioned a serious critique of a world saturated in advertising, and marketing images, and reaffirmed architecture’s heroic stature, according to Nicolai Ouroussoff"–making me want to throw up a little in my mouth.  The accompanying article thankfully bypasses the pedantic crap.
  • On a less pretentious note, peep this Dutch satellite dish-pimping.
  • Canon may be taking its time in revving the 5D, but in the meantime, can I interest you in a sewn felt Pentax? [Via]
  • An uncredited YouTube vid shows the faces of women in Western art morphing into one another. [Via]
  • D*Face subverts a simple pole with Missile Strike. [Via]

13 gigapixels or bust; sketchy photogs; more

  • In Spectacle, photographers David Rockwell & Bruce Mau "celebrate the phenomenon and history of communal, awe-inspiring public performance worldwide–from the stadium to the streets, from religious festivals to political marches."  Dig the really well-chosen type treatments as well. [Via]
  • For a different kind of spectacle, see Harlem in 13 Gigapixels. Photographer Gerard Maynard & software developer Alexandre Jenny have teamed up to create a massive image of the famous New York neighborhood.  With results spanning 279,689 x 46,901 pixels, the project’s raw numbers
    are pretty eye-popping:

    • 2,045 individual photos from a Nikon D2X
    • 21.49 GB of compressed raw data
    • 1 day for image placement and color correction
    • 46 hours of rendering on an 8-core Xeon system with 8GB of RAM
    • Results: A single 48.8 GB image stored in the Photoshop Large Document format (.PSB), converted via Zoomify & displayed through the Flash Player.
      [Via Maria Brenny]  (If this is up your alley, see previous.)
  • Ah, the 1950’s, when you had to be the lookout for "corn-fed belles" hanging out of trees along the road, ready to disrobe in your U-Haul trailer.  At least that’s the world conjured up by the (more than a little creepy) Glamour Photography magazine–one "designed to give the camera man a better understanding of the technical and philosophical aspects of photographing pretty girls."  Philosophy–yes, that’s it. [Via]
  • Elsewhere in history, here are 50 years of a woman’s life, as told by photos bought at a garage sale.  Note to self: Keep trying not to get old.
  • Clayton James Cubitt shares portraits of Hurricane Katrina survivors.  (I’m a big fan of Flash galleries in general, but in this case I think the jerky transitions distract from the subject matter.) [Via]

New Lightroom, Dreamweaver, AE tutorials on Design Center

The Adobe Design Center offers up a smattering of new content:

* New Gallery:

* New Tutorials:

Adobe training mavens Luanne Seymour and Jen deHaan are blogging, so check out their sites for fresh material.  And as always, check out some of the 1000+ Adobe links on  Info on how to contribute links is here.  [Via]

"Photoshop Express" RIA sneak-peeked today

Today the crowd at Photoshop World got a quick preview of Photoshop Express, a new application currently in development at Adobe.  First hinted at by Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen some six months ago, Photoshop Express isn’t meant to duplicate/replace Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop Elements. Rather, it’s a new member of the Photoshop family that’s meant to make Adobe imaging technology immediately accessible to large numbers of people.

Earlier this year, Adobe introduced Premiere Express, a free, Flash-based online video editor for creating mash-ups and remixes. Anyone using Photobucket, and YouTube’s TestTube site can take Premiere Express for a spin.  Photoshop Express, though not yet publicly available, aims to offer a similarly easy, approachable experience for image editing.

I can’t share a ton of additional detail at the moment, but here’s a screenshot of the app in action. Adobe Sr. VP John Loiacono showed that it was possible to adjust an image just by rolling over the different versions shown at the top, previewing the results & then clicking the desired degree of modification.   I’ll post more info as it becomes available.

[Update: You can see the quick onstage demo of Photoshop Express in Terry White’s latest Creative Suite Podcast (direct link to video).  The demo starts around 16:10 mark.]

Save up to $150 buying Photoshop + Lightroom

A new promotion has launched on the Store: Purchasing Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and a full or upgrade version of Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop CS3 Extended together can knock up to $150 off the total price:

  • Upgrade to Photoshop CS3 + buy Lightroom: save $75
  • Buy Photoshop CS3 (full version) + buy Lightroom: save $125
  • Upgrade to Photoshop CS3 Extended + buy Lightroom: save $100
  • Buy Photoshop CS3 Extended (full version) + buy Lightroom: save $150

Obligatory official details blurb: The bundle product discount is available only when Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop CS3 Extended are purchased simultaneously. The bundle discount is reflected prior to checkout. Bundle pricing is available only through the Adobe Store and certain select resellers. Education, OEM, and licensing customers are not eligible for bundle pricing. This offer is valid in North America only. [<–Folks are working to extend the offer to other geographies, but that’s not quite ready yet.  –J.]

Fighter jets, galaxies, & infrared squirrels

From the world of scientific & technical imaging:

  • "You come across the body of a tramp, which in itself is not so disturbing. Until it is turned over to reveal…. ANTS! ANTS! ANTS!"  Er, sorry, I digress.  Joe Lencioni has captured some great macro shots of yellow ants (acanthomyops to their friends).
  • Seed Magazine features a fascinating video tour of scientific visualizations–from Benoît Mandelbrot’s early fractals to an atomic simulation that required six months of supercomputer rendering to depict 20 nanoseconds’ worth of motion.  (Oh, and the closing soundtrack is from Dub Side of the Moon.) [Via]
  • reports on a cool technique for astrophotography–taking up to 20 images per second, then using computer image processing to sift & combine the sharpest results, compensating for degradation caused by Earth’s atmosphere.  Details & before/after images are on the Lucky Imaging site.
  • NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) telescope has captures pix of a star with a comet’s tail. [Via]
  • Who knew that squirrels have infrared-emitting tails, useful for confusing rattlesnakes?  This is kind of thing you learn when grad students get to wander around with expensive camera gear. [Via]
  • A Russian air show produced a terrific image of an Su-27 dropping flares.  (Who needs safety regulations?)
  • Inspire Underground hosts a photo essay on prepping the Space Shuttle for launch. [Via]  Post lift-off, the Shuttle crew captured some lovely shots. [Via]

Image-resizing coolness comes to Flash

The content-aware image resizing technology that I mentioned last week is starting to be put to the test on the Web.  Developer Patrick Swieskowski has created an interactive Flash-based demo that lets you scale an image horizontally or vertically. To prove that it’s not a canned/pre-processed implementation, the Flash UI lets you specify other images to process. (Here’s one I tried.)  John Dowdell links to more good resources, including experiments and info from Henry Yee, Lee Felarca (another SWF-based demo), and Joa Elbert (including source code).

Where will all this lead?  Hard to say, though it’s clearly touched nerves, good and bad. Some photogs are dispirited, though it makes me wonder where, and by whom, the line between acceptable & unacceptable manipulation is drawn ("Skies aren’t that black, Ansel").  Who gets to say that color gels & graduated ND filters are okay while digital resizing isn’t?  Me, I welcome tools that help tell great stories.

A little Labor Day reading

//NA*// On the off chance that, like me, you’re getting a little much-needed downtime, I thought I’d share some interesting but hard-to-categorize links I’ve encountered recently:

  • Here’s a novel approach to selling Photoshop plug-ins: a developer is auctioning the source code for Cinematte, a plug-in for removing green screens & similar backgrounds. [Via Tom Hogarty]
  • On a more precompiled note, how about a "Brutality Filter"?  New Mr. Retro filters are available (press release).  See ’em in action here.
  • Photo blogger Jason David Moore recently profiled me. (I didn’t even know I had a favorite curse word.)
  • The World’s Best Logos & Brands blog has a (very) short history of the Adobe logo. [Via]
  • If you’re stumped, give the Idea Generator a spin.  Seriously, wouldn’t you like to see a Transparent Morphing Saxophone? (Goes well with the Brutality Filter, I’m told.) [Via]
  • I’m keeping it Victorian these days, but I can dig this MIT-designed water-walled house.  On a slightly related note, researchers are also exploring how to use water as insulation within windows.
  • Of Audis & iMacs: The ConceptCar blog notes similarities between the new iMac design & the latest crop of Audis.
  • has created a plug-in that facilitates sharing large images right from Photoshop.  Their slogan?  "Put your junk in the box." (I kid you not.)
  • Ars Technica features info on battery life preservation–relevant to everyone who schleps around one or more rechargable devices (which, I’m guessing, is everyone who stops by here).  I’m paranoid about being without power, but I’ll be damned if I run my batteries down & store them in a freezer.  ("Nothing more useless than an unloaded gun.") [Via]
  • reports on companies that put image sequences on subway walls. (I wonder if this is what Interpol had in mind.)  In a lower-tech vein, peep subway gum art. [Via]

* As in "(Largely) Non-Adobe" — a note to those who’d rather skip anything not 100% tied to Photoshop