extensions issues, which is why
Photoshop CC 2014 does not
overwrite Photoshop CC when it
installs. Adobe recommends that
users keep previous versions of
Photoshop on their computers
if they need capabilities that an
A couple of other new tools in
Photoshop are of less interest to
most photographers, but are worth
a mention nonetheless. The new
Path Blur and Spin Blur join the
previous Field Blur, Iris Blur and
Tilt-Shift to form a new Blur Gallery in the Filter drop-down menu.
With the Path Blur controls, you
can create multiple paths of any
shape in an image or a selection,
and blur the subject. With careful
masking, it is possible to create
a relatively believable blur to a
static subject. In the few images I
played with, there always seemed
to be some part of the image that
did not blur as much as the rest,
but that didn’t destroy the effect.
By using Spin Blur, you can
spin and blur objects around
one or more points. You control
the shape and size of the area to
blur, the angle through which to
blur, and the speed of the blur.
You can even add strobe flashes
and control the strobe flash duration to
add the illusion of stopped action. I just
wish I could copy and paste, so that it
would be easier to add the blur to another
wheel or image.
Both of the new blurs are interesting,
and I suspect designers will love them,
but once the novelty wears off I can only
imagine a few photographers having a
long-term love affair with them.
The version 8. 5 update to Adobe
Camera Raw added new cameras to the
database and upgrades to the Radial
and Graduated Filters. You can now see
the mask by pressing the ‘Y’ key, and
then add or delete from the mask using
a brush. Also new is the ability to reset
individual panels in Camera Raw to the
The new version of Lightroom announced
at the same time as Photoshop, Lightroom
5. 5, added no new features to Lightroom
other than the ability to sync Lightroom
Mobile with the iPhone. Lightroom Mobile is
upgraded at the same time to add star as well
as flag ratings, and the ability to view and
sort images with a custom sort order. Lightroom remains a standalone program as well
as part of the Creative Cloud applications.
The most interesting announcement may
be the availability of Adobe Photoshop Mix,
a free app that extends some of the selection,
masking and compositing capabilities of
Photoshop to the iPad. In conjunction with
Photoshop, Mix can round-trip images from
your desktop or laptop computer through
the Creative Cloud to the iPad and back
again in layers to Photoshop on the desktop
with non-destructive changes made in Mix.
The image enhancements found in Photo-
shop Mix are in line with those in the Adobe
Revel, Photoshop Express and
Photoshop Touch apps, all of which
will continue to exist. With Mix you
can access images on your camera
roll, those uploaded through Light-
room Mobile and those uploaded
to the Creative Cloud. Along with
image enhancements, another tool
lets you apply 21 preset looks.
What makes Photoshop Mix
interesting are the other tools.
Using the cut-out tool, you can
combine two images by drag-
ging your finger to select areas
to eliminate or to add back in if
you overdo it. You can feather the
selection edges, invert the selec-
tion and even automatically refine
edges as you work. The crop tool
is non-destructive, as is the com-
positing tool when brought back
There is even the advanced Photoshop
functionality of upright, shake reduction
and content-aware fill. Using them requires
Wi-Fi connection as the actual changes are
made in the Creative Cloud—true cloud
computing. A pop-up message in Mix
advises that these functions are available
for free for a limited time, so we can look
forward to increased functionality at a price
in the future.
For $9.99 per month with a yearly
commitment ($119.88/year), photographers
have access to Photoshop CC, Lightroom,
Photoshop Mix and Creative Cloud Learn,
along with 2GB of Creative Cloud image
storage. While there are options to the
Adobe programs, most pro photographers
have joined the nearly 1. 5 million subscribers to the Creative Cloud in order to keep
using the tools in Photoshop.
Top: The first pass when you open
Focus Area automatically selects
the majority of out-of-focus background, but other areas as well.
Painting areas in and out is possible
with the brushes in the panel.
Middle: Focus Area only takes you
so far with a complex shape; you
must use Refine Edges and other
tools to complete the selection.
Bottom: The Path Blur and Spin Blur
filters are selected from the new Blur
Gallery. The background has already
been blurred using Path Blur.