Adobe Photoshop Review | Space

ByDavid M. Conte

Oct 1, 2021

Adobe Photoshop has been providing users with cutting-edge digital image manipulation tools for almost 30 years. And while there’s no denying the stopping power it still offers, its status as a market leader is challenged by Affinity, Luminar and Adobe’s full brother Lightroom.

The software is now only accessible through a subscription service, and while this takes away those who prefer to pay for their software up front, the advantage of this model is that users get the latest version and features at every exit, rather than having to pay. all upgrade costs.

The latest version of Photoshop CC 2021 was released in September, bringing with it some really exciting new features, alongside the company’s Sensei (artificial intelligence) technology that promises to perform changes in the cloud and automate changes. mundane tasks.

Most users turn to Adobe Photoshop to process their photographs, but the software is also a brilliant offering for digital artists, web designers and graphic artists, as well as video editors, thanks to its complex handling of types of images. files, layers and compatibility with other Adobe programs. .

Photoshop is so good at letting users manipulate images that it has been given its own term, Photoshopping. It has negative connotations, of course, but it also shows how powerful and ubiquitous the software is for both business users and consumers alike. Let’s take a look at some of the latest features and see how the 2021 release of Creative Cloud fits both newbies and loyal fans.

Adobe Photoshop Review: Features

  • Smart Sky Replacement Options
  • Neural filters are still in beta
  • Cloud sharing and recording options

Adobe Photoshop CC 2021 has several additions to titles, but for new users it is worth pointing out what hasn’t changed and still works brilliantly for enhancing and manipulating photos. Photoshop’s basic editing features like blur, sharpen, erase, and clone will satisfy hobbyists, and for editing complex graphics there are additional layers, selections, and channels.

Moving on to the latest tools, Adobe is making a big splash about the development of Sensei AI technology, designed to speed up editing tasks. One of the latest tools powered by Sensei is Neural Filters, a panel accessible from the main menu that offers one-click edits using information from the cloud. In this panel, you’ll find a list of Al filters that need to be downloaded from the cloud first, along with a waitlist – useful tools that are planned for later releases.

What’s new in 2021?

In addition to an updated list of supported cameras and lenses, the improved Sky Replacement feature makes it easy and efficient to swap a bland sky for a dramatic sky. Neural Filters are a new workspace that allows users to enhance skin, add expressions to portraits, and more.

Filters on offer include Skin Smoothing, JPEG Artifact Removal, and Style Transfer, along with many more that are currently listed as beta options, such as Smart Portrait. Sounds like there is something to appeal to retouchers or portrait photographers, however, the results we got were mixed.

When we tried to add a smile with the Smart Portrait Filters, for example, the teeth ended up looking like a scary caricature. This is not surprising, because neural filters work by adding new pixels that were not there in the original image. Given how machine learning works, it’s likely that these beta filters will improve over time and with more testing. And of course, all edits are non-destructive, so you can easily remove an effect you don’t like.

Another Adobe Sensei offering, which was updated in August 2021, is the Sky Replacement feature. While it has always been possible for landscape photographers to create drama in their scenes by blending into a new sky in Photoshop, in the past this involved painstaking and time-consuming masking. Sky Replacement is definitely not in beta, and the results are incredibly convincing, in part thanks to the ability to fine-tune the lighting so the foreground tones match the sky. In all of our experiments, the software did a great job of finding the skyline and hiding things like cliffs; it’s really surprising how easy it is to turn a landscape photo on a dull day into something more inspiring which will be a godsend for the Instagram generation or the amateurs who don’t want to have fun.

Adobe Photoshop Notice: The image shows the software used on a black and white portrait.

(Image credit: Avenir)

Sometimes Photoshop is complex software to master, but new Photoshop users – or those who just want to improve themselves – can make great strides by using the Learn section of the Home screen. When you click on a hands-on tutorial, you will then be taken in real time through the editing process required for a multitude of different skills to make the job of retouching, adding shapes, combining images and designing easier. other essential creative techniques.

Mini review of the mobile version

Photoshop Express for mobile and tablet devices offers more fun editing features than its full desktop counterpart. The app’s home interface has five buttons: Edit, Mix, Paste, Edit, and Capture. Editing tools include standard settings like exposure and sharpness, as well as themes, stickers, and skins, a tab that works the same as presets in Lightroom.

Mix allows users to mix layers and cutouts (the app does a surprisingly good job at recognizing subjects), while Retouch is only for enhancing portraits (and selfies). For a free photo editor, there’s definitely a lot going on, which isn’t a bad thing.

Formats: iOS and Android

Although Adobe Photoshop CC is available as a standalone subscription, purchasing it as a package with Lightroom CC will revolutionize the workflow of many modern photographers. The two programs are designed to work together in the cloud, and when you open Photoshop, it’s possible to open and work on images saved in Lightroom. These cloud documents also automatically save while you work, so if you want to switch to mobile or iPad editing on the go, the files are already waiting for you. Likewise, working collaboratively on images with clients, friends or colleagues is easy; just send them an invitation with a quick, automated email invitation from the main window.

While it’s impossible to go over all of Adobe Photoshop CC’s features, the layout and interface remain as rich as they’ve ever been, and the tools just as capable. While some AI edits take some time to develop, provided you have a machine that is powerful enough (see the Compatibility section) to run Photoshop, you should be impressed with how smoothly the editing is.

Adobe Photoshop test: Compatibility and plugins

Adobe Photoshop Notice: The image shows the software used.

(Image credit: Avenir)

Adobe Photoshop should only be downloaded on a powerful machine, i.e. a minimum of 8 GB of RAM and 4 GB of available hard disk space. You will also need at least a 1280 x 800 resolution screen.

In terms of operating systems, it is available for Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1809 and later and macOS Mojave (version 10.14) or later. Adobe Photoshop is also available as an app on the Apple iPad.

Adobe Photoshop review: pricing and subscription options

Adobe Photoshop Notice: The image shows the software used on a portrait of a little girl.

(Image credit: Avenir)

Adobe Photoshop is only available with a monthly or annual subscription, but that includes updates to the latest version as soon as it is released.

You can get Photoshop as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan or Photoshop Single App plan, which differ slightly.

Purchased on its own as a subscription, Adobe Photoshop (which includes desktop and iPad versions, 100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Fresco, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark) costs $ 22.99 per month.

The Creative Cloud Photography plan includes Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop on desktop and iPad, and 20GB of cloud storage, all for $ 9.99 per month. Adobe also offers a 7-day free trial.

Should you buy Adobe Photoshop?

If you work with images in any capacity as a professional, you should definitely have Adobe Photoshop in your arsenal. This is the best image editor out there, although it has a few random features and new neural filters that some users will never touch.

Landscape photographers looking to brighten up their scenes will benefit from the sky replacement tools, while commercial designers and shooters should find the ability to invite others to edit images that are really useful.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by Photoshop’s interface, so if you’re a hobbyist new to image processing and want an easier learning curve, take a look at Luminar AI and Affinity Photo by Skylumm. as alternatives.

Adobe Photoshop is the market leader when it comes to transforming individual images, but won’t clean up a chaotic system or help you organize files on your computer and drives. Take advantage of Adobe’s photography plan and use it with Adobe Lightroom to establish a smart storage workflow.