Joe and Mary Ann McDonald's

Wildlife Photography

July 2007

Tip of the Month


Photoshop CS3 - The Upgrade

Photoshop CS3 was released a few months ago and some of you may still be using CS2. Should you spend the extra money on upgrading to CS3? My answer is, It depends.

CS3's new RAW converter is powerful, but it is basically the same as Adobe Lightroom, so if you have Lightroom I don't think you really need CS3's RAW converter. CS3 'talks' to Lightroom and viseversa more seamlessly than does CS2, but they both do - like upgrading Bridge as Lightroom makes changes, but again, is that convenience worth the money. Lightroom's RAW converter has several more features than does CS2's, including a Target Adjustment Tool, and split screens for comparisons, so I believe Lightroom has the edge there.

CS3 has a new B&W conversion feature in the Adjustment Layers, Smart Objects - for referring back to the RAW file while in Photoshop, and Smart Filters - which I think have limited value since there is only one mask available for any or all the Smart Filtes, and a new Curves adjustment (in RAW) that is nifty. The neatest new tool is a Quick Selection Tool that acts something like a Magic Wand and Magnetic Lasso, making fairly incredible selections quite quickly.

However, you WILL need CS3 if you intend to use Photoshop with any new cameras that are introduced that have a different RAW converter. My Mark IIIs can't be read with CS2's RAW converter, so if I planned on doing anything in Photoshop I'm forced into getting CS3. Of course, I could work around this by first using Lightroom, converting to a TIFF and then opening, and working, in CS2, and if you love Lightroom that could be the answer.

Lightroom's keywording feature is still faster, but CS2 or CS3's Bridge is still a great way to move files if you don't want to use a one-big-batch approach that Lightroom encourages, which is counter to the workflow we use and teach. Lightroom will work with our workflow, however, so that isn't a problem.

Keywording has gotten better with CS3, and it now incorporates a Parent-Child-Grandchild-Great Grandchild type system where Keywords can be subsetted down. For example, a Keyword sequence could start as:

Animals (Parent)
Mammals Birds Reptiles (Child)
Turtles Lizards Snakes (GrandChild)
Rattlesnakes Copperheads Pythons Boas Garters Water (Great Grand Children) so that a phylogenetic tree could be incorporated with a classification keywording, or you could do the same with Behaviors, and subset and subset those again, as your needs require.

CS3 is sufficiently close to CS2 in its operation that you could upgrade to CS3 without difficulty and use it without any training, using only the tools and work flow procedures you used in CS2. So there's not a huge unfamiliar learning curve. For the new options, you'll need a book, their Help menu, or one of our courses -- we're teaching CS3 as part of a Digital Complete Nature Photo Courses and our Photoshop courses.


Our Past Photo Tips of the Month:


Framing with a Telephoto Against a Desert Sunrise
Adobe Photoshop LIGHTROOM
Workflow and Workload - You Can Keep Ahead
Bring along a Point N Shoot

Backing Up Your Digital Files - you'll need more than you think
Action Wildlife Photography Camera Settings
maximizing depth of field digitally
Capture 1's Most Useful Features
DIGITAL Photographing scenes with extreme exposure values
Effective Cloning in Adobe CS2

Watch Your Backgrounds - The potential of composites or shooting in RAW format
DIGITAL -Shoot for the Future
DIGITAL-Shoot for the Future, Part II
The Helicon Focus Filter Revisited



The Songs of Insects - a super book on katydids, cicadas, and grasshoppers
A Great Insect Field Guide 
Action Wildlife Photography Camera Settings
The Pond-A Must-See shooting Location in southern Arizona
Don't take in baby wild animals
Seize the Moment!
Take a Workshop First
  Luck, what is it?
At the Pulse of Life by Fritz Polking
Carry-on Luggage for small commuter flights


New Lens Covers for Long Lenses
The Best All-Around Lens
Keep Your Head Up
Save Your Equipment from Crashing!
The L-Bracket, the ultimate camera bumper
Visual Echos Tele-Flash for the 580EX Flash
Testing your Flash's Aim
The Ultimate Flash Bracket
Using TTL flash with Hummingbirds
Specular highlights and the flashing frog

Geared Focusing Rail for Macro Work
Shooting in Inclement Weather
Low level tripod work
Sighting in a very, very long lens
Padding Your WimberleyTripod Head
Using The Wimberley Gimbal head with a camera body

Wimberley 400 and 600mm IS plate
How do we protect our gear from dust, and carry our gear when on safari
How do you shoot the Moon?

If you see it, it's too late -- a lesson in anticipation
Protecting your long lens from SAND, the pleasures of beach photography
Maximum Depth of Field and Hyperfocal Distance - they're not the same thing!
A great depth of field guide
Carry Your Gear!
Custom Function 4-1 for Nikon and Canon shooters
Sigma's 120-300 f2.8 APO zoom telephoto lens


A Car Tip that could Save Your Life
A Great Website for Information - the Singapore Nature Photography Society
Airline Carry-On Luggage -Let your concerns be heard!

Ask Questions Before You Go
Liquids in your Levels - TSA Warnings!

Disconnect -- travel precautions
Photograph America Newsletter
Obey the Rules
Wildlife Portraiture
Drying out boots with newspaper
Removing Cactus Spines

The Ti Chi Stalk
Photographing Critically Endangered Sites
The Sibley Bird Guides



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