Adobe have announced a public beta of the next version of Photoshop. If you’re a registered user of the current version, CS2, you can get the beta now. It’s the first time they’ve done a public beta, and I’m all for it.
I downloaded it soon after hearing about it, and installed it last night. So far, I like what I see. There’s a nice guide to what’s changed and what’s new at PhotoshopNews, and loads of demo videos and tutorials at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals site, where they have a Beta Preview Learning Center. Good stuff.
For me, so far, the biggest improvement is in Camera Raw, which looks like it will cut out a step or two for most images that I import from my camera. The new “Recover” and “Fill” sliders are going to be really useful. You’ll get a more coherent explanation, and indeed a demonstration from the sites I’ve mentioned, so I’ll spare you my babbling about them. I’ve only had a quick play, but they really helped with a photo of the Angel of the North that I took a while ago. I’ll update some galleries when I’ve had a chance to play some more.
The picture linked to this post is a quick experiment – I was trying to capture the atmosphere of a foggy evening, which led me to converting to monochrome. Think of this one as a step along the road rather than the final result.