Adobe Photoshop CS2 Review

Photoshop CS2 Review: HDR

You know how hard it is to capture the full dynamic range of a photograph. Take your average sunrise photo for instance. You want to hold the color in the sky but yet still render good detail in the shadows. In the days of film, we used graduated neutral density filters for this task.

With digital, we started exposing for different parts of the scene and then manually dragging each image into Photoshop, stacking them and creating a series of complicated masks to hide or reveal parts of the image that didn’t fit in our final product.

Now, it’s as easy as opening CS 2.0 and selecting FILE > AUTOMATE > MERGE TO HDR. You select two or more images to merge and Photoshop automatically finds the parts of each exposure and merges them together.

This new tool allows you to achieve the ultimate in dynamic range with automatic conversion of exposures to 32-Bit High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. That’s right, I said 32-bit! When Adobe gave me a private demonstration of this feature in Beta, I don’t think they realized how important it was. This will be a real time saver.

Using HDR you can effectively get 12-14 stops of latitude into your digital images and maintain incredible quality. You can now take control of the full detail from the deepest shadows to the brightest highlights, and everywhere in between. You can use Merge to HDR to even create 32-bit HDR images from your current digital camera, by automatically combining a series of regular exposures.

Photoshop CS2 Review: MULTI-IMAGE CAMERA RAW

Process a photo shoot in a fraction of the time, and keep editing in Photoshop CS2 simultaneously! Save files directly to a range of formats, including the new Digital Negative specification (DNG). Crop and straighten images with no loss of quality. Enjoy automatic adjustments to exposure, brightness and contrast, and precise curve and color settings. It’s simply the best and most versatile Camera Raw yet.

SOME OTHER PHOTOSHOP CS2 REFINEMENTS

Photoshop CS2 Review: HIGH CAPACITY RAM

To make the most of systems running 64-bit processors, Photoshop CS2 can now address more than 2 GB of RAM. Photoshop CS2 can address approximately 3.5 GB of RAM on a Power Macintosh G5 running Mac OS X, or on a Windows XP 64-bit Edition system running an Intel¨ Xeon™ processor with EM64T, or an AMD Athlon™ 64 or Opteron™ processor.

Photoshop CS2 Review: SHADOW-HIGHLIGHT ENHANCEMENTS

The popular and easy-to-use adjustment for shadows, highlights and midtone contrast is now available for images in CMYK mode as well as RGB.

Photoshop CS2 Review: SMART SHARPEN

Smart Sharpen is found in the Filters menu under Sharpen and it intelligently sharpens your image. It gives you control over sharpening highlights, shadows or the image as a whole and lets you select the kind of blur applied to the non-sharpened areas. It is definitely a cut above the standard unsharp mask.

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