The Creative Cloud Photography Plan combines both of Adobe’s renowned photographic-based applications into one convenient subscription, and is dedicated to photographers and image-makers looking for an all-around post-production solution. Photoshop CC 2014 and Lightroom 5 are two truly versatile editing applications, which together form a comprehensive solution for raw image processing, file organization, retouching, and exporting finished photographs. And with the pair being offered together as Creative Cloud model, both programs benefit from receiving continuous updates to their feature set and can be used in conjunction with their respective mobile apps for on-the-go editing. The Creative Cloud Photography Plan is currently being offered in one-year subscriptions, which are available as a standard single-user license or as an educational license for students and teachers.
Following Adobe's transition to a licensed and subscription-based distribution method of its famed Creative Suite—now Creative Cloud—there was much debate on how to decipher the new business model and how to validate if the entire suite of programs was a necessity for most photographers. Luckily, Adobe has released the Photography Plan that includes the two most often-used Adobe programs in a photographer's repertoire, while forgoing the other applications that seldom see much use by photographers. The added benefit of working in the Creative Cloud is that applications see frequent updates to their functionality, such as the additions of new features and tools, continuous support for new camera models, access to a wide range of video tutorials for improving your editing skills, and the ability to store your images in the cloud for access to them across a range of devices. Specifically for photographers, too, this enables the use of Lightroom Mobile and Photoshop Mix apps that offer the ability to work on files on your smartphone or tablet and have the edits and most recent files synced among all devices, mobile or desktop.
Photoshop CC 2014
Photoshop has long been known as the standard, in regard to professional editing and retouching capabilities for photographers. Its breadth in functionality is the benchmark for editing applications, and its feature set continues to grow to meet the demands of a more multimedia style of image making. Some of the newest updates to Photoshop CC 2014 include:
- Perspective Warp, which allows you to adjust the perspective of a portion of your image without affecting other regions of the photo. This can be used to change the camera's viewpoint, or for compositing imagery taken at different camera positions or having different vanishing points.
- Smart Sharpen, which is an updated sharpening feature that allows you to draw out greater detail, add texture, and define edges in a natural manner. This tool analyzes specific portions of the image in order to increase clarity without the addition of unwanted noise or halos.
- Camera Shake Reduction simulates the technology commonly found in lenses or camera bodies, and helps to reduce the appearance of camera shake for sharper imagery. Typically found in photos taken with slower shutter speeds or with longer focal length lenses, this technology analyzes the trajectory of the image and works to lessen the distraction of unwanted blur.
- An updated Blur Gallery includes motion effects, which can be applied in circular, elliptical, and path-shaped blurs in order to evoke a sense of motion within imagery.
- The Focus Mask feature helps to build an accurate mask surrounding the detected in-focus regions of an image, which can then be used to enhance selective focus and shallow depth-of-field techniques.
- Improved Content-Aware technology enables more seamless and natural retouching control when using the content-aware fill, move, and patch tools, with the ability to blend areas containing gradients cleanly, such as skies, for more realistic results.
- The free Photoshop Mix app for the iPad can be used in conjunction with the Creative Cloud membership to maintain a synced workflow when editing from your tablet.
Complementing Photoshop's editing capabilities is Lightroom 5, which is an ideal workflow-related tool that also features a host of editing tools for lighter, more streamlined retouching. Lightroom functions in a non-destructive environment and utilizes catalogs to permit unrestricted experimentation with your imagery without the fear of overwriting the original image files. Additionally, this program is also adept at organizing your image files, editing metadata, and exporting into a variety of media. Some of the newest updates to Lightroom 5 include:
- Advanced Healing Brush, which is used to repair image defects quickly, such as dust or spots, as well as cleanly remove unwanted objects from the image. The updated controls also help you when removing organically shaped items, such as threads or splotches, without affecting the main subjects.
- Upright, a feature that allows you to straighten tilted images with a single click by analyzing and detecting skewed horizontal and vertical lines. This function can even be performed if the horizon is obscured or hidden.
- Smart Previews helps when editing on a laptop or other site away from your main workspace, and permits working with your imagery without having to bring the entire library with you. By generating smaller, more portable stand-in files of your original photos, you can apply adjustments and edit the metadata, then automatically apply these edits to the larger originals at a later time.
- Multimedia slideshows can be produced and contain video clips, still imagery, and music tracks. These slideshows can then be exported for viewing on nearly any device.
- By working with Lightroom within a Creative Cloud membership, you can utilize Lightroom Mobile to edit photos on a smartphone or tablet and then sync the edits with your catalogs at home to ensure your imagery is always kept up-to-date across all devices. This app can be used to edit images made with the mobile devices or even raw files taken with your DSLR or mirrorless camera, and the results can be shared directly to social media sites.