I never really considered myself a Photoshop person. Well, maybe for a brief time about 10 years ago, when I was using Ps2.5, but I never really got proficient at it because my scratch disk was always full.

Once Fireworks came out, that's all I really needed to create web graphics and simple illustrations (Illustrator was far beyond my capabilities, and Freehand was only barely within them), and it was also all I felt I needed for photo editing. I used it pretty much exclusively until I started downloading all my photos to my work MacBook (because it's here at my desk, where I can casually upload 5 or 10 photos at a time in between doing work-related tasks), which did not have Fireworks installed on it. At that point, I just used the editing tools in iPhoto to adjust contrast, exposure, saturation, and sharpness.

One day—probably after Heather Champ's photography session at BlogHer, where I finally learned how to use Unsharp Mask—I wasn't able to get the levels right in iPhoto at all, so I downloaded Photoshop CS2. While it did a perfect job of getting the levels right in a single step (Auto Levels, of course), its tenure as the default editor for iPhoto only lasted about a week. It was slow to start up, slow to use, and I wasn't familiar enough with how to use all the tools and menu items (aside from the aforementioned Auto Levels and Unsharp Mask, and I wasn't even sure I was doing those absolutely correctly) to make it worth the wait. I went back to using the Adjustments panel in iPhoto, and only launched Photoshop if iPhoto refused to cooperate.

After hearing folks rave about how much faster the Universal Binary was in Photoshop CS3, I finally decided to brave the giant download and try it out. Yowsa! Suddenly I've become, well, if not proficient in Photoshop, at least efficient in Photoshop. I still feel like I'm just scratching the surface, and my photo-editing talents are slim indeed, but I'm finding my way around at a much quicker pace since upgrading. (I'm sure I will be making y'all sick with my weird effects over the coming weeks.) Oh, and Photoshop CS3 has become my default editor for iPhoto again. It launches in a snap, opens photos for editing even faster (and way faster than Fireworks does on the Mac Mini downstairs), and makes matching color among several shots easy as pie. SO COOL.

I can't recommend Photoshop CS3 highly enough, especially if you're on a Mac.

Posted by Lori in photography at 6:28 PM on May 13, 2007

Comments (2)

David Humphreys:

Have you seen this trick?

It's the bomb...


I have, yes -- and it is!


Have you seen this trick?

It's the bomb...

Posted by: David Humphreys at May 14, 2007 12:36 PM

I have, yes -- and it is!

Posted by: Lori at May 14, 2007 12:53 PM

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