3 Most Useful New Features in Photoshop CS5 & Lightroom 3

June 18, 2010 § Leave a comment


Photoshop ad by Bates141 Jakarta.

I’ve spent some time this week watching Adobe TV videos and trying out the new features in Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3. Here are the 3 new features I found most useful in each program.


1. Content-Aware Spot Healing Brush
There’s been a lot of fuss over the Content-Aware Fill feature in CS5.  It’s certainly a very impressive piece of processing, but I find the addition of Content-Aware in the type menu of the Spot Healing Brush ultimately more useful. I use both the Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush extensively in retouching portraits, removing dust from scanned archive photos etc. When the brush now takes the surrounding pixels into consideration, much les time is spent getting a good result.

2. Edge Detection & Contaminate Colors
Refine Edge, where you can adjust the edge of your masks has two very handy new features. The first is called Edge Detection and is very useful in quickly selecting high frequency details like hair and grass. A painstaking manual task has been made much easier. No more blurry head edges!

The other feature is called Contaminate Colors and lets you remove color casts on the edge of a subject you have isolated. I used to spent a lot of time isolating pathologic specimen from the blue background they’re normally photographed against. This blue background left a slight blue cast on the edge of the specimen in the photo. Making this look good without desaturating or cropping the edges took a lot of tim. With Contaminate Colors it’s done in seconds.

3. Straighten
In CS5 the Ruler Tool (found on the same button as the Eye-Dropper) can be used to straighten pictures. Just as in Lightroom and Camera Raw you draw a line along something in the picture that should be horizontal or vertical and then hit “Straighten”.


1. Lens Profile Correction
The new Lightroom version has an excellent lens correction feature. In addition to adjusting chromatic aberration and vignettes you can adjust perspective distortion, but best of all, Lightroom can automatically adjust all these parameters for you based on what lens you’ve used (stored in the shot’s metadata). It has all the lenses by the largest players installed (Canon, Nikon, Sigma) and more can be downloaded. The automatic corrections can of course be manually tweaked afterwards.

2. Auto-Sync
The most time-saving aspect of Lightroom is that you can synchronize adjustments and metadata for a series of photos. In LR2 you did this by making adjustments to one shot and then synchronizing, In LR3 you can turn on Auto-Sync and the adjustments are synchronized in realtime!

3. Improved Import Dialogue
There’s one thing I’ve really missed in Lightroom until now and that is full-screen previews of my shots in the import dialogue. I want to take a good look at my shots before I import them so I can import just the best ones. Well, now I can. LR3 offers full-size previews of the shots on your card. You can also save import presets so you don’t have to fill in all the variables each time.

There you have it. Check out this photo set from the making of the ad above.

This is my blog post #200 in 2.5 years, by the way!

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