Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) is the latest offering from Adobe and is part of its new subscription based pricing (currently causing very mixed opinions) for its host of creative software.
Like many other Photographers when a new version of Photoshop pops up we head straight over to Adobe’s website and download the new versions 30 day trial, because basically this is like getting a new dark room or at least a new set of gadgets/toys for your digital dark room.
The two new big changes are the ability to use ‘Camera RAW’ as a Plugin from the Filter menu and the long awaited ‘Shake Reduction’ which, in a sci-fi-esque way looks to take your blurry image and reverse the blur to sharpen the image. Yes … you read that correctly, an algorithm is now available to look at your blurry photo, try and work out why it’s blurred (camera moved too quickly, too slow shutter speed for subject etc) and then reverse it. The video for the Shake Reduction on Adobe’s website looks to do wonders for blurry images but just how good is it really? I grabbed the camera to find out.
Going against everything I aim for in a photograph I took my camera, turned it to M (Manual) and got a nice and blurry photo to test out. The result can be seen below (with settings), straight out of camera (aside from a slight brightness increase).
So a fairly blurry photo and maybe a little too much to ask of Photoshop CC? why not throw it in at the deep end I say. I wasted no time bringing this into Photoshop and bringing up the ‘Shake Reduction’ Filter. Here I waited for the preview and selected Blur Trace Bounds to 86px and Smoothing around 50% just to give it a test. The result, I think you’ll agree is pretty good for a piece of software, though obviously this should not come even close to getting it right in-camera. Every edge is a lot sharper though admittedly not perfect (in fairness though this was 1/15th of a second handheld photograph. The most noticeable improvements, I feel, are in the white flower which has brought back a lot of the edges of where each colour had started to blend into each other due to the blur and the spotted markings on the flower are also a lot clearer.
In addition to the sci-fi blur reversal is an improved ‘Smart Sharpen’ which is also available through the Filter > Sharpen menu. So the next logical step I feel is to take this ‘de-blurred’ image and see if we can’t give it a greater level of sharpening. The result can be seen below, a bit better but probably not as noticeable unless it was blown up and printed big.
A final new feature I took the time to explore was the (in my opinion) long awaited Camera RAW 8 as a Filter. This allows you to take images such as JPEGs and use the Camera RAW interface and editing capabilities to enhance your images, making non-destructive modifications in the panel before outputting it to the main Photoshop CC workspace.
This time I think the overall finish is much more appealing thanks to an Exposure adjustment, increased Contrast and a bit more Clarity to try and bring the details out a bit further.
This concludes my quick overview/review of the new Photoshop CC feature Shake Reduction, Camera RAW 8 and improvement in Smart Sharpening.
Below is the four images as an edit-in-progress view. We are currently requesting you to send us your blurred photos via Facebook and offering to Shake Reduce them FREE of charge for a limited time to allow us to dive deeper into the settings and hopefully ‘wow’ you with the results.
You can enter your images by visiting our Facebook Page HERE