The year 2010 has been an exciting time for digital photographers and imaging professio nals. The introduction of Photoshop CS5 and ACR 6, as well as Lightroom 3, brought many new capabilities and improvements. When I was offered the chance to put together 100 tips for these applications, I was excited. The trick, of course, is to narrow everything to just 100 tips when there are so many features and capabilities! As I reflected on my own experiences (and those of other professionals in the Photoshop community), it seemed reasonable to break down the challenge by task. There are—essentially—four tasks that affect any digital photographer: getting pictures into the computer and organized; developing the raw data; perfecting files with Photoshop; and considering the output details. An author could focus all attention on any one of those tasks and easily create 50–100 tips.
I chose to focus most of the tips on developing raw files in Lightroom 3 (and by extension ACR), and on perfecting those files in different ways using Photoshop CS5. I hope that you will find the breakdown and relative “weighting” of the tips to be helpful, as you seek to get things done as efficiently and precisely as you can. As with most digital workflows, there are often several techniques for accomplishing any given task (such as color correction). Consider each of these tips, as well as those you may find elsewhere, to be your guideposts as you work with your images. There are few absolutes with digital imaging; it’s all about finding the techniques that work best for your photography and your setup.
I hope that you get a lot of mileage from these tips and that the book can serve as a frequent reference in your work. Best of luck, and remember: There’s a part of this amazing world out there waiting for you to discover and photograph, and it can’t be done sitting in front of a computer. Like a camera or lens, software is just a tool for making the final product better. So get out there and go after it!