These days, small business owners need to be more resourceful than ever in getting their message across to consumers.
Forward-thinking entrepreneurs have embraced technologies that let them integrate photos into their online and off-line marketing materials. Stock photos are okay, but you get the biggest impact from images that were captured from your company's front line.
Frontline image capturing means that you will also need to invest in photo editing software. Adobe Photoshop has long been considered the industry leader in providing photo editing software for business and home use. As part of Adobe's wildly successful Creative Suite solution, Photoshop is a familiar and powerful photo editing application that can be used for both basic and advanced photo editing projects.
Adobe Photoshop operates on images in a raster-based editing environment with a native .psd format. Although the software has a broad variety of features that users have come to know and love, the new version, Adobe Photoshop CS5 offers some enhanced features that are worth considering.
- Masks panel. Many of Adobe's improvement to the Photoshop product revolve around creating a more convenient user experience. The Masks panel feature is a sidebar that is chocked full of masking tools. Instead of drilling down into the application, users can refine edges, change opacity and adjust transitions between masked/unmasked areas much more quickly.
- Adjustments panel. A large part of Photoshop's value is based on its ability to make on-the-fly image adjustments. Like the Masks panel, the Adjustments panel has handy tools for modifying image color, brightness, hue, saturation, value and other characteristics.
- Content-aware scaling. Adobe Photoshop CS5's content-aware scaling is a significant feature for manipulating photos and images. In the past, adjusting the scale of isolated parts of a photo meant chopping, pasting or retouching – a real hassle when you need to alter a photo quickly. Content-aware scaling has an intelligence feature that automatically detects important parts of the photo, eliminating chopping altogether. If you prefer, you can also choose to identify critical photo elements manually.
- Tabbed display. The new version of Photoshop opens new images in different tabs in the same window. Did you catch all that? In other words, you can work with multiple images without switching back and forth between two or more windows – a real timesaver.