I’m a lazy photographer and I’ll be the first to admit it. I’d much rather be out in the field shooting landscapes or even on location doing product shots for a client, than sitting in my office working in Lightroom or Photoshop. I used to enjoy working in the darkroom for hours on end, dodging and burning an enlargement to get it just right. But I just don’t get the same “thrill” from developing my raw files into something a client might like on my MacBook. Like I said, I’m lazy. That’s why I’m more than willing to shell out my hard earned cash for a piece of software like Adobe’s most recent version of Photoshop (CS5) with its content aware healing brush.
Take this shot below for example. As you ca see in the first image, there are two power lines running horizontally through the middle of the scene. I can remember looking at this scene back in June and wondering if I should even take the shot given my mediocre Photoshop skills. I couldn’t find any angle that hid the power lines but decided to shoot it anyway, with the hope that Photoshop’s new “content aware” healing brush might help me salvage this somehow.
As you can see in the second image, the healing brush in Photoshop CS5 did what I once thought impossible. It erased the horizontal power lines with enough “content awareness” (can a computer program be aware?) that the image still looks “natural”, at least when printed or viewed at less than 100%. Obviously, no amount of “content awareness” will allow you to perfectly erase a horizontal line running through a scene like this, but the results are very impressive anyway.
Given the huge improvement of the Photoshop CS5’s healing brush over CS4, just think of what a few more years of “content aware” development may bring. I guess I’ll need to keep budgeting for those Photoshop upgrades every year or so, and I’m fairly certain that’s what Adobe is counting on.