Will New Photoshop Camera App Signal Death Knell for Professional Photo Retouching Artists?

New Photoshop Camera App announced this week, sounds like a very big deal.
Psssst. Er no. But please read on, anyway……

So, our good friend, Adobe has just announced it’s launching a dedicated photo retouching app for smartphones called the new Photoshop Camera app. It’s not actually prefixed with the word ‘new’. We’ve just added that for good SEO measure, obvs.

And geeks are obviously getting a teensy weeny bit excited at the prospect of this. Probably the sort who decamp outside Apple stores for a week ahead of the launch of the latest all-singing, all-dancing iPhone. And that’s their perogrative, of course. Each to their own and all that jazz.

Question is, as bona fide professional photo retouching artists; people are already asking us if we should be quaking in our boots at this latest news?

And the answer is….(no drum roll required)….a great big no. As in NO. And a resounding no at that.

And here’s why we’re not packing up our own cutting-edge Photoshop software packages, closing the window blinds and placing a ‘Gone on Extended Holiday’ sign on our door just yet.

Brace yourself; there’s an analogy heading this way.

Think of it like this.

In theory, you could shoe-horn your averagely-skilled car driver into the cockpit of 6 times Formula 1 Driver’s Champion, Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, and ask them to take it for a spin. Put it through their paces. See what they can get out of it.

But does that mean they’ll perform in it like the our newly re-crowned champ? Or vaguely akin to any motorsport professional for that matter? Are they likely to set a new lap record around Silverstone?

Er, no.

The chances are they’d keep stalling it until such time as Hell froze over. And even if they did get it started, they’d likely plough it straight into a pile of tyres.

You can see exactly where we’re going with this now, can’t you?

The key word you’re looking for above is ‘professional’. Because that’s the different between someone who knows what they’re doing, because they’ve been doing it since they were knee-high to the proverbial grasshopper. And someone else who thinks it’s a lot easier than it looks.

That’s not to make us sound too big for those aforementioned boots we confirmed we weren’t set to quake in any time soon, mind. At the mention of Adobe letting the cat out of the bag and announcing its much-anticipated new Photoshop Camera app. Merely to address the fact that it takes a lot more than a piece of snazzy filtering kit downloaded to a phone to make you a whizz at image editing.

It also takes many, many years of practice to make (picture) perfect too.

But we’re only saying all this in jest.

As at the end of the day, this news is hardly direct competition for the professional photo editing sector. It simply means that every one of us with a half-decent smartphone can have a bit more choice when it comes to our phone filters. Once we realise that Instagram and/or Snapchat only has about four decent examples to choose from every time we try to make our latest pics pop. While the existing filters in-built to most smartphone manufacturers’ devices these days could hardly be described as being ‘all that’, either.

So truth be told, we’re actually cockahoop that our (very good) friends over at Photoshop are jumping on the mobile image enhancing bandwagon and offering something that will undoubtedly blow the competition out of the water. Not least because we have a good idea of just how good these filters will be.

Microfiching for information, before the superhighway was even constructed.
We still love our old original Photoshop. You can keep your new-fangled tech….

Clang. Sorry. I Think We Just Dropped a Name or Two….

But what they won’t be is us. Nor will the millions of potential users keen to give the app a whirl. Not to put too finer point on it (but we will all the same) because they don’t have over 20 years first hand experience in the professional photo retouching business. During which time our clients have included The National Trust and Channel 4‘s resident property guru, Sarah Beeney to name but two previous happy customers of ours.

Having said all this, we don’t want to come across as either killjoys nor smarta****. Plus it goes without saying that like everyone else, once the new Photoshop Camera app becomes readily available (sometime in 2020; precise details remain a bit sketchy) we’ll be rushing to download the app to see what all the fuss is about.

What IS All the Fuss About?

Well, we better tell you while you’re here, we guess.

Unveiled for the first time anywhere this week at Adobe’s annual MAX conference, critics are already colloquially describing the new Photoshop Camera app as a way in which to ‘democratise creativity’. And there’s no denying that Adobe certainly knows its onions in the image manipulation sector; whenever and wherever it drops new kit.

A byword for online photo editing supremeness amongst the great and the good who serve the image editing profession across the globe for as long as we care to remember now, Adobe’s Photoshop is without question the touchstone for anyone working in our business. But that’s not to say it’s easy to get your head around when using it. For most of us professional photo retouchers it can take years of fastidious dedication to the cause to master all of its unique facets and quirks. Quirks we said, not Quarks. Xpress is more old school than us.

Photoshop claims however that its new mobile-only app will be very user-friendly. Telling all and sundry that it will utilise Adobe’s Sensei artificial intelligence in order to instruct phone users which filters and lenses work best for each individual snap they’re in the process of digitally enhancing. Such is the searing intellect of the all-seeing ‘artifical one’, that it can readily identify the subject in the image as precisely what genre it’s defined as. Be it a landscape, food or portrait shot. And then proceed to give the user a virtual nod and a wink in the direction of which of its countless filters would best serve the purpose in this given scenario.

OK. We’re Admitting it. The New Photoshop Camera App is Pretty Neat

Which we’ll admit, is pretty darn impressive. But the future-proof smugness of the AI doesn’t end there. Because Adobe’s Sensei can also recognise the visceral tech content of the pic too, and automatically adjust accordingly. Think tonality, shadows, exposure, etc.

Hats off to Adobe then for inventing another slice of photo editing genius, yet we’ll continue to sleep easy knowing that DT will always remain the ‘go-to’ folks for all your serious digital image enhancing needs. Because we’re equipped with more than just a swanky bit of new tech. Coming as we do complete with a couple of traditional commodities that simply can’t be bought for love nor money. Experience and a natural creative ability. Not a pre-programmed version of events.

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