If you or somebody you know is a Photoshop junky and are wanting to get/give a really good Xmas gift, my I suggest the following?
Big Ticket Items:
A New Computer
Photoshop CS2 is a hog when it comes to processor speed, memory usage and hard drive space. Why not give the very best and plunk down a few grand on a new top end Apple Dual Core G5 or an AMD Dual Core machine? The more processors the better and big fat hard drives are a must…
Actually, with the relatively cheap prices of ram these days, anybody spending considerable time working in Photoshop should just pack their computer chock full of ram. On Mac, the G5′s can take up to 8 gigs and Photoshop can directly use 3.5 gigs or so. On PC you need to be running one of the new motherboards and Win XP 64 to take full advantage of up to 3 gigs. But Photoshop CS2 will take advantage of even more ram than the direct accessed ram by using smart caching for scratch. If time is money, you’ll save time (and thus save money) by adding ram. See this story about ram from PSN: Photoshop CS2-How much RAM? – Fact
A New Display
Remember, CRT display’s useful life is really only about 3 years before they get too long in the tooth to be really color accurate with good luminance output. Any Photoshop user could use a new Apple 30″ Cinema display…and if you have a lot of money burning a hole in your pocket, pop for one of the new NEC SpectraView Reference 21 (SpectraView LCD2180 WideGamut LED). Currently hard to find and really expensive (about $6K) it’s the top end of the top of the line color reference display.
Medium Ticket Items:
More Hard Drive Space
I don’t know ANYBODY who would say no to a new hard drive-whether it be a new fast SATA multi-hundred gig drive or a fast FireWire 800 drive. Just as you can never be too thin or have too much ram, nobody ever has enough hard drive space. And multi-hundred gig drives can be had for a little over $100…in fact, buy two-one for you and one for a friend!
Adobe Photoshop CS2
If you have a friend still stuck on Photoshop 5, 6, 7 or CS, do them a favor and get them an upgrade to Photoshop CS2. It’s only $149 (cheaper at some places) and has a ton of new features that make it well worth the price-but when you do, make sure you update Adobe Bridge to version 1.03 (lots of bug and performance fixes Click here for Mac and here for Windows) and Camera Raw 3.2 or the 3.3 public beta. In point of fact, any registered version of Photoshop, even Photoshop 1.0 can be upgraded to CS2. Check with Adobe Customer Service for upgrade directions for versions older than 5.0.
A Good Photoshop CS2 Book
Nobody EVER has enough good Photoshop books (well, ok, maybe I do since all my author friends send them to me). If you don’t have one each of the following, you are lacking…
By Martin Evening:
Adobe Photoshop CS2 for Photographers is a must have/must read for anybody dealing with photography in Photoshop.
By Bruce Fraser:
Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2. If you don’t have this book and you shoot digital and use Camera Raw, you are a fool.
Real World Adobe Photoshop CS2 Bruce, along with David Blatner give real world understanding of an increasingly complicated subject–Photoshop.
Real World Color Management Bruce teamed with Chris Murphy and Fred Bunting to deliver the must have color management tome.
By Andrew Rodney
Color Management for Photographers helps de-mystify a mystifying subject.
If you are in the midwest in June of 2006, check out the Great Lakes Digital seminars and workshops. News about 2006 should be coming soon.
If you want your Photoshop Junky/digital photographer to “get a life” try sending him to one of Seth Resnick’s D-65 workshops.
If you are a real Photoshop Junky and want to try what could be the hardest 3 days of your life, stay tuned for info on my workshops to be called Photoshop Extreme. They are going to be held in my Chicago studio and will start at 8:30AM on a Thursday and go straight through till Saturday night at midnight. I’ll have cots for naps (for the wimps) and we’re only about 2/3 of a mile from a 24hrs. Starbucks.
If you want to take a high-end photography and digital imaging workshop look at Greg Gorman’s Mendocino Workshops or check out where Michael Reichmann is heading out to next. You probably missed his 2005 Antarctic Expedition but will be able to sign up for the February 2007 Antarctic Quest soon.
A New Mouse
I can’t tell you how much better Photoshop can be driven with an accurate dual-optical mouse with multi-buttons. The Apple Pro mice and even the Mighty Mouse and all PC mice included with computers really suck for Photoshop work. My current mouse is a Logitech dual-optical mouse (no longer sold) but my replacement mouse would be a Logitech® MX™518 Gaming-Grade™ Optical Mouse (hint, hint–if Santa is reading). The accuracy of the optical mice and the programmable buttons (useful for Photoshop functions as well as gaming) make this a pro-level choice. Forget wireless mice…there just isn’t a good one with the required sensitivity out there.
Anything from PixelGenius.
Note: I am perhaps biased because I am a member of PixelGenius, but I’m not alone in my opinion–we’ve had some pretty darn good reviews of our products from all over the globe.
What am I gonna get for Xmas? Well, I can tell you it won’t have anything to do with Photoshop–seems my wife kinda has an “issue” with all things Photoshop. See: Photoshop Widows Club – Rebecca Schewe