Photography pros have sworn by Adobe Photoshop software for years to take ordinary photos into the extraordinary, via tools to fix exposure, remove unwanted objects and adjust colors.
Adobe is unveiling a free smartphone feature that can do much of that via artificial intelligence. In other words, you take the picture, and Adobe will pretty it up with many more options than you’re accustomed to seeing on your phone.
The company, which makes the popular Premiere video-editing software and the Acrobat Reader to view PDF files, says the app, Photoshop Camera, will instantly recognize the subject in your photo, provide recommendations and “automatically apply sophisticated, unique features at the moment of capture while always preserving an original shot.”
If you like the 24 filters available on the most-used photo app, Instagram, to add variety to your photo, Adobe promises hundreds of different looks.
Adobe showed USA TODAY a sneak peek at the app, using an image of the Seattle skyline as an example. In a few clicks, the AI added a moon, in several sizes, in the background, and night changed to day.
There’s one catch: Photoshop Camera is available only in preview mode and won’t get general availability until 2020.
To sign up, go to Adobe’s website: https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-camera.html
Adobe Flash: Google’s latest Chrome update tightens the locks on Adobe Flash
Streaming showdown: How to decide what’s best for you
Beyond the prearranged filters from Adobe, the company is working with online influencers to create their own and make them available. It signed up singer Billie Eilish to offer “lenses” to put on photos.
Adobe charges a variety of rates to subscribe to the Creative Cloud software program to get access to Photoshop, starting at $9.99. It has a variety of other free photo apps, including Lightroom Mobile for adding exposure tweaks to smartphone photos, Premiere Rush for video editing, Photoshop Express for quick photo edits and Photoshop Mix to create multilayered images.
How does Adobe make money when it gives away free apps?
“The focus is different,” says Abhay Parasnis, Adobe’s chief technology officer. “We want to expand the number of people who use” Adobe products and make them available for nonpros as well.
Adobe believes that if these consumers get their feet wet on smartphone apps, they’ll be motivated to graduate to full-featured software, Parasnis says. “It reinforces the value of these tools,” he says.
Beyond Photoshop Camera AI, Adobe says a mobile version of Photoshop, long-promised and in the works for a year, is finally available for the iPad. Aimed at pros who use the iPad as a computer replacement, it has tools to make multiple layers, move or remove objects from an image, selectively add colors to a black and white photo and more.