Photoshop has been the most powerful, dominant photo editor for over well over two decades. However, we always wish for more, don’t we?

Here’s five features that I would love to see come to Photoshop.

1. More accurate Sky Replacement of night sky images 

Sky Replacement still has some blending issues near edges and horizons when attempting to blend dark skies.
Photoshop still struggles with blending. This is a dark starry night photo. When attempting to replace it with a cloudy sky, it has difficulty blending with the horizon or around the tree. You can still see the stars poking through. This occurs on brighter star trails skies too, where the star trails still shine through. The saving grace is that you can still address this by modifying the Layer Mask.

Photoshop’s Sky Replacement keeps getting closer and closer. Photoshop 22.5.0 appears to have improved again. But it’s still not quite what I am wishing for. The darker the skies, the more challenges its machine learning seems to have. However, it does seem to be getting better around details, such as tree leaves and complex patterns.

The reason many of us night photographers want Sky Replacement is for blending our night skies with our “blue hour” photos. We keep the camera and tripod in the same place, get some of the foreground during Blue Hour, wait until the Milky Way comes out, photograph that and blend them together.

Still, it keeps improving. Perhaps it’s the promise that makes some of us impatient. We can almost taste it.

For those who want other skies, Sky Replacement has some new skies to choose from, and comes with the ability to import up to 5000 skies simultaneously. The Get New Skies option lets you download groups of professional, high-quality sky presets. Or of course, like us night photographers, you can import your own.

2. Stop Photoshop from crashing when a third-party plugin crashes

Photoshop occasionally crashes when launching Camera RAW. However, it doesn’t seem to happen very often. Third-party plugins seem to crash more, however. And it takes Photoshop down with it.

Perhaps a programmer would cluck at my possibly naive wish. The third-party programmers make it complicated, they’d probably say. They’d ask if I have enough RAM (I have 40GB) or if I have updated Photoshop or my OS (I have). They’d ask if my third-party plugin is up to date, whether I have enough hard drive space, whether Photoshop is running efficiency (yes, yes and 100%). Preference settings, cache states, purge, SSD … check, check, check and check. They’ll ask if I restarted the computer. Yes. Yes, I have.

And at the end of the day, when a plugin crashes, it’ll still take Photoshop down, much like someone falling off a cliff takes a would-be rescuer down as well.

3. Stop ghosting images on High Pass Filter when resizing or using Liquify tool

Ghosting after using the Liquify Tool on the layer below the High Pass Filter.
Ghosting after using the Liquify tool on the layer below the High Pass Filter.

This is a relatively small thing. When you create a sharpening filter such as a High Pass Filter and decide to Liquify a layer that is beneath the High Pass Filter, it creates a ghost image. The only workaround that I know about is to redo the High Pass Filter. Still, it would be nice if Photoshop could handle the High Pass Filter in another manner.

4. Fix variance in size for the Text tool

I will use a 110-point font on an image. Occasionally, when I open another image which is the same size, the 110-point font will be so large that it won’t fit on a 6000-pixel image. I’ve noticed that this has been happening for years. If it’s operator error, I sure cannot figure it out. After all, it’s the same font size across two identically-sized images.

5. One wish that is sort of addressed already …

Warning messages when PSD files exceed 2G in size.
If trying to save a PSD file that exceeds 2GB, you will receive these prompts in the more modern versions of Photoshop. Just remember that a PSB file is a Large Document Format, and all is good.

Just about everybody who stacks photos, whether for star trails or other reasons, has probably run up against the 2GB size limit when using PSD files. It comes up quickly. If you convert to a TIFF file, you can double the size limit, which helps. 

Still, camera file sizes have gotten larger, but the 2GB size limit has remained the same. I believe this is because the 2GB file size limit is a hard limit that cannot be changed, or surely it would have been increased a decade or more ago.

The Large Document Format — also known as PSB — addresses this. In fact, it gets large. Absurdly large. As in approximately 10 times larger than a PSD. This size seems like it would be “future-proofed” for a while.

Why am I mentioning this? Some who are using older versions of Photoshop will not receive a prompt to change the PSD files to PSB. For quite some time, I did not know that the Large Document Format was a PSB file. Nor did I know that I should use it.

Wrapping it up

Photoshop is a deep, often bewildering program. It’s possible that there’s a fix, workaround or feature already that makes these wish list items null and void. If you know of any, please add them in the comments below.

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