With the proliferation of digital cameras and the ability to share photos in ever-more interesting ways, primarily via internet-based applications, people are showing greater interest in photography than ever before. Just about everyone now has the ability to turn the once-humble snapshot into a work of art worthy of sharing with the world. Fundamental to this photographic explosion is photo editing software that allows shutterbugs of all ability levels to attain results that were once reserved only for talented professionals. Photoshop Elements adds to the exceptional track record of previous Adobe products with even more creative editing features, organizational functions and sharing ease. It earns our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for photo editing software.
At the heart of Adobe Photoshop Elements is the ability to edit ordinary photographs in ways that make them works of art. This application offers both new and enhanced capabilities to show off your inner artist. Whether you're fixing flaws in new or old photos to take advantage of the latest enhancement technologies or creating your own images digitally, Photoshop Elements likely has a tool that's perfect for you.
A side effect of digital photography is that most people take far more pictures than ever before. Since there's no need to worry about running up a huge bill for film, numerous shots of the same thing are commonplace. Photoshop Elements upgraded organizing functionality allows you to get rid of duplicates you don't want and to organize related photos in the way that best suits your needs.
Finally, Photoshop Elements provides easy ways for you to share your creative genius. Whether you're creating impressive photobooks or uploading your masterpieces to the internet, you'll find the task easier and more versatile than ever before.
At first blush, photo editing software can be intimidating. That's true for Photoshop Elements and any of the other products in the category. Modern photo editing software has numerous capabilities that can make you look like a photographic genius. The good news is that there's no need learn everything at once. Any given operation is easy to accomplish and can be mastered in a relatively short time with just a bit of practice. You also don't have to worry about spoiling your original photograph because Photoshop Elements applies nondestructive changes to your pictures so that, even if you do something dreadful, you can undo the alterations, and the original file remains intact. The key to becoming an expert is to master individual tasks one by one and to allow your knowledge to build upon itself.
Among the most valuable features of Adobe Photoshop Elements are the Guided Edits. They offer simple ways to start with a good photo and make it great by following step-by-step, on-screen directions. Even with the prescribed process, you always retain the ability to make custom edits to your exacting standards based on other processes you learn along the journey.
Photoshop Elements imports photos directly into a separate application known as Elements Organizer. It's a standalone media management hub that houses video clips as well as still images. As such, there can be some confusion because a particular functionality that seems to be part of Photoshop Elements may actually reside in Elements Organizer. In general, the two applications run seamlessly together. Furthermore, since many digital cameras can record video as well as still photography, Elements Organizer is ideally suited for both. The catch is that opening a video clip automatically opens another Adobe product, Premier Elements. If you don't happen to have that application installed on your computer, you'll be asked to install it. Adobe offers a 30-day free trial of Premier Elements to give you the opportunity to see if it's something you want to purchase.
You can import photos from your camera's memory card or from scans, and they'll be separated according to your designated preferences. The importer automatically separates them by date, and it can group related photos can by subject matter such as people, pets, travel or objects based on your customized settings.
Although Adobe Photoshop Elements has a broad feature set, the main reason you'll likely want to use the application is for photo editing. Using PSE, you can accomplish any editing task, from fixing defects in cherished heirlooms to showing off your creative side with the newest image-manipulation techniques. The most common single edit that people use is cropping an image to emphasize important subject and eliminate superfluous content. This product features crop guides, including the Golden Ratio and Rule of Thirds, to help your edits look even more aesthetically pleasing.
We particularly like the addition of Guided Edits to Photoshop Elements. This is a set of three different editing techniques that help create great photographic effects. These three functions are known as the Orton effect, Picture Stack effect and Depth of Field effect.
The Orton effect was originally created using slide photography and typically combines an in-focus image with an out-of-focus image for a unique look. You can easily use Photoshop Elements to accomplish this by adjusting the blur, noise and brightness of your photograph to create an artful, impressionistic image.
The Picture Stack effect allows you to create a collage feeling to a photo. It divides pictures into eight components that you can then manipulate to get just the look you want. Finally, the Depth of Field effect allows you to add a professional touch to any snapshot by blurring or sharpening specific portions of the image.
To make the most of your photographic projects, Photoshop Elements features the ability to enhance color in video clips just as you would in photos. It also offers the ability to use custom panning motions and zooming to give your images a life like feel.
These days, sharing is all about social media sites. Photoshop Elements lets you tag your photos using your Facebook Friends list directly in the Elements Organizer prior to sharing them. The People Recognition feature can automatically apply your Facebook information to the photos in the organizer. You can also make scrapbook pages, photo books or cards easily using built-in templates or express your completely customized creativity.
You can save images in Photoshop Elements in a vast array of formats including GIF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, Photoshop EPS, Photoshop PDF, PNG, TIFF and several other formats as well. You can also use this application to create CD or DVD labels and jackets and photo collages.
Because digital photography lends itself to taking multiple shots of the same thing, we often end up with huge photo libraries containing many duplicate or very similar images. The Elements Organizer can now recognize the duplicates and automatically organize or even delete them. You can also use the Visual Search function to find similar photos or photos of a specific person or object. The software also includes a feature called Auto-Analyzer that applies smart tags to photos and video clips when they're imported. You can then easily filter and sort the images to find the highest-quality photos and clips.
Photoshop Elements is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and XP, and with Mac OSX. Adobe offers several support options for Photoshop Elements. Technical support via telephone is available Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Your questions and concerns may also be addressed by accessing the FAQ section on the Adobe website. You can find further support in the product's user manual, online tutorials and in online, user-moderated forums.
Photoshop Elements offers a remarkable suite of photo editing, organizing and sharing tools that is tough to beat. Its automated functions allow photo hobbyists to produce professional-looking results, yet it has enough customizable features to be valuable to pros. Its basic functionality is easy to master, and you can even learn its more-advanced features quickly with a little practice. Organizing photos is more efficient than ever before, which makes sharing your photos on the internet or mobile devices very easy. This application is an all-around winner for anyone who's interested in making the most of digital photography.
Guided Edits make it easy for anyone to create photographic masterpieces, and the organizing features are unbeatable.
Photos are stored in a separate application, which can lead to a bit of confusion.
Photographers of any level can make their work more appealing and creative using this excellent application.