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Adobe Photoshop Elements
|The QuickStart Screen serves as a starting off point when first learning Photoshop Elements.|
Adobe has targeted Photoshop Elements at people who use digital cameras, scanners, even royalty free images, who need an image editing application that has an easy learning curve as well as professional level features. Photo enthusiasts, business professionals who put together PowerPoint and video presentations, and Microsoft Office warriors would seem to be the key users for Photoshop Elements.
While many of the features of Photoshop are in Photoshop Elements, some of the features, such as CMYK conversion capabilities are not. But the target market for Photoshop Elements, the digital photographers, the business professionals who aren't graphics artists, and those who need to tweak photos for a PowerPoint or video presentation won't need or want all of the power and complexity of Photoshop.
So what is unique to Photoshop Elements?
When you first launch Photoshop Elements, you are greeted with the application's Quick Start screen. This screen can serve as your jumping off point for editing and acquiring images. Here you can create a new image, open a new image, acquire images from a digital camera or scanner, view and run tutorials, and get help. This launching point is a nice touch, because rather than having a blank screen, the Quick Start eases you into the editing and acquiring process. While you can choose the same commands in the menus, and can turn the Quick Start screen off, it is nice to have a choice of running with the default Quick Start screen.
|Thumbnail images within folders can be viewed from within the File Browser.|
|The Recipes palette is designed to help you make specific changes to your image by following the provided Recipe.|
|The Filters Browser. Click on image for larger view.|
The Effects Browser is similar to the Filters Browser in that it enables you to see the effects before you apply them, and when you do apply them you are prompted with the question, Do you wish to keep this effect?" This is a great feature for experimenting with effects on an image. Visualizing is the key here and Photoshop Elements does a great job in helping you to visualize changes to an image before you make the changes.
|Rough Photomerged image. Notice at the top of the combined image are the borders of three different images. Click on image for larger view.||Photomerged image with Cylindrical mapping applied and cropped. Click on image for larger view.|
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Company: Adobe Systems
Summary: Photoshop Elements combines much of the power of Photoshop with an easy to learn interface. Photoshop could benefit from some of the visual features, such as the Filters and Effects browsers, specific to Photoshop Elements. The software, for a version 1 release, is surprisingly stable, offers a lot of functionality for the money, and helps users to realize true visualization to the image editing process.
One Touch Image Correction:
Several tools unique to Photoshop Elements enable you to correct problems with an image with a few clicks. The Photoshop Elements Adjust Backlighting command is supposed to enable you to darken an image to correct for overexposure caused by a camera flash, while Fill Flash lightens images that were not exposed correctly. The Auto Straighten Crop command attempts to fix an image that was scanned in crooked. These commands, while one touch, are really up to each individual's eye to determine if you are satisfied with the result. Of the three tools mentioned here, The Auto Straighten Crop command worked the best for me.
Photoshop Elements has a bunch of other features that are more common in other image editors in this price range, such as the capability to create GIF animations for web pages, and a save for web feature. While Photoshop Elements isn't going to replace dedicated image editors or Web image editors for specific tasks, it will give the likes of Ulead PhotoImpact and JASC PaintShop Pro (both Windows only products) some pretty stiff competition.
John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at [email protected]
Related Keywords:adobe, photoshop, elements, imaging, design, 2D, digital photography, powerpoint, artists