Conquer Photoshop – Master the Elements

by David Peters

Photoshop is undoubtedly one of the forerunners of all the kinds of editing software that swarm the marketplace. With the plethora of tools and features that it offers users, Photoshop is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most widely used photo-editors in the editing sphere. However, there is still the challenge that most first-time users face when it comes to maneuvering their way through the software and learning about its true potential. In fact, there is a large percentage of users who are still unaware of all Photoshop has to offer, simply because they don’t know how to get it to work for them. However, there still is a brighter side to this story. Adobe has now delineated some of Photoshop’s most outstanding, and most widely used features into a remarkable software they call Photoshop Elements.

Photoshop Elements is a unique blend of some of the most alluring possibilities that Photoshop has to offer. only, it limits its selection to the more commonly used functions which means that as the user, you have a lot less technicality to maneuver through, without being starved of all the tools you need to work wonders on your images. Elements simplifies a number of procedures that you may have to grapple with the more expansive version, without giving you that feeling of “That’s it?” which effectively ruins your creative process. And this is the very reason why this software is such a great success with amateur photographers and digital imaging enthusiasts. It offers them all the core elements of Photoshop which have earned this software its fame, while leaving out the professional tools that they wouldn’t have used anyway. In all its concise glory, Elements is comprised of an efficient photo-editor, a photo-organizer that you can use once you’ve added your inimitable touch to your images and even a collection of themes and templates to augment your images with.

Photoshop Elements also facilitates the process of editing by letting you accomplish some of the more common functions of photo-editing, with just one simple function, instead of having to plod through endless steps and routines. For instance, one of the most common problems that plague a majority of photographers is the red-eye effect, which ruins the best of photographs by cropping up at the most inopportune of moments. Getting rid of this effect can be very tedious with Photoshop per SE, but with Photoshop Elements, you can use the automatic Red Eye Removal feature and let the software do the laboring for you. Even better, the Quick-Fix functions let you crop images and adjust the light and color with the Auto Smart Fix and the Auto Contrast and Crop options, while also letting to take a look at the before and after versions.

The Organizer and Editor are delineated into activity-based tabs, so that you don’t have to wander through the entire software to find what you need. You can simply go into the ‘Organize’, ‘Fix’, ‘Create’ and ‘Share Photos’ categories, and then choose your preferred tool from the selection each category offers. The ‘Selection’ process is also a lot easier where all you have to do is paint over the object and the selection tool will find the edges by itself. You can even fine-tune the selection you’ve made by using the ‘Refine Edge’ dialog, which lets you smooth, contract or expand the selection edge.

You can also convert your colored images to vintage black and white souvenirs, choose from the array of styles that Elements offers and even adjust the intensity as per the effect you want to achieve. The ‘Organize’ section has an incredibly useful feature called ‘Smart Albums’ which let you pick out the images you’ve edited on a particular date or even the one’s you’ve captured with a specific camera. Elements also makes it a lot easier to navigate through the software with the more prominent and larger icons it offers, while the astounding number of add-ons and tutorials you can find off the internet, make it an comprehensive and resourceful software to work with.

Photoshop Elements allows you a number of alternatives when it comes to showcasing your creations. You can either package your images into slide shows or feature them in web-galleries, or even print them out on contact sheets, depending on how you want to display them. The software also has a number of frames you can choose from, and even a selection of backgrounds and artwork that you can click and drop on your image to yield results that are nothing short of spectacular.

Photoshop Elements gives you a very helpful start when you first venture into the world of digital image editing. However, Photoshop has its own brand of loyalists who will insist that you cannot afford to opt for anything less than the all-inclusive version. And if you in a quandary about which side the grass is greener on, simply visit the Photoshop website and download trial versions of both varieties. Although time-bound, they do allow you a complete insight into the software and what it is capable of, giving you a comprehensive picture to base your selection on. So once you know the limits which you can scale with digital editing, why wait any longer? Download your trial versions, or take the plunge and invest in the software today and watch your images look more stunning than you could have ever pictured them as.

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