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Marcus Kazmierczak

Photoshop Elements

I recently purchased Photoshop Elements 2.0 since the new version supports Mac OS X. I was previously using an older version of Photoshop, my last remaining Mac OS classic app. I was initially skeptical about Elements since I’ve been real disappointed with other slimmed down versions of Photoshop, such as Photoshop LE which comes bundled with scanners.

Also, I figured Adobe would leave out a few crucial features to keep the $609 professional Photoshop a more desirable product. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Photoshop Elements and at only $99.

NOTE: I may be Mac-centric but Photoshop Elements does run on both Mac and Windows, though I’m still not sure why anyone would want to use Windows. :)

Most reviews and comments I’ve seen about Elements, claim that it is a great tool for amateurs but they always take an elitist attitude that real professionals will want the full Photoshop. Since I’m just an amateur, I guess I can’t really refute it. However, I’ve been using it for awhile now and still does most everything I need.

I’ve used Photoshop Elements for the new photography albums on this site. Plus I’ve used it to create some icons and graphics for web sites. Every thing that I previously did in Photoshop I can do in Elements. All the filters, plug-ins and options are the same. You can control the Levels, Brightness/Contrast, Colors, Layers all in the same manner.

Elements also includes the same “Save as Web…” features first introduced as Image Ready. This allows you to easily create transparent and animated GIFs. Plus you can quickly compare various image sizes, formats, compressions and color palettes.

Photoshops Elements also includes a nice Photomerge tool which allows you to stitch together panoramic shots from multiple images. It works well when the exposure is accurate but leaves something to be desired when this is off a little.

The main features that I miss that I used in the full version is the ability to record actions or macros and create shortcuts to speed up reptitive tasks.

Photoshop Elements probably is the right tool to handle a majority of everyone’s digital imaging needs.

ADDENDUM: It has been pointed out to me that two features left out of Photoshop Elements is the Curves tool which is explained here and Photoshop Elements can only work with 8-bit images and not 16-bit which the full Photoshop can.

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