What’s the official standard bearer for graphic design apps? Adobe’s Photoshop. It’s the professional tool of choice for both Mac and Windows designers and it comes with a professional level price tag.
$699 for the full version, or $20 a month to rent. Much of Photoshop’s famous tools and capability are also available in the less expensive Photoshop Elements. The latest version is a penny less than $100. That’s what Adobe calls a bargain.
Photoshop For The Rest Of Us
At Mac360 we’re not big fans of Adobe but we like and use their products. Among our favorites is Photoshop Elements. It’s the Photoshop version for the rest of us.
The latest version of Photoshop Elements brings consumer photo editing to another level for more casual users.
It still does much of what the full version of Photoshop does, but has a number of useful, easy-to-master consumer grade tools which focus primarily on photo enhancements.
For example, Photoshop Elements can combine photos of multiple subjects and give you tools to swap the perfect face shot in one photo to a less than perfect smile in another photo.
Instead of requiring users to attend a college course on Photoshop intricacies, Photoshop Elements gives users simple wizard-like steps to enhance photos, remove flaws such as red eye, improve skin tones, and even sharpen blurry photos.
Other shortcuts make it simple to fix lighting problems in a photo, whiten teeth, add more blue to the sky, and do so without damaging the original.
The Guided Edits function brings more sophisticated editing capability to step-by-step point and click to change depth of field, posterize a photo to artistic perfection, and create stunning portraits and panoramas.
Photoshop Elements comes with a built-in Organizer which manages both photos and video clips (less capable than iPhoto) in categories.
Like the full version of Photoshop, the latest Elements uses Actions to automate repetitive tasks to speed up production time and ensure perfect adjustments. Color, brightness, and contrast can be adjusted with ease.
Three editing modes will take users from newbie to a more experienced level. Quick Mode gets you into basic editing and enhancements. The Guided Mode works in a step-by-step manner and gives you access to more sophisticated tools.
The Expert Mode brings even more advanced features and options. Among my favorites are options to clean scenes of subjects or elements you don’t want in the photo, create group photos from multiple shots to get just the right face, and panoramas (though it doesn’t work as easily as panorama on the iPhone 5).
To be honest, Photoshop Elements 11 remains a complex tool, but the price is a bargain when compared with the original. For less money there’s the very capable Pixelmator, The App That’s Like Photoshop At 5-Cents On The Dollar, or take A Quick Look At How A Free Mac Graphics App Could Replace Adobe’s Photoshop.