I think you know by now that I love my computer. I love my camera. I love digital pictures. I love digital scrapbooking. And I truly LOVE being able to edit my photos and create digital scrapbook pages using my computer. None of this should be news to you, right? I'm also a huge fan of Photoshop Elements programs. They are powerful and very affordable. I'm sure Photoshop CS4 is awesome, but I just can't spend that kind of moola so I "settled" for the consumer friendly Photoshop Elements. I've always loved it, and really have never felt like I was "settling" for less because I have been able to do everything I want to using the Elements programs - including creating digital scrapbook designs to sell.
Another thing I love is that Adobe has continually improved and upgraded Photoshop Elements to make it an even better program. I was invited to the online press release conference for the release of Photoshop Elements 8 (the newest version) and I was very impressed. Thank you so much Adobe for inviting me to this event and for sending me this version to use for my creative projects! The power of this program is amazing and I love the new features they have added, especially the fun and creative ways you can edit video. I'm pretty new in the video editing department so I won't cover that today, but I do hope to share some cool ideas down the road.
If you want to try before you buy, you can download a free trial version from the Adobe website.
For now I wanted to share some of the ways I love to use Photoshop Elements 8. You can buy Photoshop Elements 8 alone or bundled as a package with Adobe Premiere Elements (for video editing). I have the bundled version and I totally think it is worth the money to get the bundle if you are going to do anything with video. If you are already using Photoshop Elements 7 and you don't do a lot with video, you can probably survive just fine without the upgrade. If you are using an older version than 7 (a version I have loved) then you might just want to upgrade anyway because the tools and organizer have improved a lot since the earlier versions.
I like how user-friendly Elements 8 is. After I installed it, there were 2 different ways to take a tour and I did both of them to be sure I knew what was new and better in this version.
The biggest improvements are the organizational management features and the quick fixes and easy edits for photos. There are some really cool features!
I think the face recognition is my favorite addition. The program can actually find people in your photos and suggest tags for your photos.
Just as useful (or maybe even more so) is the ability to sort your pictures by 1 person, 2 people, etc. in the photo. Great way to search for portraits or group photos. A feature called "smart tags" analyzes your photos and can sort them by quality or contrast. Really cool!
I also like how you can edit photos in 3 different environments; full edit, quick edit, or guided edit.
I started with this:
and used the guided edits to end up with this:
Of course the main thing I use Elements for is digiscrapping!
See all the layers on the bottom right? It is so nice to be able to adjust each one of those individually. Also great for applying effects like shadowing. Still need more information about how to digiscrap? Try my 10 things to know about digital scrapbooking link and be sure to visit The Daily Digi's Just for Beginner's area.
Another great feature is the free 2GB of online backup at photoshop.com. This comes with both versions. You will need to set up an Adobe ID account (which is free). You will also want to set up an Adobe ID so you can access the free tutorial videos at http://tv.adobe.com/show/learn-photoshop-elements-8/ and http://tv.adobe.com/show/learn-premiere-elements-8/
I don't do a ton with the "Create" tab because I know how to use digital scrapbook supplies to create my own projects. This area would be helpful for the non-scrapper or digi scrap beginner who wants to create some fun projects to share. I do love the photo collage tool though and I find it very useful.
I really like the simple collages.They are perfect for framing or even to use on a digital scrapbook layout.
I don't claim to be an expert on Photoshop Elements, but I do use the program a lot and I create a lot of meaningful projects using it. I don't know how I would get by without it! If you want to improve your skills or learn more about how to use PSE then here are some great links to visit:
- Adobe TV (great for visual learners!)
- Adobe Photoshop Elements help and support
- lynda.com tutorials (free and paid - I have only tried the free ones)