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Software Review: Adobe Photoshop Elements 10

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 is the latest release from the Adobe Photoshop family and it is the little brother of the industry standard digital imaging software product Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 is available for both Windows and the Mac platforms and has incorporated many new features.

Photoshop is considered by many to be the best image editor on the planet but unless you are a professional it may not be the best choice for the general consumer for a couple of reasons. First, with a high end product, there is usually a high end learning curve that can take months; even years to become accomplished with such an all encompassing product. Second, a high end product usually comes with a high end price. In the case of Photoshop CS5.1, purchasing it new that can mean $699 USD for the standard version, and $999.00 USD for the extended version. For Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 it is $99.99 USD, or bundled with Adobe Premier Elements 10, it is $149.99 USD. You can check out what you need to run Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 from their tech specs page.

Photoshop Elements 10

So what is new with Adobe Photoshop Elements 10?

• Paint effects – using the Smart Brush and the 30 new patterns and effect that are included. The Smart Brush makes it easy to paint on effects and patterns to certain areas of your photos with simple brush strokes. There are times that a background distracts from the image and now with these new effects you can shake things up and provide much more creative looking backdrops. You can also get artsy by using the new Snow, Pencil Sketch, and Oil Pastel effects.

• Guided edits – give you the ability to professional editing effects and professional results. There are three new step-by-step Guided Edits that are available in this release – Orton Effect which gives a mix of high and low detail areas, picture stack effect which gives that collage or scrapbook look, and Depth-of-Field which allows you to control how much background detail is sharp vs. out of focus.

• Add flair – with the ability to add curving, flowing text. You can provide an artistic touch or entertaining captions to your photos. Want to add bit of flair to your creations? Now easily give them added boost with text that curves or flows any way you wish. There are three new options—Text on a Shape, Text on a Path, and Text on a Selection—let you add text exactly the way you want it to look.

Photoshop Elements 10

• Faster tagging – when using Facebook. Now you can use your Facebook Friends list to quickly tag faces in your photos and easily share them on Facebook from within the Elements Organizer.

• Find photos – fast through Object Search. Now it can be easy to find photos that contain specific things, helping you identify shots that go along with a certain theme, activity, or special occasion. Maybe you want to find pictures of your bike or the Grand Canyon that you need to use in a project or creation – you can now let Object Search automatically find your photos based on what’s in them.

• Crop guides – will give you the ability for better composition. Cropping is the number one thing people do when editing their photos. Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 now includes crop guides that include the Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio to make it easier to focus attention where you want it and get the picture you meant to take.

• Better file management – will help you manage your file collection as it grows over the years. Duplicates are inevitable and can create an organizational challenge over time. With Duplicate Photo Search, the Elements Organizer can now detect duplicate photos so you can quickly group or delete them, helping to keep your library organized and clutter-free.

• New templates – will let you enhance the visual appeal of your photos with new templates for printed photo creations and online albums. Making a photo book is an easy way to create a special keepsake, and with new photo book templates, such as Designer Elegant and School Notes you now have the ability to give your creations a new look.

Photoshop Elements 10

• You Tube – uploading has gotten easier. Now through the use of the Elements Organizer you easily import photos and videos and share them in many ways. And now you can quickly import and share your video clips to YouTube as well, directly from the Organizer. Just click the Share tab, and then select Share video to YouTube.

So what is Plus?

• Protect your photos – by having the ability to store up to 20GB of photos or video through online backup.

• Exclusive extras – such as access to libraries of how-tos, artwork, and templates; and ongoing deliveries of new how-to’s. This includes 14 online albums and 20 print artwork sets.

• Bring ideas to life – by learning how to give your photo creations a more polished look — or just try something new. With Plus, you get convenient access to more than 50 exclusive, in-depth video tutorials, and new ones are added throughout the year

• Set the scene – Show off your photos and video clips from any web-enabled computer, or view your photos from iOS and Android devices. With Plus, you can access more of your media — up to 20GB or more.

Photoshop Elements 10

There are a lot of great new features in this release of Adobe Photoshop Elements. The Guided Edits are really great in how they take you step-by-step and show you how to accomplish specific tasks and now with these three new ones, it becomes more powerful it its ability to let you accomplish tasks more efficiently and easily. The Crop guides are also one of the new features that can quickly make your images more professional looking without a lot of effort.

Rounding out the features that I like are the new smart brush effects and filters that can be placed on their own layer giving you a lot of control over the look of the effect. These alone make this worth the price of getting Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. These will save you hours of editing time when you have that shot that just isn’t quite right. When you add in all of the other features, this makes for a solid release and I can highly recommend Elements 10.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
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