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This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 [OLD VERSION] (DVD-ROM)
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I've used Photoshop Elements since version 2 and I strongly believe it is the best photo-editing program available for under $100. It will do most of the editing tasks that the full version of Photoshop does but at a fraction of the cost. It is the software program I have my "Digital Photography" and "Digital Painting" students purchase for the college courses I teach.
Photoshop Elements is a program that has two basic components. The first is the Editor which is the program that you use to make changes to your photos. The other component is the Organizer which is used to manage and organize your photos.
I've included a video that shows some of the features of the Editor in Elements 11. The interface is probably the biggest difference between version 10 and 11. While new-comers may find the new interface easier to use, it will take me a while to get used to it. (I apologize for the neurotic mouse movements and the hurried pace of the video. I had a lot I wanted to include. If I get a chance I may redo the video.)
If you are serious or semi-serious about editing photos this is the program I recommend. Since Photoshop Elements is based on the full version of Photoshop everything you learn can be easily translated to the full version of Photoshop if you ever decide to purchase the much more expensive program. Granted, the new interface does make Elements 11 look quite different from Photoshop CS6, but the basic commands and tasks are still similar enough to be able to make the transition from Elements to the full version without too much hassle.
The other advantage to purchasing Elements 11 is that there is a lot of free material available online that will help you learn how to use the various Photoshop software programs. Adobe also offers a variety of free video tutorials that will help you learn this program. In addition, there are also a lot of books that will teach you how. Overall my favorite Photoshop books are by Scott Kelby.
Elements also comes with an extensive "Help" feature. This software program can do so much it would take years to learn it all--but fortunately it doesn't take that long to learn the basics.
If you just want an easy program to use to edit a few photos then there are much cheaper programs available. More importantly--there are also many online photo-editing programs that are absolutely free! One of my favorite free online photo editing applications is Sumopaint.
My recommendations to current Photoshop Element Users:
Photoshop Elements 3 - 8 Users: I highly recommend the upgrade to Elements 11. There was a huge improvement between versions 8 and 9 (content aware and the ability to add masks to layers). If you are using one of these earlier versions I think you will appreciate the new features.
Photoshop Element 9 - 10 Users: If you do a lot of selecting and masking then you might want to upgrade since Elements 11 includes the more advanced "Refine Edge" feature that until now was only available in CS5-6 versions. There is also a limited "actions" or "automated commands" feature. You can't record your own actions, but you can select from a number of pre-loaded options, and you can download and install actions created in the full version of Photoshop. Some of the added "Guided Features" are also nice.
There were also changes to the Organizer interface. I currently have approximately 30,000 photos tagged and arranged in the Organizer. With a click of a button I can easily find any image I am looking for. Some people complain about the Organizer but I love it. I haven't had time to look over the new interface yet--but when I do I will update this review.
Most of this review has dealt primarily with photos--but Elements 11 is also an excellent program to use to create digital paintings. There is a variety of filters and styles that you can use to quickly change a photograph into a work of art--but more importantly Elements 11 comes with a huge variety of brushes and other tools that enable you to create an original painting stroke by stroke. Purchase a Wacom Bamboo tablet and you will be amazed at what can be accomplished with a pressure sensitive stylus and tablet.
I hope this helps.
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Showing 1-10 of 44 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 25, 2012 6:54:09 PM PDT
Idaho John says:
Completely new to photography and want to do landscapes and pics of wildlife - specifically birds and was told to get photoshop. This looks a bit more manageable - it is still intimidating by the way, but your video review was encouraging and may be the catalyst I need to just go ahead and take the plunge. Well done by the way. Very informative. I wish I had you as an instructor - or at least had your experience at hand via tutorials. Thank you.
Posted on Oct 25, 2012 7:34:17 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 25, 2012 7:34:38 PM PDT]
Posted on Nov 1, 2012 2:35:46 PM PDT
J. B. says:
So, can I sign up for your college courses for Photoshop Elements?? Is it available as an online class?
Posted on Nov 1, 2012 4:21:40 PM PDT
Your video was great, very helpful!
Most important question:
On the color palette in the Tool Box, can you change the color picker from the stupid "slide the circle around" to the Windows Color picker (which has 48 squares of color). I'm colorblind and desperately NEED this feature which I could choose out of Preferences in PS7.
Do PSE 11 have Shapes like PS7 does? Can you make custom shapes? (that's how I've done my copyright signature in the past.)
Posted on Nov 5, 2012 7:53:00 PM PST
Geezer G says:
Thanks for a well thought out and explained review. I've been using Elements since Version 1 (it was bundled with a scanner, as I recall) and Photoshop since 3.5. For what I do, Photoshop 7 is often faster and easier than CS6, but neither of them give me the control over skin tones that Elements does and Elements' auto color correction beats the others hands down. But from your review, I'm not sure that I'd gain anything going from 10 to 11. Historically, I've gotten the odd-numbered releases up until Elements 10, but maybe I'll just wait and see what Elements 12 will have to offer. Thanks again!
Posted on Nov 11, 2012 8:18:52 PM PST
Adobe offers a free trial download for photoshop element 11. It's the best way to find out if it fulfills expecations. There are three modes ... quick...guided and expert. In expert mode one can resize the image in dimensions of pixels, which is what i prefer and a lot of on-board applications seem to not have anymore. I'll check it out for the next 30 days before i buy. there is also faststone ... org, which is free but is for pcs only. Very good freeware alternative. i am considering this for a mac.
Posted on Nov 14, 2012 11:28:58 PM PST
Susan Obrien says:
Excellent review, thanks!
Posted on Nov 16, 2012 9:56:55 AM PST
I really appreciate the thorough review. Could you tell me whether you use a PC or a Mac? I recently tried installing Photoshop Elements 10 in a new MacBook Pro from disks, and it was no-go. Thanks!
Posted on Nov 23, 2012 11:05:56 AM PST
D. Steig says:
I'm currently using PSE9 and Premiere Elements 9. When I create a slide show mixing photos and videos they play fine in PSE9. I want to produce a DVD exactly as the slide show plays in PSE9. I am unable to do this. I get error messages in PSE9. When I transfer to Premiere Elements 9, sound tracks from my videos and photos overlap and some photos are rotated by 90 degrees.
Does PSE11 and Premiere Elements 11 correct this abomination?
Posted on Nov 24, 2012 3:31:50 PM PST
T. F. Palella says:
Could someone tell me if this software will work on a new computer running Windows 8? My old photo editing software worked fine with Windows XP but not with Windows 8.