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Learn Photoshop - Master the Elements of Editing your photography

Jul 23, 2008
Editing your digital photographs has never been as intriguing and captivating as Photoshop makes it. However, the numerous complicated procedures and endless array of features that this software boasts of, makes working a beginner's way through it a considerable challenge. The more explicit of features are often shrouded under the hoard of categories and puzzling options that dot the interface, which may dishearten the most enthusiastic of amateurs until he figures his way around the software. And if you happen to fall under this genre of fumbling novices, take heart. It is this daunting learning curve that Adobe simplifies with the toned down version of Photoshop, which is called Photoshop Elements.

Photoshop Elements is a unique blend of some of the most alluring possibilities that Photoshop has to offer. only, it limits its selection to the more commonly used functions which means that as the user, you have a lot less technicality to maneuver through, without being starved of all the tools you need to work wonders on your images. Elements simplifies a number of procedures that you may have to grapple with the more expansive version, without giving you that feeling of "That's it?" which effectively ruins your creative process. And this is the very reason why this software is such a great success with amateur photographers and digital imaging enthusiasts. It offers them all the core elements of Photoshop which have earned this software its fame, while leaving out the professional tools that they wouldn't have used anyway. In all its concise glory, Elements is comprised of an efficient photo-editor, a photo-organizer that you can use once you've added your inimitable touch to your images and even a collection of themes and templates to augment your images with.

Photoshop Elements also facilitates the process of editing by letting you accomplish some of the more common functions of photo-editing, with just one simple function, instead of having to plod through endless steps and routines. For instance, one of the most common problems that plague a majority of photographers is the red-eye effect, which ruins the best of photographs by cropping up at the most inopportune of moments. Getting rid of this effect can be very tedious with Photoshop per se, but with Photoshop Elements, you can use the automatic Red Eye Removal feature and let the software do the laboring for you. Even better, the Quick-Fix functions let you crop images and adjust the light and color with the Auto Smart Fix and the Auto Contrast and Crop options, while also letting to take a look at the before and after versions.

To make it easier for you to find your way around the interface, the software also efficiently coordinates the functions under activity-based tabs. So, if you are looking for a specific function that has to do with 'Organizing', 'Fixing', 'Creating', and 'Sharing your Photos', all you need to do is go into the category dedicated to each of these functions and make your selection. The selection tool also allows a significantly lower level of accuracy than the more scrupulous version of Photoshop would permit. By simply painting over the part of the image you want to select, you can have the tool clip out the section by itself, after which you can smoothen, contract or expand the selection edge with the 'Refine Edge' dialog.

You can also convert your colored images to vintage black and white souvenirs, choose from the array of styles that Elements offers and even adjust the intensity as per the effect you want to achieve. The 'Organize' section has an incredibly useful feature called 'Smart Albums' which let you pick out the images you've edited on a particular date or even the one's you've captured with a specific camera. Elements also makes it a lot easier to navigate through the software with the more prominent and larger icons it offers, while the astounding number of add-ons and tutorials you can find off the internet, make it an comprehensive and resourceful software to work with.

After you've given your best to creating the most magnificent work of art conceivable, you would also want to showcase it in a manner that gives your efforts the justice they deserve. Photoshop Elements lets you pack your images into a stunning slideshow, or displays them with pride in web-galleries. You can even transfer your creations onto contact sheets if you're looking for a more traditional perspective. And for those rush-jobs that you can't afford to devote hours too and can't compromise on the results as well, you can choose a striking backdrop or theme from the selection Photoshop offers, and simply click and drop them onto your images.

Photoshop Elements is a very useful resource by itself, or even a valuable stepping stone for your endeavors at mastering the complete version of Photoshop. And if you aren't quite sure about which version you should opt for, you can even download the fully-functional trial versions that the website offers, for a limited amount of time, which will allow you to compare and contrast the two versions before you make up your mind. All in all, if you're looking to make your first foray into the fascinating world of image-editing as hassle-free as possible, then Photoshop Elements is undoubtedly an option you can't afford to pass by.
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