ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 9 – A REVIEW

When writing a software review, it is important to determine who is the audience. For Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, the audience is best represented by five groups.

1. Newbies to the digital processing of photographic images

2. Users of earlier Window’s versions of Photoshop Elements

3. Users of earlier MAC versions of Photoshop Elements.

4. Users of other Image Processing Software including users of Adobe Photoshop CS version up to and including version CS 3.

5. The photo hobbyist / scrapbook compiler

Group 1.

– Newbies

This group of users is confronted with a bewildering array of image processing software, available including some sophisticated programs that are free and are posted on the Internet, allowing for a free download.

For this group of potential users there are two advantages to selecting Adobe Photoshop Elements-9.

1. There is a large amount of instructional material available, both for free and for purchase. This is not true of the “free” programs nor, for that matter, most of the “for purchase” programs.

2. Photoshop Elements is a comprehensive, sometimes complex program, that will not be learned well in a week. However, there are three levels of image processing available within the program.

There are the Quick Fix and automatic correction features that do a good job.

There are the guided edit features that both guide and teach the user on performing various corrective and improvement actions. These allow a better job.

Then, sophisticated editing is available with the incorporation of Adobe Cameras Raw Processing and the use of the Layer functions. These two and additional capabilities allow a very good to excellent job.

This three-tiered programming allows one to use the program immediately and generally produce improved images. As time progresses, the dedicated user can readily progress in easy steps to a very sophisticated user.

Group 2. Current Users of earlier Window’s versions of Photoshop Elements

This group of users basically needs to ask and answer several questions.

1. Is there something my current software DOES NOT do, that I WANT to do, and is now available in Elements-9? Can I afford it? If the answer is “Yes” than buy it.

2. The more subjective question to answer is, “Do I want to explore the new processing capabilities?” I don’t NEED them, but maybe they will be fun to have.

Group 3. Users of earlier MAC versions of Photoshop Elements.

This group of users has special significant because Elements-9 now removes the differences that existed in prior Windows and MAC OS versions of Photoshop Elements. The increased features now available in the MAC versions are more likely to be features a MAC user might want.

Group 4. Users of other Image Processing Software

The basic questions are:

Is there something my current software DOES NOT do, that I WANT to do, and is now available in Elements-9?

Can I afford it?

If the answer is “Yes” than buy it.

Group 5. The photo hobbyist / scrapbook compiler

This group of persons are those who enjoy taking and sharing family photos, pictures of their vacations, etc. Elements 9 offers the ability to post from the program to Facebook, the ability to send photos for printing (or one can print on their own printer), post to Flickr or SmugMug, create albums and cards. All “good stuff” that many people want to do. For persons who use or want these features it is an excellent program.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

So,

what’s new and what’s blue?

For the MAC User lots is new.

The ability to use the Organizer with generally superior photo-management and photo-tagging abilities. ** Note prior MAC version users can still use the Bridge methodology.

-9

Integration with Facebook

Layer Masks**

Content Aware Fill**

Photo Merge Style Match*

You have both a Windows and a MAC system **

* Important – ** More Important You have both a Windows and a MAC system **

For the Windows User fewer new capabilities are present.

Content Aware Fill **

Layer Masks ** – What many users are unaware of is that one can import a Layer Mask into Elements-8 and use it. One just can’t create it version 8. Also, many actions created in CS4 & CS5 can be imported to Elements 8 & 9.

Improved Photo-Stitching

Recompose Tool that first appeared in Version 8

Better compliancy with Windows 7 operating system*

You have both a Windows and a MAC system **

Photo Merge Style Match*

What’s blue?

Not much. Overall a very good program.

Facebook uploading could be better.

A Word on Cost

The program lists as about $100.00. However, it is about $70 street with a $10 discount and a $20 mail-in rebate.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D., Photographer