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Craft Techniques and Processes Discussion of the techniques and processes we use to write, create art, take photos, etc.

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Old Jul 20 2009, 06:31 AM   #1
Farclas
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Default Upgrading Adobe Elements

A recent thread on spot colour within black and white images highlighted the differences that exist between Photoshop and Adobe Elements. I'd no previous experience in Elements but the specs are impressive - and I can well see its appeal.

But I can also see that it's deliberately crippled in some areas - 'else why buy Photoshop?

I went looking, and this site seems to offer the best approach to expanding the potential of the Elements versions.

There may be something here for you:

http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/pse...p_Elements.htm
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Old Jul 20 2009, 09:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Upgrading Adobe Elements

Oooh, nifty find Farclas, thanks for sharing!

Not having full-on Photoshop, I mostly don't know what I'm missing (though I know I'm not missing a huge chunk from my bank account). Elements does do quite a lot, and adds more every year with each new version.

Of course, they also get dumb sometimes and take away abilities, which is why I have both ver 3 and 7 installed on my machine. They took away the ability to make html photo galleries in ver 4 I think, in favor of making you sign up for their online picture service. And um, I'm not going to do that, I want to continue with my own web albums on my own site.
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Old Jul 21 2009, 12:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Upgrading Adobe Elements

Ditto on the 'nifty find', Farclas! Thanks!!

I recently (and finally)upgraded from Elements 4 to Elements 6, and am really impressed! I was trying to the "one color elemenmt in B & W", and 4 kept crashing on me (and making me start over), but 6 appears to be awesome. As Cheryl said, they keep coming out with new stuff you can do.It's user-friendly And powerful!

I'm also a bit of a purist, I'll admit. Photography is. . . well, photography, and a "photo illistrAtion" is altogether different. Both totally have their merits, to be sure, I just believe in keeping the two separate, and in being honest, especially when it comes to the sale of a piece, about what you did to it. I know. . . I have this inner ethical thing goin' on. I don't do a lot to my stuff (work?!)- sharpening, color correction, cropping, shadows/highlights, on an 'as needed' basis. Mostly, I do the "old-fashioned" route and try to nail the exposure, composition, etc., the first time in-camera. As some of my submissions in the ThemAtic Photography forum prove, I don't always do it (that's where Photoshop comes in!)

For the makeup-wearers in the crowd, I tend to use Elements to enhance what's already good about a photo, just like makeup is to enhance to natural beauty of the wearer. Makeup optimizes what you're naturally given, PS optimizes what good light and pretty scenery (or handsome models) naturally give.

I use PS Elements and Apple's iPhoto together. I can organize things into albums and events using iPhoto, and then do more 'heavy photo editing' (for me) using Elements. The latest version of iPhoto has gotten more powerful, and you can actually do some pretty fancy editing there too, but I still use Elements 'cause I know my way around it better. And some things, like Elements B& W conversion tool, are WAY better. Adobe didn't become THE software for visual artists for nuthin'.

Does anybody have Apple's Aperture? Just curious
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Old Jul 21 2009, 02:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Upgrading Adobe Elements

Weyrlady - I understand your scruples. And you're right that you should try to nail it in-camera.

However . . . I do regard Photoshopping as the modern incarnationn of the darkroom. I used to love the smell, the dark warm glow and the joy of watching that image emerge. I also tweaked quite extensively, dodging and burning, and all the other little tricks to make for an eye-popping print.

And let's not be snobbish - I find myself using iPhoto's basic editing facilities quite extensively on those images taken purely as family records or for my own entertainment. Sometimes it's all you need - an exposure tweak, a quick crop and a light touch of sharpening!

But you only have to study the work of landscaper Edward Weston to see how much the darkroom can contribute to the finished product.

At my level, however, it's more a case of rescuing an unrealised ambition and getting something out of it. I do use Apple's Aperture for my RAW pictures and actually do prefer it to Adobe's Lightroom. It may be slightly less powerful, but I find the interface more intuitive and friendly. But ymmv!
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Old Jul 21 2009, 05:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Upgrading Adobe Elements

Weyrlady, I agree with Farclas (even and up to the excitement in the darkroom ); the smell of certain chemicals can bring me back in my own, private little red light district in a snap

However, I don't agree as such with your view on photoshopping but I do understand what you mean and consent that you can't make a bad shot alright with any post process program. I don't use iPhoto that much. I always, always use Photoshop and yes, I do use Apple's Aperture and Adobe Bridge (as I also do a fair amount of DTP).
I think I am too much of a tweaker and, yes, a perfectionist to use anything "less" than Photoshop and I even use it for the slightest tweaks and the smallest adjustments. I dislike using multiple programs for the same purpose. Hence my not even having installed Elements despite the fact I got version 2 for free when we bought an A3 Microtek scanner some years ago.
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Old Jul 21 2009, 11:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Upgrading Adobe Elements

I have to admit right up front that I've actually never used a "traditional" darkroom as I started into my more serious (ha!) photography after everything went digital. However, at one time, my dad was a freelance and then a newspaper photographer, and he had a darkroom in one room of the house that I grew up in, and to this day (really!) that particular room still has the sweet scent of darkroom chemicals!

Hans, I know that you really use photoshop A lot (and that I couldn't even come close to half of what you do), and personally, I always look forward to seeing your latest creation. Keep on keepin' on with the tweaking!

Last summer I volunteered as a photographer for an environmental event, Farclas, and one of things I did was edit everybody's pictures. I found out that sometimes iPhoto is all you need- it's quite impressive, and you can do some neat effects (like vignetting a portrait, for example) quickly and easily.
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Old Jul 24 2009, 06:08 AM   #7
Farclas
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Default Re: Upgrading Adobe Elements

And if Elements is just not enough, let's not forget there's a FREE version of Photoshop called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). It was originally written for Linux, but there are versions for Windows and Mac OSX.



It has Layers, Channels, Paths, Filters etc - all the things that make Photoshop so powerful.

Here's an Intro:
http://www.gimp.org/about/introduction.html

And, most important, here's the site for the Windows download:
http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/stable.html

The package should have Help files built in. If yours does not, here is the site for downloading
HELP:
http://www.gimp.org/docs/

And, to ease you in, there are Tutorials:
http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/

It's very powerful. And, I repeat, it's FREE.
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