Being creative seems to come naturally to some people, but then there are people like me, who need all the help they can get.
In this digital age, processing software is the tool that organizes our thousands of images so we can find them later, and it allows us to be even more creative after the image is captured. It can make the amateur photographer look experienced. For several years, Adobe has been kind to people such as myself and created a version of their famous software with the basic elements that is aptly called ‘Photoshop Elements’.
Once you have an image that with a little tweaking will be the perfect shot, you need editing software that’s easy for anyone to use. With Adobe Photoshop Elements 14, I can easily fix flaws in the original picture or make a good picture, a great picture. There is an easy to find button that will go to the ‘QUICK’ adjustment features in the center top of the screen.
In this mode, there is a ‘SMART FIX’ feature for fastest results or there are several individual choices. ‘LIGHTING’ or ‘COLOR’ are just two of the options. Opening each option produces nine thumbnail type of variations to choose from that can be adjusted using the manual controls. Simply scrolling the mouse over one of the images will produce a preview with the system responding so quick that it can be a fun distraction.
While not new for Adobe Photoshop Elements 14, it’s the split screen capability that displays the existing image next to the one being worked on, that is a real time saver for a capture/go shot or some quick tweaking. It is one of my favorite features that not only improves work flow, but is a lot of fun to play with because of the immediate feedback. I love seeing all the options that preview how creative the changes can be to the original image.
For the more serious photographer, there are several features such as the selection tool that have been refined to make it easier to isolate specific parts of an image, and while improved, it is still dependent on the contrast between the two ‘surfaces’ to function. There is also a new Shake Reduction tool that walks the fine line between ‘shake’ and simply being out of focus. Getting the best image in the camera will always provide the best image for editing. You can save that epic “selfie” by removing the blur with the shake reduction tool.
Once the image is all that it can be, or at least what you want it to be, the system offers a one click button for sharing. Quick links to facebook, twitter, and other popular image sharing sites are available without leaving the adjustment screen. Capture the image, organize it, then get creative with artistic touches, and share it with Elements 14. Oh and no more wasting time searching for your photos, you can search photos and videos by favorite people, or by where you were or what you were doing.
Adobe Photoshop Premiere Elements 14
Sure, a picture is worth a thousand words, but videos bring the action to the audience. Premiere Elements allows you to take your footage and edit it to give it a more polished, professional look. Starting with the same basic screen layout as the Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 software, Premier Elements 14 goes beyond simply stitching videos together. The biggest change for the new software is the inclusion of 4K video support for action cameras, such as the GoPro and includes drones. You can edit and view high-res 4K movies for the ultimate cinematic experience, and make a splash by easily adding animated titles and transitions.
Playing with the software, I imported a random video file, and quickly used the drop down menu to add a music track. From the basic steps, there are several movie themes to choose from, including an ‘In Loving Memory’ theme. Not one of the highlights of creativity but with the influx of video memories to be shared of a loved one, no one wants to be digging around for a ‘how to’ in preparation for a memorial service.
New to editing and need some help, choose between the ‘GUIDED’ section that provides an overall tutorial, or the ‘QUICK’ start guides. Both options help you to edit the unwanted frames, create transitions between clips, and to add narration or music. Already know what you want? The ‘EXPERT’ section will allow you to handle three video clips, a music stream, a voice stream, and three audio streams all at the same time!
Whether it is still images that evoke fond family memories or a life story told on video to be shared with loved ones, the Elements set of tools bring organization and creativity to the consumer level. Being able to quickly find images or video for sharing is easy, and isn’t that what it is all about? The Elements lineup is all about making photos and videos look their best and giving you the ability to share with a click. Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 is available at Best Buy for $149.99.