Whether you are looking to jump into photo editing or if you are in the market for an upgrade, Photoshop Elements 10 is a great choice. At first glance PSE 10 looks a lot like PSE 9, but there a few nice new features added in this year. Let’s take a brief look at a few of them.
The photo Organizer that was added to last year’s release is back and now it’s faster and seems to run much smoother than the previous release. Along with Face Recognition, it now features Object Recognition. This is a feature that I have really been waiting for. How well does it work? Fair, but certainly not what I was hoping for, maybe next year. Granted it is a fairly advanced calculation. You can select an area of a photo, the whole photo or several photos to help it choose the right images. You can adjust the slider to focus more on color or shape. It will also show the percentage that each photo matches. I put a photo of a giraffe and it did find a few giraffes, but it missed quite a few too. So, it’s not perfect, but it will help somewhat and is definitely a move in the right direction.
There is also tighter integration to online services. You can use your Facebook friend list to tag people in your photo collection. And since Organizer also handles your videos, they can now be uploaded directly to YouTube.
The real cool stuff is the editor. One of the new tools is Curving, Flowing Text. If you want add text in a circle, square or a squiggly line, it now so easy. The only trick was drawing a smooth, free-hand land for the text to follow. If you have a jagged line it will be very obvious. But I can see this been a very useful and fun tool.
Masking a portion of the photo is so much easier than before. This is really evident with Smart Brush tool. You just click a few times on the area you want to adjust and then simply choose your effect.
For those who are just beginning should not be afraid of the complexity in Photoshop Elements. There are a number of guided effects. Among the new ones this year are the Orton Effect, Picture Stack and Depth of Field.
The Orton Effect was created by photographer Michael Orton. It gives your photos kind of a dreamy, blurred look.
Picture Stack gives the illusion of having taken several pictures and then laying them out as sort of a mosaic. It can be a fun way to prepare pictures for a photo album.
If you ever wanted your photos to look like they were taken by a professional with an SLR camera, now you can! Again this tool is very easy to use, simply select the background and then choose how much depth you want to add.
It seems that they have worked hard to reduce the learning curve on photo editing. Even so, there is so much that you can do with PSE 10 that it can be a bit overwhelming. But you’ll have a lot of fun and you end up with a lot of great photos.
All in all this is a very solid program with a long history of quality photo editing that is only getting better. Adobe continues to keep the price very reasonable, especially when you purchase it together with Premier Elements 10. If you held back from buying or upgrading last year, now’s the time. You can grab the Photoshop Elements 10 at Amazon for $ 90.
Good: Great new features. Guided effects. Low price.
Bad: Object recognition needs work.