You don’t need Photoshop
Sure it has the snob factor and all that, but if you don’t really have to use the full potential of this image editing software, and you don’t happen to have an extra $700 lying around, then don’t bother. I mean it!
I’ve taught Photoshop to beginners several times. One thing I’ve learned is that Photoshop is very overwhelming, not to mention: expensive! For most photographers, especially the ones that read this blog, Photoshop Elements has all the features you need, and it costs about $600 less!
When you first start out messing with your photos, you’ll likely want to:
- Sort, keyword and rank your files
- Open RAW files in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)
- Non-destructive image edits in ACR
- Non-destructive Exposure, Colour, Levels, and Curves alterations using Adjustment layers
- Assemble images using Layers and blending options
- Make masks
- Close-cut and make complex selections
- Add Text
- Convert to Black and White
- Retouch blemishes
- Removing red-eye
- Crop and re-size your photos
- Prepare files to go to the photo lab, for email and to your website or Flickr account
- Make web photo galleries and pdf slide shows
Photoshop Elements can do all that and more!
Save your money and buy a good lens instead
Unless you’re a graphic designer or illustrator, or have lots of money to spend, you don’t really need Photoshop to edit your images. Spend the $700 on a new lens, or back up hard drive instead. If photography becomes your full time job and you earn a good profit, then sure, splurge. But a couple years of using Elements will take you a long way.
If you want more non-destructive image editing capabilities, and more options with your raw file editing, then you could go the in-between route and get Photoshop Lightroom, but that’s a whole other blog post! I highly recommend LR and Elements together.
Latest version kicks butt!
Elements v. 15 is now available. Mac and Windows versions are for sale.
Buy it at Amazon. (Yes, that’s an affiliate link.)