As a video producer for BizVid Communications, I find that I am often asked by friends to lend advice on various aspects of image capture and manipulation. The questions usually center on “what camera should I buy” or, “what’s the best way to fix a picture.” Answering the camera question is difficult (far too many variables to consider) but the image manipulation question is simple enough.
The absolute standard for image manipulation is Adobe Photoshop. If you do some research, you will find that there are two ways one can go in that regard. The premium choice is with the all powerful Photoshop CS 5. It is the professional version. It comes with a huge learning curve and is full power. Expect to spend around $699 ( or much less if you’re a student) and for most, CS 5 is overkill. So, the choice for consumers who want a user friendly, inexpensive and easy to learn solution is Photoshop Elements 9. It costs around $89, yet has about 75% of the power of its big brother.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 is the #1 selling consumer photo-editing software. It delivers powerful options that make it easy for anyone, with some computer skills, to create good looking photos and to quickly share them online with friends and family.
One can correct color, crop, add borders, create albums and automatically organize and protect photos and video clips. It is the one stop solution.
While there are numerous manipulations one can do with this software, my favorite is an option called “Photomerge.” This tool let’s you seamlessly stitch multiple photos together to make a panoramic print. For example, while on a vacation cruise I came across a great view of the harbor but the shot was too wide for a simple 4×6 print. So I took three separate shots of the harbor, overlapping each by about 10%. When I returned home, I used Photomerge to stitch them and now I have a great panoramic picture hanging on my wall.
To really learn all of the benefits of Photoshop Elements 9, I recommend that you visit the Adobe website for a complete description. Additionally, we’ve got some great Photoshop tutorials right here on our blog. As you use the program, you’ll no doubt discover that creating compelling imagry is so much more than simly pushing a button on your camera. Digital photo editing gives you the ultimate control over what you see.