I have a confession. Or maybe it’s more of a realization. I am that lazy blogger. I strive to do my best in my writing and photography and video. But sometimes I’m just lazy.
I love my camera but sometimes I don’t feel like packing it and bringing the lenses and I think, “Oh, my iPhone is good enough.” The same holds true for video. I know about lighting and mics but sometimes it’s just easier to whip out the phone and call it done.
I’m quite confident that there are many of you out there, bloggers or not, who face this same lazy challenge. Sure, some of you may not possess the equipment or knowledge to make great photos and you should stick around too. But I’m pleased to tell you all about how Adobe Elements helps me cover up my laziness.
Through the Best Buy Blogger Network, I was given the opportunity to try out my choice of Adobe Photoshop Elements or Adobe Photoshop. Knowing that I already have a copy (albeit, an old one) of Photoshop, and knowing that I’ve only ever produced quality graphics from it out of sheer luck, I decided to admit my shortcomings and take a look at what Adobe considers a more a more casual/beginner editing program.
I watched a webinar where the experts at Adobe showed us not only the easy to use features for enhancing your photographs but also demonstrated some of the features new to this version, like the anti-blur effect.
They tout this feature for people who like to selfie themselves (I have NO idea who they could be talking about). And when I saw a live demo of this and other awesome features, I was like, LET ME CREATE MASTERPIECES FROM MY MEDIOCRE PHOTOS.
Well, it sort of went according to plan. First, take a look at the interface.
The key things you want to look at are the four main sections at the top labeled: eLive, Quick, Guided, and Expert which can be broken down (in my own words) as follows:
- eLive = user-generated content that provides tutorials for doing all sorts of cool things with Adobe Photoshop Elements
- Quick = kind of like a PicMonkey or Instagram; quick and easy filters and corrections
- Guided = Adobe tutorials that walk you through more advanced features (and fun effects)
- Expert = kind of like a dumbed-down Photoshop; you’ll need to know what you’re doing but can easily work on complex things with layers
Of course, I thought I’d head straight to the Expert tab but found the lazy blogger coming out in me and having fun with just the Quick features. Let me show you some before and after.
This was a photo I took in Canada when I stayed at the Blue Mountain Resort. Like a lazy blogger, I was using my phone and couldn’t quite get the beauty and the colors to come through. So I popped it into the Quick mode and changed a few things with exposure and sharpness and text and a few little secrets.
It’s the exact same shot. No filters, just adjusting some of the properties of the photo. I added some text, just to show you that I could (it uses all the fonts you already have in your library. But my favorite feature is what isn’t there. In the first photo, you’ll see some red informational signs over by the lightpost on the left. Just for fun, I took them out with something called the Spot Healing tool. Amazing, right?
So I decided to play around a bit more.
I started with a people photo. This is a large group of us that actually saw (or watched) karaoke at the Cricketer’s Pub at Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos last week.
This is the original photo taken by my friend, MJ Tam (who should have been in the picture with us). But it’s a pub and the lighting is low so I did my best to clean that up before posting on Instagram.
Instagram certainly helped but then I realized there were a few people in the background that I didn’t recognize. So I cut them out. And then I realized we’d look a whole lot better if we took the party outside to the beach.
I ended up merging two unrelated photos simply because I could. I wanted to give it a try because this is normally something you’d need advanced Photoshop skills for. Now, I’ll admit this isn’t going to win me any Pulitzer prizes (that would be cheating anyway) but it proved that I was able to figure it all out on my own in a matter of minutes.
I’m sold. I can do this. But what about video? Best Buy also sent me a download for Adobe Premiere Elements 14 which is something I was really excited about and terribly frightened of all at the same time. But I knew that Jessi Sanfilippo (aka Shuggilippo) does all of her cool video effects through Premiere Elements. Could I make it happen for me too?
After a few minutes, my brain switched into the “it’s too hard” mode and I almost gave up. While Adobe showed us all kinds of cool tricks for Photoshop Elements on a webinar, we ran out of time before doing a lot with Premiere Elements. But I kept going, exploring only the Quick features. And below, is the result of what I was able to do with no editing and just a few little effects.
Now tell me, don’t you wish ONE LIZARD was a full length feature documentary? Give me time. Just a little more time and I’ll be cranking out pro video as well.
As you start making your tech or blogger or hobby wish list this year, you might want to consider putting the Adobe Elements package on your list. For the retail value of $149.99, you’ll get the Photoshop Elements along with the Premiere Elements as well as the Adobe Organizer for all your photos and videos (it’s everything iPhoto wishes it would be).
The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.