Which Is Preferred, Photoshop Or Photoshop Elements?

I’ve been blogging for a while now and recently I’ve decided to work on improving my photography skills. At the moment I take a lot of pictures using Instagram, as I don’t own a very good camera, or I illustrate my posts with images from iStock or Flickr.

I’m planning to get a decent DSLR camera soon, but that’s only half the battle. Processing can play a big part in photography and there are some fantastic programs out there that will allow both amateur and professional photographers to craft their work into something special.

Photoshop is probably the most well-known photo processing software on the market. I use it a lot at work, but unfortunately I’ve baulked at the cost when it comes to buying it for my home computer. The market can be confusing, as there are various editions, some more expensive than others. The average price for the Photoshop package is around £650.

On the other hand, you can buy Photoshop Elements for about $90. Elements isn’t a pared down version of Photoshop, it’s a powerful piece of software in its own right, but it was created for a different purpose.

So how do you decide which software is best for you? The consensus seems to be that the full package is ideal for professionals, whether you’re a photographer or a graphic designer. It’s a huge program with immense potential, which a lot of amateurs may not make the most of.

Elements has a lot of the same functionality, including filters, adjustments and ability to use graphics. However, both programs have their unique aspects.

Deciding which program to use has been a dilemma for me. I spent the weekend at The Blogcademy in London, where I took part in a short photography workshop with Lisa Devlin. She talked the group through her use of Photoshop actions and recommended the full version of Photoshop, which you can now rent online from Adobe from £14 a month. Her actions only work in Photoshop, although you can use some actions in Elements but you have to be sure to buy the right version. A lot of PS menus don’t exist in Elements, so any actions that make use of them won’t work. You also can’t create actions in Elements.

It’s possible to try both programs for free before you buy, using Adobe’s 30 day trial. The rental option is a good cheap alternative; you can sign up for a year’s subscription, which is cheaper or pay a bit more for month-by-month. This means that you can cancel for a couple of months if you’re not going to need to use Photoshop. On the downside, if you decide to buy the package later, that money doesn’t go towards the cost, so you’ll end up paying out extra.

Whilst Photoshop is a brilliant program for professionals and designers, for those with small or fledgling blogs that make little or no income, Elements is actually a great and much cheaper alternative and one that I use at the moment. How do you edit your photos?

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