Adobe Photoshop Elements

The battle in my pc rages on between Picasa and Photoshop Elements. Elements clearly has the lead at the moment, but there are various features which may hold it back yet…

Picasa’s export is great and dead easy. Pick the photos, set your size, export. The changes are really easy, you just click and go. It’s a dead easy program to use. No learning curve whatsoever for the even slightly technically minded.

Elements on the other hand… Well, it’s a lot more sophisticated. I have tagged all my photos with a variety of tags based on the location the photo was taken, the genre or style, the people in it, and so on. Which is great, it means with three clicks I can find night shots of landscapes and sky, easy peasy. On the other hand, stuff like applying changes seems a bit more convoluted. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t actually tried yet, but that’s because it’s contained in a separate program. Elements is split into two, one half deals with organising photos, the other with manipulating them.

The other major downside of Elements is the speed. Picasa’s pretty smart, it pre-caches (looks up ahead) the next photo, so you can flick through your photos reasonably quickly without waiting for it to improve the quality. Both programs load the photo in poor quality instantly, then generate a better quality version for the size of your screen. However, Elements does it every single time you look at a photo. Very slow, very annoying. Elements also seems to be much more resource hungry. It eats up the CPU like there was no tomorrow.

Now, the factor that may swing it back for Elements is stacking. You shoot ten photos of the same scene, as you do, with slightly different shutter and apeture settings, but essentially they’re all the same. Select aforementioned ten photos, CTRL-ALT-S (or a coupe of clicks of the mouse for the faint heared) and bingo, they all disappear into a “stack” with only one showing in your thumbnail view. Magic. A wee whip of the old CTRL-ALT-R and you can see them all within the stack. Genius.

The battle rages on, more to follow…

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