Trying out PSE 10

I mentioned a few posts ago that I purchased Photoshop Elements 10. I got my first exposure to Photoshop from my dad many many years ago. He’s had a copy basically my entire life and recently upgraded to CS 5. I, for one, can’t afford that software (they got a sweet deal because my Mom works at BYU). Luckily, Adobe sells a dumbed-down version of Photoshop and I bought it at Costco.

Most my photos are taken with little intention of printing or even impressing. Rather, they are taken to chronicle trips and experiences. However, every once in a while it’s fun to play around with the tools a bit. Because I’m no Photoshop expert, however, I checked a book out from the library entitled “The Photoshop Elements 9 Book for Digital Photographers” by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski. Even though I have version 10, the book works just fine. I found the book to be very practical and helpful as I waded through various menus and tools.

Below are some before and after photos. Before is original out of the camera and after is, well, after my PSE work. You can tell I tend to saturate the colors in my editing. Perhaps I need to tone things down a bit.

Uintas: Before

Uintas: After

What I did: slight curves (color/contrast) adjustment and gradient fill representing a neutral density filter.

Scout Camp (Uintas): Before

Scout Camp (Uintas): After

What I did: Gradient fill only

Nephew Eli: Before

Nephew Eli: After

What I did: Crop, curves adjustment, color saturation, and vignette.

Dead Horse Point: Before

After

What I did: Gradient fill (can you tell I was trying to learn how to make my landscape skies more vibrant when taking pictures in the middle of the day?), curves adjustment, contrast.

Arches NP: Before

Arches NP: After

What I did: Detonate a nuclear bomb. Okay, in this one I blended two photos together because I bracketed them when originally taking the photos. I exposed for the sky in one and the ground in the other and then combined to get the best of both worlds. I added a gradient fill to the sky but adjusted saturation on the ground only.

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7 thoughts on “Trying out PSE 10

  1. I have a elements 6, and it’s still so confusing to me I rarely use it. Luckily Tay is such a good editor I just send things to her. Your pictures turned out really good, and really realistic looking still. I do like the picture of Eli, especially the vignette affect.

  2. Have you tried laying yet? I want to learn to do that. On the top photo, you might have been able to lighten up and keep the details of the pine trees with layering. In the “fixed” photo you lost a little of the detail of those. (Or you could have bracketed it like you did on the bottom one which is really awesome!) I used the curves and contrast on the photo of the sunset. I still think I could lighten the planter at the bottom of the picture a little more so it isn’t quite as dark. I’m not an artist so it’s difficult for me to decide what to do. I constantly forget to crop (or straighten) a photo. It’s fun to play with but I’m never sure that I have improved the picture. If you learn to layer, let me know how to do it.

  3. Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater… One of the nice things about working for a university is that I can get all these programs for pennies on the dollar. Nice job, by the way.

  4. Love your before and agrees…you are a pro! I’m in the same boat, but in addition to newly buying PhotoShop we also just upgraded from a point and shoot to a dSLR. I’m a little overwhelmed by all I want to learn but my four books from the library are helping….I’ll have to see if the book you mentioned is one I’ve got.

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