Monday, December 5, 2011

Photo Editing - Pro's and Con's of Photoshop Elements 5 and Picnik

So, for the past few days I have been editing photos from the W. Family Session (the last of my winners from the Thanksgiving Giveaway) and I am beginning to learn the in's and out's of Photoshop Elements 5 (thanks to Shoshanna of ).  Before Shoshanna so gracefully began prodding me to use my Photoshop Elements 5, I was using Picnik ( for all my editing.

Now, Picnik is fabulous! I still love using it and right now am still using it 50% of the time along with PSE5 but having someone begin teaching me all the incredible benefits of PSE5 is making me realize that maybe, for several years I have had a jewel of an editing program right in front of me and have refused to see it.

So, let me give you some of my opinions of the pro's and con's of PSE5 versus Picnik.

PSE5 (Sara's Pros)

1) Enables you to lighten PARTS of an image alone.  Example:  Say you have a photograph where the lower half of the subjects face is in shadow.  You can create a new Brightness/Contrast layer, lighten to your desired strength, hit CTRL+ I and then use the paintbrush tool to lighten only that part of the face.  I have used this feature numerous times since Shoshanna showed it to me last Monday night!

2) On a few edits I did the subjects were in front of a beautiful lake with trees.  I was able to make the lake and trees darker and more vivid while keeping the subjects lighter so that they stood out.  The final product looked AMAZING!  The lake and sky were vivid shades of blue and the trees were dark and contrasted well with the subjects. 

So far, these are the two best pro's I have gotten from PSE5 but I'm sure there will be more.

PSE5 (Sara's Con's)

1) Because I am using such an elderly version of PSE5 (soon to be remedied since I have an Elements 10 ordered) most free actions from different places like , and (just to name two) will not work with me =(.  Therefore, I can't do anything with one click.  I did ask Shoshanna to give me a listing of the processes for certain actions but that is time consuming for her and takes more time on my part. 

2) This may be something that I haven't learned yet about PSE5 so I may have to recant this con but for now, I will put it up here.  I don't like the text options given for watermarking my edited photos nor how if you go to the buttons where you can batch watermark several photos they only give you three options for placement.  I would much rather (at this time) use Picnik because it allows me freedom of choice for my font and watermark placement.

So, there you have it, my pro's and con's for PSE5 and Picnik at this point in using them both. 

Give me feedback!  What editing software do you use and what are some pro's and cons of it?  I'd love to hear from you.


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