You have probably heard of Adobe Photoshop. The Lexus or Mercedes or Ferrari of photo editing tools. Many small business owners dream of such a powerful tool, but often find that it is too much “engine” for their needs. This product review is for small business owners who need to edit images with a photo or image editing tool, but want something fast and simple.
Enter the latest light version called Adobe Photoshop Elements 11  – a raster image editor that lets you paint and edit pictures interactively on the computer screen and save them in formats such as JPEG, PNG, GIF and TIFF. It helps the user create, edit, organize and share images from one place. It has most of the features of Adobe Photoshop CS (the full premium level version) but at a lower cost.
Aimed at hobbyists and consumers, even non-expert individuals can use it with relative ease and this makes it ideal for the small business owner. The straightforward color management system and effortless removal of the red eye effect, the no-fuss ability to change skin tone along with the other plugins are available in a simpler, trouble-free format. Advanced edits are also possible.
You can see on the screenshot below that I have also opened the Advanced Editor tool which gives you even more options than what you see on the right side of the screen here.
It is easy to see that a small business owner, such as a retailer, blogger, service provider, freelancer, or affiliate marketer, can make use of the basic editing and advanced editing features – different photographic effects, adding drama, creating monochrome, or illustration effects. Video playing and tagging are also available. Business owners who want to explain or demonstrate a concept, service or new product will find this feature essential.
What I Really Like:
- Great screenshot tool. Super useful for when you are surfing the Web and want to capture the screen you are looking at — and want to edit later.
- Geo tagging is now a way of life for hobbyists and business owners and is supported in this version of Photoshop elements. The program helps you access GPS data embedded in photos or lets you tag spots on a map.
- Cost factor. The program costs about one sixth of what Adobe Photoshop CS costs. For small business owners who want to grow their venture on a smaller budget, this is a key factor. There is a trial version also to allow you to try before you buy.
- Ease of Use. Unlike its bigger cousin Adobe Photoshop CS, this program is easy to use even for the amateur. It is more intuitive and has a cleaner interface; you will not have to take classes to learn how to use it. Business owners without a tech background or a lot of time will appreciate this.
- The editor has three sections: Quick, Guided and Expert to cater to different levels of users. They can be used independently of each other, or you can alternate between them.
What I Would Like to See:
Although the Import Media is pretty self-explanatory, if you have information divided into specific folders on your computer, you have to select each of those, one at a time. I’d like to see some sort of tool that lets me pick more than one folder at a time. When I go into the library, I don’t see all of my photos and wonder why.
Adobe is world-renowned for creating elegant and powerful tools to help the artist, photographer and other creative types. They are just as useful for the business owner – think about the last time you opened a PDF file.
The tools are often expensive. However, to their credit, they have listened to the market and created lighter versions that not only cost less, but work in a way that helps the business owner who doesn’t have time for a steep learning curve.
If you are in the market for a robust, affordable photo editing tool, take a look at Adobe Photoshop Elements. You can find it online at Amazon and often in stock in Costco for prices ranging from $69 to $99. The Adobe site sells it for $99.95. I was provided with a media copy to evaluate it for this review.