CONFESSION: Free trial

Okay.  If I have to, I’ll go back to GIMP.  But, for the next thirty days, I am going to be trying Photoshop Elements 9.  I downloaded a 30-day free trial and think it could possibly become my program of choice–at least until I’m financially secure enough to buy Photoshop CS or get a free version for life.  (Read: I’m a penny-pincher.)

So far, here are a few of the photos I’ve created with the program:

This picture was taken in front of our hotel in Patras, Greece.  For this picture (of my favorite subject), I used the smart select tool to select all of the background.  I changed it to a “pewter” color.  Then, I selected all of the cutieface and increased the contrast by adding a “brightness/contrast” layer and selecting only him; this made his shirt and skin sort of pop from the picture.  Finally, I slightly whitened his teeth.  (He’s so cute, right!?  I know…)

This picture was taken in front of a beach-side coffee shop on the Mediterranean in Patras, Greece.  To make the changes, I used the smart brush to make the sky bluer and then added cloud contrast to the sky.  Then, I chose the entire background and used the blur tool to soften it.  Finally, I added my trademark.

This picture was taken inside the Patras Fortress.  As you noticed, the first picture is basically unusable.  I could never put this in one of my treasured scrapbooks.  However, I added an adjustment layer and adjusted the brightness as much as possible.  This gave me the second picture, which made cutiepie’s face visible.  Then, I enhanced the shadows.  I made the shadows bright, the midtones bright, and did nothing to the highlights.  That gave me the last picture, which is definitely going in my scrapbook now! :)

I know it’s still early, but I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that, if you don’t want to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on Photoshop SC #, go ahead and spend the $60 on Photoshop Elements.  You might even be able to find a used copy/former edition for less on Ebay.

Happy editing, friends!

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