Thursday, October 25, 2007

Welcome to Leona's Photoshop Blog

Often I'm asked whether to purchase the full version of Photoshop or the "little brother" Photoshop Elements. I actually have both. Let's first take a look at the Pros and Cons of each. I've found that for myself, 95% of the time, what I need to do to a photograph can be done with Photoshop Elements. This "cut-down" version is worth every penny and will take care of almost all of my needs.

Some of the more powerful tools included in the full version of Photoshop that are not included in Photoshop Elements are:

  • ability to create custom Actions (for batch processing)
  • pen and path tools (for detailed selections)
  • layer masks (for special effects)
  • text on a path
  • advanced Web features (slicing, rollovers, hotspots)
  • CMYK colors (important if printing an image)
Professionals in the photography business and graphic design usually choose to purchase the industry-standard Photoshop over Elements. Because I teach Photoshop, I've purchased Photoshop as part of one of the Creative CS3 Suites through my department. My selection was the Creative Suite CS3 Design Premium. There are several Creative Suite packages available. Just click on "Catalog Searches" for CS3 on the Computer Sales website. The Design Premium Suite includes:
  • Photoshop
  • InDesign
  • Illustrator
  • Acrobat Professional version 8
  • Flash Professional
  • Dreamweaver
I got all this for $599 via Information Service's
Computer Sales. Not a bad deal when you consider Adobe Photoshop CS3 alone sells for $649! One of the benefits of working at UNL, or being a student here, is the ability to purchase software at a fraction of the retail cost. Computer Sales, conveniently located on both East and City campus, allows us to purchase this software for both office and home use. To muddy the waters even more, there is a "full" version Photoshop that can be purchased separately (not in a Suite) called Photoshop Extended CS3. For $283, this version includes the ability to work with 3D images and motion graphics. This Extended version of Photoshop is included with each Suite. However, with all the tools already in the full version of Photoshop, I haven't even looked at these additional features yet.
The bottom line is, if it's end of year and money isn't an issue, I'd get the full version of Photoshop CS3 included in one of the Suites. Otherwise, Photoshop Elements is a great place to start since the learning curve isn't as steep and it should meet all of your needs. Elements can be purchased for only $59, or as a departmental license for $28, (as opposed to buying it directly from Adobe or locally for $99) so it's a sure winner.
For detailed information about UNL's Adobe license agreement click here. Or, if you dare contact Alain Boucher at 472-9960

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