Ask the average person what they would use to edit a photo and they’ll often tell you that Photoshop is the best tool to use. The only problem with Photoshop is that the array of tools it offers is so extensive that very few people actually push the platform to its full capabilities.
Many people use Photoshop for general editing purposes only. Realizing that more people would use this platform if a lighter option were available, Adobe created Photoshop Elements. In the first days of Elements, it really was a very light version of the full Photoshop.
Today’s Elements is a very different story. It is almost as capable to provide full-service editing capabilities as the traditional Photoshop. If you’re looking for a platform to provide general editing tools, Elements could even be a better option in some circumstances.
Why Choose Elements Over Photoshop?
Elements is a solid choice for users who are just starting to develop the skills of photo editing or it is a skill they want to learn. Adobe has crafted Elements in such a way that it can walk the user through the steps that are needed to edit a photograph. You are shown how to correct an image, retouch it, or create effects to create the intended look. When compared to Photoshop and its learning curve, you’re up and running a lot faster.
Elements is perfect for those who are casual hobbyists that need to edit images for their work. Teachers, artists, scrapbookers, and even some bloggers can use this platform to create materials, promotional items, or social media graphics without needing to feel like they must become a photo-editing expert to do so.
What is nice about Elements is that it offers a “Quick Edit” function. It incorporates common adjustments that are made to photographs, such as color, exposure, and temperature hue. Just click on the command to adjust the photo and then you can fine-tune it to create the perfect result. You can’t do that on Photoshop and your image can look fantastic in 30 seconds or less.
Elements also gives users access to an “Expert” mode that takes the prompts and help functions away while providing masking, layers, and other common Photoshop tools. There is also an organizer that makes it easy to store and sort images for future projects.
Why Choose Photoshop Over Elements?
Photoshop may have more competition from Elements today, but it is still the best option to use for those who are highly skilled image editors. If you are a professional or have been working with editing software on your own since before you can remember, you’ll find the available tools can provide you with everything needed to create the perfect image.
The sheer number of advantages that Photoshop can provide at the professional level are too numerous to list. Although Elements can produce an excellent final outcome, it does not compare to what an advanced user of the full Photoshop platform can produce. It has specific tools that cannot be found anywhere else.
Photoshop makes the assumption that you already know what you are doing. You’re not going to receive on-screen prompts or advice. You just upload your work and then you get to work.
For those who want access to everything and don’t mind the learning curve, Photoshop is a powerful tool to learn on. It will be challenging, but can turn the amateur into a professional over time.
Cost Considerations: Elements vs Photoshop
Photoshop Elements is one of the few Adobe products that is not available through the Creative Cloud in some way. It is a stand-alone tool that must be purchased separately. On its own, the cost is $99.99, but there is a 20% discount for those who are upgrading from a previous version of the tool.
If you purchase Premiere Elements, which offers even more features and tools to use for image editing, the cost is $149.99.
The full version of Photoshop is available through the Creative Cloud. It can be purchased as an independent subscription or through the full Creative Cloud subscription. On its own, the price is $19.99 per month for an annual contract or $29.99 per month without a contract. If subscribing to the full Creative Cloud, the price is $49.99 per month.
The choice between Elements vs Photoshop depends on personal skill, image editing needs, and how much time is available to dedicate to the platform. Elements will teach you. Photoshop assumes you already know what you’re doing. That is the best way to choose which platform is the best option.