So, iPhoto works beautifully as a standalone application and can also serve as the world’s
coolest photo plug-in for Aperture.
One area where it trumps its bigger brother is the handling of movie files recorded with
your digital camera. iPhoto can catalog those files, including keywords and descrip-
tions, right alongside still photos. If you like to capture video with your digicam, iPhoto
becomes even more useful.
Key benefits include an attractive, intuitive interface, a short learning curve, a wide ar-
ray of output options, incremental backup for Mac OS X 10.5 users (via Time Machine),
movie handling as well as still photos, compatibility with other Apple apps, and low
cost. (As noted earlier, it comes bundled on every Mac sold.)
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Adobe Photoshop Elements has borrowed a page from the Lightroom modular approach. Its
four work areas—Organize, Edit, Create, and Share—divide the workflow into basic tasks.
Beyond that, Elements provides snapshooters with step-by-step assistance by enabling them
to simply choose the task they want to perform, such as touch up a photo, and then click on
the Guided button. Users are then escorted through each step in the correct order.
Adobe Photoshop Elements combines great technology
with a user-friendly environment.
e Organize section will introduce amateur photographers to keywording and smart
albums. You can quickly tag your images and then search on those tags to find the
pictures that fit those criteria. Smart albums automate this process by pulling together
collections of images into albums based on your preferences. e feature is very conve-
nient and works well.
e editing tools are good, as you would expect from Adobe. Something I found sur-
prising was that Adobe included some of the most advanced technologies from its pro-
fessional applications into Photoshop Elements. For example, you can use Photomerge
to combine the best expressions from two family group shots. You’d think this would
require a lot of precision on your part, but its as simple as drawing a circle around the
face you want to include.
Scrapbookers will enjoy many of the tools in the Create work area. In fact, Elements for
Windows is a terrific choice for people who make scrapbooks. You can also make other
goodies such as DVD labels and greeting cards.
Adobe integrated a healthy dose of its Flash technology into the Share area. You can
design web pages that rival professional sites with Flash effects built right in. You can
also connect to online services to order prints and books.
Overall, Photoshop Elements is the complete work environment for photographers us-
ing XP or Vista. I recommend it as the leading consumer photography application on
the Windows platform, comparable to what Mac users have in iPhoto.
Key benefits include a helpful modal approach to guide users through the workflow,
solid image editing tools, lots of creative options for scrapbookers, and advanced tech-
nologies such as Photomerge.
of image editing, you can better evaluate the power of applications that use one or
the other approach. Global image editors let you make changes to the entire photo-
graph. So, if you adjust the photo’s contrast, it is applied to the overall image.
Localized editing allows you to work on a specific area, such as tweaking the contrast
for the sky alone while not affecting the other elements in the photo.
Global editors may support some area-specific corrections, such as eliminating dust
spots, but for the most part, their strength is in adjusting the overall image.

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