No Better Time to Upgrade to Photoshop Elements 14

There is no better time to upgrade to Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 14 (PSE 14) than now!

Between now and November 29th, Costco will have the program on sale for $39.95. You will never see a lower price. Normally a good deal is about $80 for the program.

pse 14 welcome

If you are brand new to the world of digital photography, this best selling program is one of the easiest ways to get started. Beginning with uploading your images or videos from your digital camera or mobile device through enhancing them , and ultimately sharing them with others,  PSE 14 provides a user friendly solution. At the same time, the program provides sufficient tools and commands, similar to its its more powerful sibling, Photoshop CC, to give your photos that professional look.

If you are using an older version of PSE (PSE 10 or older) it is definitely time to upgrade to PSE 14. When you do, you will see a much friendlier user interface in both the Organizer and the Editor.

If you are familiar with Photoshop Elements, you know it consists of two main modules, the Organizer and the Photo Editor. You are probably also aware that there are many books available to help you learn how to effectively use the program. But I have found that these books focus on the Photo Editor module. How to use the Organizer to manage your images and videos effectively is given much less coverage.

To fill this gap, I have published an inexpensive yet a detailed eBook that addresses only the Organizer. This ebook includes material that is normally not found in other books. The PSE 14 version of this book is titled Photoshop Elements 14: The Organizer Revisited Again. It is available on Amazon. Click on the title link above to find out more about my eBook.

My New eBook

My New eBook

And by the way, PSE 14 works on both the PC and the Mac.

Adobe Releases Photoshop Elements 14

As Adobe has done for the past several years, they have released the latest version of Photoshop Elements, PSE 14. This is an incremental change that improves the overall performance of the program and adds a couple of nifty new features.

To learn all about Photoshop Elements 14, click on the figure below.

pse 14 welcome

My favorite new feature is the Haze Removal  command in the Photo Editor. If you are like me, you will want to go back to those hazy landscapes you have taken in the past and revisit them with this new filter.

It does a surprisingly good job on cutting through the haze, even on those images you have already gotten as good as you could. Start with the original rather than the edited version for best results, especially if they are JPEG images.

Here is an example of what Auto Haze Removal can do. You can also adjust its strength and sensitivity.

Before after Auto Haze

Flight Track Superimposed on Phantom 2+ Video

In this video, I manually superimposed the flight track that was recorded on my iPhone using the FPV Boost on the video recorded by my Phantom 2+ camera. The flight track records a real time display of various flight parameters like altitude, speed, and such, superimposed on a satellite view of the ground.

To make the composite video took multiple steps. The current version of FPV Boost’s Flight Track video cannot not be exported. It can only be played back within that app. So the first thing I did was to do a video capture while playing back the flight track on my iPhone. I used the Reflector iPhone app to display the video on my PC. I then used Camtasia on my PC to capture the video.

Then I imported the two video files (the Phantom’s video and my screen capture video) into Adobe’s Premiere Elements video editing program onto separate tracks. I used Premiere elements Video Guide to learn how to do a picture in picture (PIP) effect, but then manually applied the PIP for this video.

The Phantom video and its flight track appear to be in-sync at the beginning, but there seems to be a drift later in the video. I need to look into that.  Butt I’m reasonably pleased with this first attempt.

The video was shot at the Field of Dreams Soccer Complex in San Pedro. During a portion of it, you can see a model RC airplane zooming about.

Fall Digital Photography Classes: Final Reminder

Summer has gone by way too fast. The fall terms at both Torrance and the South Bay Ault School (SBAS) begin very soon. In fact, SBAS classes begin in less than two weeks on September 8th, and Torrance one week later.

Time is running out to register for these classes.

To see the schedule and descriptions for the classes I will be teaching at the South Bay Adult school CLICK HERE.

For the classes I will be teaching at Torrance CLICK HERE.

Don’t be left out. Register before it is too late. I hope to see you in one of the classes.

Photoshop CC (2015) Shake Reduction Demo

The figure below demonstrates the power of the Photoshop CC (2015) Shake Reduction filter. The photo was taken out of a side window ftom a car travelling at freeway speeds. Obviously the trees in the foreground were blurry, but also the mountains in the background were also blurred.

I processed the photo using the default filter settings after repositioning the focus point slightly. The focus point was positioned so it only used the mountains. Doing this did significantly blur and make ghost images on the trees in the foreground. I then masked these out.

From this one, quickly produced example, it is obvious to me that this filter will be a very useful tool.

PS Shake Reduction

Here is the final result._L0A6773_edited-1 Shake Reduction

Yet Another Way to Improve a Sky

There are a many ways to darken a sky to make it more dramatic. That’s good, because they often show up in your photos as something less than hoped we for or remembered, being too bright and lacking color.

This technique is somewhat different and does require Photoshop. It is not possible to use it with Photoshop Elements. Fortunately, there are many other techniques that work well with Elements. Here are the steps.

  1. Open the image in Photoshop.
  2. Duplicate the background layer – always a good idea.
  3. Make a black and white adjustment layer.
  4. Adjust the color sliders as desired to darken the sky. Usually, the blue and the cyan sliders have the biggest effect.
  5. Change the Blending Mode of the B&W Adjustment Layer to Darken. You will probably see some color coming back in the non-blue areas.
  6. Reduce the layer’s Opacity to 40-50%. If you go too far, the sky quickly returns to its original brightness.
  7. At this point I may often add a Vibrance or Saturation Adjustment Layer to further enhance the sky. Also, in some photos, adjusting the other sliders in the Black and White Adjustment Layer will add additional impact to the photo.

Dark Blend mode Ex

As you can see from the comparison here, the change is subtle, but effective. In this photo the water was also affected.

I learned about this technique from It is worth checking out this site to learn more about this techniques as well as others.

Try it out on some of your photos and share them in the comments below.

Photoshop CC Dehaze Filter at Work

The before and after image below was taken from my Phantom 2 Vision+ UAV above Valle Verde Park in Escondido, CA. The RAW image was corrected using the new Photoshop CC (2015) Dehaze filter along with a tweaking of the color balance etc. The DJI lens correction preset was also used. I really like the simplicity and ease of using this new Dehaze filter. It also works well with images that do not contain a lot of haze.

Before after dehaze P2 Image

Summer Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC Classes

LR CC Mixed Logo

Photoshop CC logoA couple of weeks ago I posted that I would be teaching Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC classes for PVNET this summer. The details have been worked out now.

There will be three classes all during July. Each class will meet for one week on Monday through Thursday evening from 6:30-8:30 pm for a total of 8 hours.  The classes will be taught at PVNET’s summer home in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Center Promenade. It is on the second level right beneath the Regal Theater.

We will be using the latest software, but if you have recent versions of either program, that will be fine.  The number of PCs are limited, so sign up early! To the best of my knowledge this is the only adult school or similar educational facility that has Creative Cloud (CC) versions of these programs.

To find out more about each class and to register, click on the class link below.

Lightroom CC – Level 1 Beginning July 6th

Photoshop CC – Level 1 Beginning July 13th

Photoshop CC – Level 2  Beginning July 20th

I hope to see you in one of the classes.