Photoshop Elements 11: The Organizer Revisited eBook


Collage for Cover

Some of you may know that I wrote and published an eBook, Photoshop Elements: The Organizer” about a year or so ago. It essentially covers the Organizer in all versions of Elements up through PSE 10. It is still available on Amazon.

Adobe drastically changed the look and feel of Elements when they released PSE 11 last year. During the summer,I began updating the eBook for PSE 11, and just completed it. As they have consistently done, Adobe released PSE 12 about a month ago. Fortunately for me, the user interface of the new version is virtually the same. My eBook is based on PSE 11, but I did include a bonus chapter at the end that overviews the significant changes in PSE 12’s Organizer.

Both books cover only the Organizer, because I feel it does not get nearly the coverage it should within the many other books that have been written on Photoshop Elements over the years.

If you would like to take a look at it on Amazon, Click Here.

Let me know in the comments section below what you think. Thanks.

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Should You Upgrade to Photoshop Elements 11?


PSE 11 Welcome Screen

Since Photoshop Elements 11 (PSE 11) has been released I have posted videos overviewing the new look of the Organizer and the Editor. I also posted a video that described its new features.

If you are currently using an older version of Elements, should you update to the new version? If you have never invested in Photoshop Elements is this the time to take the plunge?

What follows is basically what I’ve been telling my students when asked. My thoughts have not changed much since learning that I will be teaching PSE 11 at the South Bay Adult School beginning in January. Upgrading to PSE 11 may not be for everyone.

Also, if you decide to sit this upgrade out or upgrade to PSE 10 to stay with the classic look, you may find my ebook, Photoshop Elements: The Organizer to be a very useful reference. It’s available on Amazon for the iPad or Kindle Fire.

You are Brand New to Photoshop Elements

If this is you, and you want to begin using Elements, buying PSE 11 is definitely the way to go. There is no doubt that this is the future direction of the program. Since Adobe put a lot of effort into the layout and workflows to make the program easier to use, you most likely will find coming up to speed easier than if you had purchased PSE 10 a year ago.

You Bought PSE 10 and are Actively Using it

Historically Adobe releases a new upgrade to Elements every fall. This has been their practice for the past many years. Unless you are like me, and strive to have the latest version of the prime programs you use frequently, my usual advice is to think about upgrading every couple of years. Generally, the added features and correction of existing bugs warrant spending another $80 or so.

Converting your Catalog to a new version is basically automatic. You should have no problems, as long as your Catalog on the older version is in good shape with no photo disconnect issues etc.

So if you are using PSE 10, you could skip this release and wait for PSE 12, but this time things are different. In previous years, to help people decide whether or not to upgrade to the very next version, my advice was to suggest that they review the new features to see if one or more of them was something they would really benefit from.

Generally speaking, the older the version you are using, the more you will benefit from upgrading. For example, let’s assume that you are actively using PSE 6, and are comfortable with the program and what it does for you and have no desire or time to learn a new program. If that is you, I would upgrade now to PSE 10, before you can no longer find it in stores or from reparable dealers on the internet. In fact I would do this regardless of what version I was currently using, including PSE 9, if I did not want to go the new look and feel in PSE 11.

You have Elements But Have Never Really Used It

If this is your case, you probably never became comfortable with it or spent the time to learn it. Maybe its user interface looked too complicated or your first efforts to use it were frustrating. You do not have much or invested in the program. In my opinion, if you still have a need to protect and keep track of all of those photos from your digital camera, upgrading to PSE 11 is a good move, regardless of what previous version of PSE you own. Again the new look and feel may be just what you need.

You Are a Heavy User of Elements With a Large Catalog of Photos

This is certainly my situation. I have over 35K images and videos in my Catalog that I have imported over the past ten years or so. During that entire time, the look and the feel of the program was pretty much the same. Being a volunteer beta tester for Adobe, I had the opportunity to work with PSE 11 for the past many months as it evolved into what was finally released in October.

Frankly coming up to speed was difficult for me. Old habits and workflows die hard. I converted my existing Catalog to PSE 11 a few months ago. I have had to do a lot of relearning, but the effort has been worth it. I still do not know how to take full advantage of every feature now included in the Organizer, but as I use it, I like it more and more.

What really helped me come up to speed with the PSE 11’s Organizer was Adobe provided the appropriate capabilities that allow me to ease in to the new way of doing things.

I took the plunge. This path may not b for you. That is a question only you can answer.

Final Thoughts for Now

Almost everything above focuses on the Organizer. But remember, PSE also consists of the Photo Editor mode as well.

It too has undergone a major redesign and sports a new and presumably easier to use interface. However, I personally did not have much trouble adapting to the Editor in PSE 11. I had to look for buttons in different places and things of that nature, but the commands themselves and their dialogs pretty much stayed the same. I was able to concentrate on using its new features.

So, I have told you what I think. Leave a comment, and let me know your thoughts regarding upgrading to PSE 11. Are you planning to do so? What version are you using now? Is it easier to use? How easy has it been to adapt to the new look?

Also, if you found my comments helpful, let me know that too.

My Fall 2012 Digital Photography Classes


I have my schedule for the digital photography classes I’ll be teaching this fall. Actually, I will also be teaching a basic iPad class for PV NET this September. Although it is not strictly a digital photography class, we will look at some of camera and editing apps in the course.

I will again be teaching a basic Photoshop class for Torrance. This time around, I will be covering additional topics on processing camera RAW images using the Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) editor. We will again be using CS5.

The camera classes at both Torrance and the South Bay Adult School will return to their original format of one class dedicated to the compact or simpler cameras and the other class focusing on using digital SLRs or the more advanced cameras.

I will be teaching an Advanced Photo Editing class at both the South Bay Adult School and Torrance. This term I am also broadening the photo organizing class I will be teach at Torrance to include other topics that someone just beginning to get into digital photography needs to know.

Ok, here are the links to the schedule and class descriptions for the classes I will be teaching come September. The term for all of the schools begins on  September 10th. On-line registration and sign-ups for the fall term should be available very soon.

PV NET – http://dons-digital-photo-corner.com/digital-photo-classes/pv-net-digital-photo-classes/

South Bay Adult School – http://dons-digital-photo-corner.com/digital-photo-classes/south-bay-adult-school-classes/

Torrance – http://dons-digital-photo-corner.com/digital-photo-classes/torrance-digital-photo-classes-spring-2011/

If you do not want to copy/paste the link, you can just go to my web site www.donstouder.com and follow the applicable links from there.

If you are following my blog, you know that my Photoshop Elements Organizer eBook is now available on Amazon for both the Kindle and iPad. You can find out more about it by clicking here – http://dons-digital-photo-corner.com/photoshop-elements-the-organizer-ebook/

You can now follow me on Facebook. You can click the link below or go to the Facebook button in the upper right corner of my blog page. And while you are there, please LIKE me. Thanks a lot.

http://www.facebook.com/DonsPhoto

Finally, I have discovered Pinterest, which is a clever way to provide visual links to just about anything on the web. I’m using it to spread the word about web sites, tutorials, and videos that I have found valuable, as well as those I have created myself. I’ve started a Board on camera tips, Photoshop, and one linking to tutorials etc from my web site. I’m just getting started and learning about Pinterest, but I will be posting more and more links here as time goes by. Check it out.

http://pinterest.com/don26812/

Well that about does it. Enjoy the summer. I hope to see you in a class this fall. Please follow me on Facebook, my blog, and check me out on Pinterest.

And thank so much for all of the support you shown me over the years.

Photoshop Elements eBook Available from Amazon


Those you who have followed my blog for awhile, know that I self-published an eBook called Photoshop Elements: The Organizer, which was available on my website as a PDF file. I sold a number of copies in this format. It is now available from Amazon for the Kindle Fire or iPad. I believe it is also available for the standard Kindle, but two-hundred or so color figures would be displayed in black and white. In its original format, it was about 170 pages. I have no idea how that translates to screens on a mobile device.

You can download a sample chapter and preview the book by Clicking HERE. Even if you do not have a Kindle/iPad, I would appreciate if you go to the Amazon page and click on the LIKE button. Because of the publishing requirements with Amazon, the PDF version is no longer available on my website.

Check Out My New Photoshop Elements: The Organizer eBook


As many of you know, I have been using Photoshop Elements from its beginning, which must be over ten years now. I began using its Organizer when it was first introduced in PSE 3. To manage my images before that, I used  Adobe’s Photoshop Album, which became the Organizer with PSE 3’s introduction.

Over the years my photo and video collection has grown to over 33,000 items. PSE’s Organizer is not perfect (no software program is), but it has served me well for a long time. Although there have been many excellent Photoshop Elements books over the past ten years, almost all of them devote most of their coverage to its editing capabilities. Michael Slater wrote what I feel to be the definitive book covering the Organizer (Organize Your Photos With Adobe Photoshop Elements 3), but it was written when PSE 3 was first introduced.

I decided last summer to write an eBook strictly devoted to the Organizer. I have been using and teaching it for the past ten years. Don’t get me wrong, my intent was not to replace Slater’s book. I do not cover every detail and feature within the program. Instead, I have tried to focus on those things that I have used over and over throughout the years, and which I feel are the most important.

That being said, my eBook ended up taking longer to complete and grew in size more than I had envisioned. It ended up containing eight chapters, consisting of over 160 pages and 200 illustrations. Please click on the following link to find out more about my eBook and how you can purchase it.

Photoshop Elements: The Organizer