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By Jeff Carlson | Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Which Do You Need? Photoshop Elements vs. Photoshop CC

photoshop elements vs photoshop cc

How many times have you heard someone say they need Photoshop to edit photos? Perhaps because it was first, or because talented artists have done amazing things with it over the years, Adobe Photoshop has become synonymous in many people’s minds with manipulating digital photos.

And yet, Photoshop is one of the biggest iceberg applications out there: Most people, even many experts, use only a small percentage of what Photoshop CC 2015 (the latest version) is capable of.

That’s why Adobe also sells Photoshop Elements, which has just been updated to version 14. Originally designed as a “Photoshop Lite,” Elements is now nearly as capable as its older sibling, especially for most general-purpose photo editing.

By Jeff Carlson | Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Epic Photography Fails ... Can Be Awesome


It’s easy to think that because we left the right lens at home, didn’t bring a tripod, or don’t own the latest camera with the best resolution/low-light sensitivity/new-camera smell, we can’t make good photos.

Worse, we sometimes convince ourselves that the camera should stay in its comfy bag (the latest in a series of pricy totes)—because we’re afraid to even try in the first place.

“If I can’t make the image that’s in my head, why bother?”

If you learn anything about photography, it’s that there is no single, correct way to take photos. Sure, there are rules and guidelines and solid principles, but good photos can come from anywhere, and in all sorts of circumstances.

Let the following examples inspire you the next time you can’t capture a shot the way it “should” be done.

By Jeff Carlson | Saturday, July 25, 2015

TripMode: Don't Blow Through Your Allotted Data While Traveling


When packing for modern summer travel, be sure to throw in the Internet. I have decent broadband access at home, and I forget that’s not the case everywhere else.

I learned this lesson the hard way on my last trip—although not in the way you might expect:

I made sure I had an alternate method of getting online, but in the process, I burned through my data allocation—twice in two days.

Here’s how it happened, and how to use TripMode to make sure it doesn’t happen to you:

By Jeff Carlson | Friday, April 24, 2015

What’s New in Photoshop Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6?

Lightroom CC

When major software updates come out, we want to know what’s new to determine whether we should upgrade or not.

In most cases, the stakes are pretty low: Will a new spreadsheet program work faster? Will that new note-taking application sync with my phone?
But when we’re talking about photo management software like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, the stakes are higher:

  • Will it improve my photo workflow?
  • Am I risking my entire photo library with its tens or hundreds of thousands of images?
  • Will it bring my computer to a crawl as it’s processing photos?

This week Adobe released Photoshop Lightroom CC, and I’m happy to report that the answers are yes; no; and surprisingly, no.

By Jeff Carlson | Thursday, April 9, 2015

3 Ways to Share Your Lightroom Mobile Photos on iOS

Share your Lightroom mobile photos via iOS
My main photo library is stored in Adobe Lightroom, so I often browse and edit selected shots on my iPad using the Lightroom mobile app.

I sync a folder of images that I’ve already imported into Lightroom on the desktop and then, using the iPad, rate and edit photos on the couch instead of in front of my computer.

Until recently, if I wanted to use those photos in another app, I’d have to first share them to the iPad’s built-in photo library and then open them in the other app from there.
Well, some shortcuts are finally working around that diversion. Several apps can now pull images directly from an Adobe Creative Cloud account, bypassing the internal photo library.

Here are three apps that let you spend time being creative—instead of shuffling image files around:

By Jeff Carlson | Saturday, March 21, 2015

Photos for OS X App: The Smart Way to Install the Public Beta

installing the photos for os x app beta

Apple is now offering the new Photos for OS X application as a public beta, so anyone who signs up for (and is accepted into) the Apple Beta Software Program can start using a pre-release version of the photo library software.

But there’s a catch: You must also install the beta of the entire operating system, OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, to get the Photos for OS X app.
That means your data will be vulnerable to the sometimes unexpected behavior of pre-release software—and not just any data, but your library of irreplaceable digital photos.

You need a smart plan of action to make it work. Before you download the newest software, follow my advice in this article and save yourself potential headaches and wasted time.

By Jeff Carlson | Monday, March 9, 2015

Apple Unveils $10,000 Apple Watch and Thinner MacBook

Apple Watch

Now we know what the Apple Watch will cost—but surprisingly, that wasn’t the highlight of Monday’s media event in San Francisco. In fact, the Apple Watch occupied only a third of the event’s focus.

It started with an unexpected (and welcome) foray into health research and included the introduction of a new MacBook laptop model.

By Jeff Carlson | Friday, February 13, 2015

Photos for OS X: What You Need to Know

Photos for OS X Beta

Last week, Apple re-revealed Photos for OS X, the Mac counterpart to the Photos app on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Available now as a preview for developers, Photos for OS X will be included with OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 in the spring.

Apple first teased Photos for OS X at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) last June, and a month later announced that iPhoto and Aperture were being retired. In the interim, we’ve been left wondering what the replacement will be like:

Will it open existing iPhoto and Aperture libraries? Will Photos replace all of Aperture’s professional organizing and editing features?

Now we have a better idea of what’s coming. The Photos for OS X app will be immediately familiar, as it echoes (but doesn’t completely duplicate) the Photos for iOS app. It does open iPhoto and Aperture libraries, and even does so without duplicating your images.

However, that’s about as far as Photos goes when it comes to Aperture. The new application is a clear message—the latest in a string of messages over the years, really—that Apple is no longer pursuing the professional photographer market.

If you currently use iPhoto or Aperture to manage and edit your photo library, it’s time to start thinking about how Photos will fit into your workflow—which may involve migrating to a non-Apple application.

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