Monday, April 14, 2008

Adobe Photoshop Express... Disappointment, Surprise, Delight!

Adobe has published a free, web-based, image-editing application. Adobe’s Photoshop Express joins several other image-editors already online. As soon as it became available, I examined it to determine how it compares with the online image-editor that I currently use… and to determine which Photoshop-like procedures I would be able to use with this new application.

I chose not to share my experiences as a tech tip at that point due to the Terms of Service. I was not the one to initially discover that the Terms gave Adobe more control over users’ content than many users would like; however, when I reviewed the Terms, I agreed that they were not what I wanted to accept. Adobe has since modified the Terms and, consequently, I can now recommend the application.

My first reaction was one of disappointment. Since this application is Photoshop Express, I figured I would be able to use layers. However, there are no layers.

As I tried various editing functions, I was surprised to see preview thumbnails of my image. I can click on the different thumbnails to see which result I like best. With some of the editing functions a slider is also available to help me choose my preferred result. The thumbnails help me make my choices.

Another good feature is the ability to undo choices I make… and not necessarily in the order that I originally make those choices! That, too, was a surprise.

Two pages of FAQs provide helpful information when you’re first learning the application. Some of what I learned from the FAQs includes…
  • I can play without an account, but I can’t work with my own photos without an account.
  • Photoshop Express currently works only with JPEGs.
  • I can upload multiple files at a time from my computer.
  • Photoshop Express currently works with Facebook, Photobucket, and Picasa.
  • When I upload a photo from my computer, I can select it in My Photos, and then choose to edit it.
  • In order to download my edited and saved photo to my computer, I mouse over the photo. That makes the options menu visible and then I can choose to download the photo to my computer.
  • Functions that are available include: crop and rotate, resize, auto correct, exposure, red-eye removal, touchup, saturation, white balance, highlight, fill light, sharpen, soft focus, hue, black and white, tint, sketch, distort, and pop color.
Photoshop Express is easy to use. Although some features that I would like are missing—layers, tools for drawing shapes, the ability to add text—some nice features that are included are storage space for photos, the ability to share photos, and slideshow settings for albums.

What delighted me was that I can pop color! I can’t do that with my current image-editing application. My purple water lily looks great in blue!

Adobe Photoshop Express web sites…

Adobe Photoshop Express application web site:

Photoshop Express Support Center (links to FAQs and other support):

Adobe Photoshop Express Getting Started (excellent short training videos):

Check Steve Dembo’s blog, Digital Passports: Your passport to the wide world of Web 2.0!, to read an interesting comparison of Adobe Photoshop Express and Picnik.

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