Photoshop Elements Update=More Bad Pictures

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Adobe just came out with their new version of Photoshop Elements. One of their tag lines is "Amazing Photos. No  Experience Necessary." This is the picture they used along with that tag. A selectively colored pink shirt does make an amazing photo—as in I'm amazed anyone thinks this crap is any good.

Who was it that said "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." *

The reality is that no piece of software will give you amazing photographs without first gaining the experience to know what actually goes into the making of one. Some people might have an innate talent for arranging things in space, and able to easily judge and evaluate tonal balance (which I would also consider arranging things in space) but to develop that experience, you need to pick up a book on the history of photography, go to museums, established galleries (even that can be dangerous sometimes), and in terms of print quite, look at 19th and early 20th century photographs. Most of all, stop believing the all the BS marketing tags geared toward the masses of consumer non-photographers. If you want to be serious about it (even it is just a hobby), then pay the $10 a month for the grownup versions of Lightroom and Photoshop.

The problem with digital photography isn't that it is now so much easier to make good photographs, but that it is so much easier to make (and disseminate) more bad photographs, and these 50 new "pro" filters just make it that much easier.

The bottom line is that software geared toward amateur consumers with gimmicky photo-mashup features, of 50 new amazing "pro" auto-enhancements will not give you results that hold up in the real world, let alone, to history. Is that elitist? No, it is saying that I have enough respect for the people serious about making pictures to want them to get the most out of their experience photographing and viewing the results. Fighting within the limitations of subpar consumer software goes against the goal of trying to teach people to make good work that is both satisfying now and for years to come. 

Now if you want to make a quick greeting card from your jpeg capture, by all means, elements is your ticket. 

* the quote is by H. L. Mencken