Adobe Photoshop Elements: The Best Entry to Advanced Photo Editing


As a beginner, one of the most daunting aspects of photography has to be figuring out how to achieve the exact image you have in mind. It’s tough enough to get the shot, but then editing opens up a whole additional world of possibilities, which can be pretty intimidating from the get-go. Luckily, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021 is a friendly and intuitive tool that takes a lot of the guesswork out of editing and helps you develop skills for lifelong use. It’s a solid foundational program that appeals to casual users looking to tidy up some snapshots but, since it’s built with so much tech from its big brother, Photoshop, it’s also the perfect gateway into more advanced editing. Here are 10 reasons why Adobe Photoshop Elements is the best entry to advanced photo editing.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021

1. It’s Part of the Adobe Ecosystem

One of the nicest aspects of Elements applications is that they are part of Adobe’s ecosystem and help to acquaint you with their way of working, which can greatly benefit your editing workflow in later years. Photoshop Elements helps you to lay a strong foundation in editing skills, and this can be expanded upon later if you move up to the full-fledged version of Adobe Photoshop.

2. It Incorporates Adobe Sensei AI Technology

The key to Elements’ power has to be the Adobe Sensei AI Technology, which is responsible for so many of the automated functions in the application. This advanced system of automation can handle everything from adjusting the color and contrast of a photo to smoothing out skin and refining the lighting quality of a portrait. It’s also useful for adding filter effects, organizing and labeling files, and outputting finished products for sharing. Sensei AI is the heart of the Elements application and is essentially the helping hand that gets you up to speed with learning about different features, or simply just handles them without you needing to worry.

3. It Helps You Become Familiar with File Organization

One of the most noticeable distinctions between a beginner and a veteran of post-production has to be file organization. Seemingly mindless and simple, file organization is what keeps a workflow running smoothly and is something you’ll learn to appreciate as you accumulate more images over time. Photoshop Elements helps you become accustomed to keeping your files in order by teaching methods of rating, labeling, tagging, and keywording files, and Sensei AI can even help Auto Curate files if you’re feeling a bit indecisive.

4. It Simplifies Complex Processes

There’s no denying that, as a beginner, Photoshop can be intimidating due to how much is possible with the software. Elements simplifies this and makes the task of editing much more approachable and inviting. Automated functions and tools help introduce you to the capabilities and prepare you for fully manual control later on.

5. Guided Modes Are Available

Photoshop Elements is more than just a sandbox for you to play in; if desired, you can use more than 50 different Guided Edits to perform and learn specific editing techniques and skills. Ranging from how to erase distractions and objects from an image to how to add bold digital art effects, text, and patterns to images, these guided edits go step-by-step through various processes to help you learn by doing.

6. It Comes with a Perpetual License

Another distinction of Elements over the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop is that Elements is only available with a perpetual license, meaning you purchase the software once and it’s yours forever. Compare this to the subscription model of Adobe CC apps and it’s a bit more inviting for a beginner to know that they are investing in something for the long run. This means you can take all the time needed to get up to speed before deciding to move over to the full version, where you’ll be receiving consistent feature upgrades and new tools, but with a subscription model that necessitates consistent and frequent use of the application.

7. It’s Available with Premiere Elements to Hone Video Editing Skills, Too

Even the most dedicated still photographer will struggle to argue that video isn’t a thing nowadays, and it’s becoming more important for everyone to know a little bit about video editing to complement their photo editing skills. Luckily, you can dive right into the Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements 2021 bundle, which gives you full versions of the photo and video editing apps to hone both editing skill sets.

Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements 2021
Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements 2021

8. Its Friendly Interface Removes the Intimidation Factor

Going back to Photoshop CC being daunting, one of the main contributors of this intimidation is the user interface. It’s minimal and functional, but not very descriptive for a newcomer. Elements’ interface is much easier to navigate for a beginner, with tool explanations being present and guides to help familiarize yourself with what everything is and does.

9. It Helps You Produce Finished, Shareable Photos

Photoshop Elements is a great tool for learning—that’s been established—but don’t lose sight that it’s also a great tool for editing photos. All of the work and time spent with the software is for real and will give you high-end results if you take the time to learn and fine-tune your process. Elements also includes an array of finishing functions for making shareable products that go beyond just a well-edited digital file, including collages and cards, and there’s a built-in printing service via FUJIFILM for making physical prints and objects.

10. It Prepares You for More

Summing everything up, Adobe Photoshop Elements 21 is a great way to get your feet wet in the editing world. It will teach you the basics, help refine your craft and give you some advanced techniques, it will impart strong organizational practices, and it will help you edit and share your photographs. Most importantly, though, it will prepare you to move onto the next step of upgrading to Adobe Photoshop CC, where the toolset becomes much more expansive and the boundaries are dropped. Elements sets you up to explore the larger, deeper pool of Photoshop CC.

Let us know if you have any questions about Adobe Photoshop Elements. Are you just starting out photo editing in general, or looking to move over to Adobe for your post-production needs? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.