Photoshop Elements – First Creation

If I were to rank my levels of creativity and imagination on a scale of 1 to 10, creativity would be a -5 and imagination would be a -2.  Now, if I were to rank my levels of how badly I wish I was creative and imaginative, creativity would be a 12 and my desire to have some type of imagination would be a 14.

There’s no doubt in my mind my 4-year daughter is unequivocally more creative and imaginative than myself but in my defense, at least I have a desire to be so.  And in an effort to achieve my creative and imaginative desires, I’ve come across Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 9, a slimmed down but still very powerful version of Adobe’s original Photoshop program that allows users to turn everyday boring photos into brilliant works of art worthy of gracing your walls.

I installed Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 9 (hereafter abbreviated to PSE) a couple of weeks ago to satisfy my interest in photo editing and multimedia manipulation as mentioned in my “About Me” page and at first had a very difficult time navigating through the user interface (UI), selecting the appropriate tools, and applying the right effects to obtain the desired results of what I was trying to accomplish.  I was expecting this though, so while it was a little frustrating, it wasn’t a surprise.  But as I experimented more with the basic tools offered through PSE and some easy-to-work-with photos, I am starting to get a hang of the program.

Here I’d like to present my very first PSE creation.  Yes, it’s rather basic but what do you expect?  At this point I’m in no position to explain what I did or how PSE works; I’ll leave that to the experts.  There are many tutorials and videos on how to use PSE at http://www.photoshoproadmap.com/Photoshop-tutorials/Photoshop-Elements-tutorials/Most-popular/1/http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com/, and http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-elements.html.  I found the aforementioned links very helpful while first experimenting with PSE.

My first project was very basic.  The photo I used was that of one of my daughters taken approximately 2 years ago at an airshow in Dayton, OH.  In the photo, she is looking up at one of the planes with the “ewww” and “ahhh” look with an overcast sky as the back drop.  By the way, this is one of me and my wife’s favorite photos of her…ever!

Initially I had no idea what I wanted to do with this photo, but considering my limited (less than limited) skills with PSE I was very…uh…limited with what I could do with it.  But that’s the nice thing about PSE.  Even users with NO experience at all can still do magnificent things with their photos because PSE does almost all the work for you.

At the initial glance, a few things pop out at me.  First, no face as beautiful as that should be engulfed with such a dreary background.  Secondly, you can see two minor blemishes on her chin that needed to disappear.  Third, I wanted to turn this into something “artsy” rather than the plain old flat photo.  And fourth, I wanted to add her name to the top right-hand corner of the photo.

With a little PSE magic, here are the results…

Here are the before and after photos side by side:

Before

After

While I’d love to sit here and tell you how long it took me and how much work I put into creating this beautiful, wall worthy photo, I think this project only took me about 10 minutes from start to finish.  Again, the magic of PSE at its best.  With little to no experience, I took a boring, dreary photo and turned it into an “artsy” watercolor type photo with beautiful blue skies and a name stamp; all with just a few clicks of my mouse…and a touch of creativity and imagination!

In closing, I’d like to announce I’m going to be working on a number of projects involving PSE.  As I complete these projects I’ll be posting them here on WordPress and would LOVE your feedback.  Be gentle though, I’m still a beginner.  And for my first series of projects and in light of the Halloween season approaching, I’ll be creating monsters out of my family…let me know what you think!

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