The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 4/27/09

by on Apr.26, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing

Today’s MMT is posted here (down at the bottom) for all visitors to read. I’m hoping this will encourage more new subscribers. Remember, if you’re still on my e-mail distribution list, I plan to stop sending MMTs via e-mail at the end on June. If you want to receive MMTs after June 30, you must subscribe to my RSS feed as described in this article.

Today’s MMT is about a FREE (do I have your attention?) tool for Photoshop Elements (all versions as well as other photo editing programs) that adds curves to your toolbox. Those who have never used curves might not understand why it’s so cool but if you’ve ever used a Levels Adjustment Layer in PSE, you’ll be happy to know that curves is like Levels on steroids.

I’ve used several curves tools in PSE, most notably from Richard Lynch’s Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements. Richard’s book first introduced me to the idea that Adobe hadn’t bothered to neuter PSE but simply hidden many tools away from prying eyes. Unfortunately, this was back when PSE was till considered an ugly duckling to Adobe’s Photoshop and most people (including me) didn’t want to spend a lot of time learning two different programs.

Today, PSE is all grown up and probably fills about 90% of any amateur photographers’ needs. Yet, there are still a few tools in PS that I’d like to see in PSE. SmartCurves fulfills one such need by adding a powerful curves capability to PSE. Even better, it’s free as in gratis, no cost, zilch, zip, nada, none… well, you get the idea!

I haven’t fully explored SmartCurves so there will probably be an MMT in the future that covers the ins-and-outs of SmartCurves. In the meantime, if you want to learn PSE, I have a new webcast class starting on May 27. Check out the details here.

20090427_smartcurves

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