Photoshop Elements 14 Review and New Features
by Linda Sattgast
Adobe took an already robust program and added some great new features in Photoshop Elements 14. My two favorite new features are Haze Removal and Shake Reduction, both of which come from Photoshop CC, but there are some other great features as well.
Use haze removal on photos that are hazy or not as clear as they could be, like this photo of our Alaska cruise ship taken from high on the surrounding mountains.
Access this new tool in the Menu Bar by choosing Enhance > Haze Removal. Adjust the slider on the left to achieve the effect you desire.
Sometimes the result is dramatic. Here I had a photo with a sun flair that was fun but a bit overwhelming.
After Haze Removal the fun effect of the flair is still there but modified so you can also enjoy the rest of the photo as well.
Haze removal also works on washed out photos like this one of a cute little girl.
Shake Reduction Filter
Shake Reduction isn’t a cure all for bad blurry photos, but it does a pretty good job improving the look of many blurry photos. Here is a photo before applying the Shake Reduction filter.
In the Menu Bar choose Enhance > Shake Reduction. If you want to see this in action, watch my YouTube video on the new features of Photoshop Elements 14, which includes a demo of Shake Reduction. The “After” photo below is quite improved over the original.
2 New Guided Edits
Guided Edits has a new user-friendly, eye-pleasing interface making it easier to know what each tutorial is about.
Adobe has added two new Guided Edit tutorials. The one with the most pizzazz is Speed Effect. Below is a skateboarding image that would look good with some motion blur.
Here’s how the image looks with a subtle amount of motion blur using Speed Effect. Of course, you can make the motion blur much more obvious, if you wish. Watch my YouTube video on Speed Effect for a more detailed demonstration.
The second Guided Edit, called Resize Your Photo, isn’t as flashy but is likely to get used more, as it walks you through the steps of resizing your images for printing or for uploading to the web.
Better Selections with the Refine Selection Brush Tool
If you need to select an object or person out of a photo, the improvements to the Refine Selection Brush tool will make it much easier to select soft edges like fur or hair.
For example, I wanted to select a giraffe out of its background to use on another photo, and it was very easy to do with the enhanced brush. Watch my YouTube video about the Refine Selection Brush tool for a demonstration of how to use it.
Quick Edit Effects Improved
If you want to apply some fast effects to your photos, check out the new “Smart Looks” option. Access the new effects by clicking on the word Quick at the top of the Editor and then choosing Effects from the panel names in the lower right corner of the Editor.
There used to be 50 effects available to apply to your photos, but in Photoshop Elements 14 Adobe added a new category called “Smart Looks” at the top of the Effects. It analyzes your photo to determine its contents—is it a portrait, family shot, snow, beach, or sunset photo, etc? It then chooses the top five effects for that particular photo from a data base of 2,500 effects.
Here’s the before and after image with the effect I chose from the Smart Looks suggestions.
The Smart Looks filter works better on certain kinds of photos than others, but it’s definitely worth a try, and if doesn’t give you something you like, the original effects are still available.
Photoshop Elements 14 has more improvements—like the ability to save a preset size in the New document dialog box, and improvements in the Organizer for People, Places, and Events, making it much easier to tag and locate your photos.
Should You Upgrade?
In my opinion, yes! I can almost guarantee you’ll use Haze Removal just about every time you work on editing your photos. Shake Reduction and the improved Refine Edge Selection Brush will be invaluable when you need them, not to mention the other fun improvements.
In a word? Photoshop Elements 14 is a rockin’ program!
Author: Linda Sattgast, Adobe’s Scrapbooking Expert | Contact Us
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