This is my favorite photo program. I love taking pictures and now that I have a baby, I take more than ever! I wanted a nice program that wasn't too hard to use and would just enhance some of my photos.
I found a free 30 day trial of this program on Download.com. After the trail I decided to buy the program. I was worried that this program would be really difficult to learn. I do not have any experience with photo editing. I was able to catch on pretty quickly and find some free tutorials online that guided me through some photo enhancements.
This program has step-by-step editing assistance. You can also share your pictures by using photo books, scrapbook pages, slide shows, web galleries and more! It is very easy to sharpen, lighten, darken, and fix any picture. It even has a spot healing brush that allows you to take out unwanted objects or spots.
One feature that I loved was the layers feature. This allows you to do selective coloring on pictures. I use this often and it is very easy, and even fun, to do! I also used the blur feature. They have a tool where you can select an object (for example, a face) then you can blur out the background so the face stands out more. I also love that you can adjust skin tones to look more natural and not washed out. You can also resize pictures and preview any changes before they are applied. They have an option where you can place the original picture next to the enhanced on your screen to see the changes as they are made.
I also enjoyed making cards. I would start with one of their backgrounds, then add a picture of my daughter. Then along the side I would write the text I wanted. They have some great backgrounds and fonts to choose from. I have added a picture of one of the cards. On this card you can also see what the selective coloring looks like. I have her name along the side but it is hard to see on here.
This program has other endless features but I have not experimented with those yet. I think it is even possible to add people from other pictures and organize photos.
I think that this is a great program for beginners because as you learn it advances with you. Personally I will probably never use all of the tools this offers but it is nice that I have them available to me just in case. I should never have to buy any additional programs for more advanced options. In my opinion the price is very reasonable because I have seen some programs well above $100.
It can be a little hard to get used to and I think that the best way to learn is to experiment. I didn't find the tutorials they provided very helpful. I found more helpful information by looking them up online and seeing examples. This program can take a while to load and it can slow your computer down while it is loaded. That part can get annoying.
But overall I would recommend this program. It is so fun to play around with pictures and see what you can do. I really missed it when my trial was over and was so excited to finally buy the program!
For more information on the program you can click here: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6