Photoshop Elements, a fantastic product and a piece of marketing genius. A stripped down version of the fully fledged software install, with all the functionality you’re likely to need unless you work in Hoxton or drink Latte Coffee or wear a Nike Windcheater. Ideal for developers like myself who just need to cut and crop and maybe do bit of contrast correction. It had the Adobe professional interface from Illustrator and Photoshop so if you learnt on one then it’s all easy, same menus, same shortcuts, same everything. All for about £50 – it’s all good, as everyone says now.
So Photoshop Elements, it’s all good. At least it was.
So there I was in one job using my trusty old Elements to great effect, then I got made redundant and moved on to my current position and they used Illustrator for Photo manipulation. Bad as it is impossible. No, “Elements” I said nodding happily, “That’s all I need”.
Elements turns up and it’s version 5 which I start to get exited about. After loading it up however, nothing could have prepared me for the horror that awaited me in my new bling monitor. I actually felt my heart drop with disappointment as I looked at my beloved Elements in utter amazement.
It’s been domesticated. By that I mean it now looks like the kind of thing that you got free with a cheap digital camera in 2003. Gone is the familiar interface, shortcuts and working environment, and in its place are huge buttons and tacky picture album templates. It is, f**king awful. Nothing works now, a prime example is the resize tool that you can no longer constrain with the shift key! The most basic piece of Adobe functionality!
Also, it’s made the Microsoft mistake of trying to be too helpful. It leaves an icon in the tray that leaps into action whenever a new device appears, helpfully looking for photos. “No, stop! Go away, I don’t want you to help me find those pictures tucked away deep in the bottom of my Flash thingy”
So now I’ve got to go back to the IT manager and ask for CS like a greedy student who’s never satisfied. I’ll never use most of the functionality and the company will have to float on the stock market to afford it.
If it’s not broken, please, don’t fix it.