Posted By RichC on April 20, 2008
Adobe has introduced their new online photo editing and sharing tool called Adobe Photoshop Express. Its is not even close to the full version of Photoshop, but it is not a bad first attempt at a online photo site with pretty good editing control. I’ve used Preloadr for Flickr photos a few times and appreciate it for tweaking cell phone photos, but see Adobe Photoshop Express Beta as a bit better for general photography — still both are very limited when it comes to heavier editing of large digital photos.
As for ‘free’ general editing, I personally prefer Google’s Picasa which installs on your computer and acts as a photo organizer and is similar to Apple‘s included iPhoto.
To start with, Adobe makes signing up as simple as 1-2-3 … and once confirmed it was easy to upload the above screenshot photos. A couple quick clicks allowed me to modify the images and use the provided online 2 GB storage to post them inline.
The controls are pretty simple to use although most are far to drastic for tweaking most photographs. Express divides those tools into groups called Basics, Tuning, and Effects.
Basic tools let you crop and rotate, auto correct, fix exposure, remove red eye, touch up, and fix the saturation of an image. Tuning tools let you adjust white balance, improve highlight and fill light, sharpen, and fix focus by sharpening or soft focusing. The Effects tools let you spot color, change colors, convert a color photo to black and white, tint, turn a photo into a sketch, and distort an image. You can view and choose variations of your edits to determine which ones you like best.
As Walt Mossberg comments (see his video clip below), “Unfortunately, there are a number of problems. Photos, especially large ones, can take awhile to appear in the editing module and to snap into focus. Captions sometimes get lost or mixed up when you move photos to other services. You can view shared albums only as slide shows, not as individual photos.” So, Photoshop Express is not without sacrifice, in fact it reminds me of most other online application: online email, Google Docs, spreadsheets, presentations and web-based video editing. All in all, its a good start and an easy way to store and share some photos while tweaking them a bit — worth a try if you’ve got the time.
See the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg’s Personal Technology blog: All Things Digital.