Photoshop.com is the latest offering for web-based photo sharing and editing. As long standing major players in the imaging software industry for graphics and video professionals, Adobe (US) have now launched an easy to use and free online version of their popular photo editing package, Photoshop. While not attempting to provide all the features of the desktop version of Photoshop, it certainly has a good selection of quality image editing tools for the more common tasks. Including a generous 2 Gigabytes (2000 Megabytes) of space for storing your photos in the free version, you can perform a range of edits including cropping, resizing, adjusting colours and removing that annoying red-eye effect that makes your aunty Pat look like she just clawed her way out of the grave. For the more serious photo-addict, photoshop.com have got the fries to go with your order, allowing you to upgrade your account anywhere up to a whopping 500 Gigabytes by purchasing an annual subscription.
Adobe have worked hard to make photoshop.com behave as much like desktop software as possible. With this in mind, it has the look and feel of a professional application which some may find a little daunting – especially if you prefer big, bright, glossy buttons or simple ease of use. And working with larger images can be a little slow at times (perhaps your camera is 10+ Megapixels too). This is mainly because the photoshop.com system is based in the US and optimised for US users, but the speed will vary depending on the quality of your broadband internet connection. Photoshop.com runs in a standard web browser using the Flash plug-in. Most modern computers and laptops already have this ready to go, so no additional download or installation is necessary to use photoshop.com.
With a myriad of free desktop image editing programs available for download, such as Google’s Picasa, photoshop.com has a few advantages. Firstly, the system is purely web-based. Once you have uploaded your images (and video files), you can share your albums or entire gallery with the general public or just specific users who you can invite to view your creations via email. This is good news for the security conscious, as you can set varying levels of access to your images so only those people you choose can see them. With the images stored on the photoshop.com system, you don’t need to worry about losing your files if say, your laptop gets kicked into a drain or the hard-disk fails on your desktop computer. You can upload, edit, download, share, email, publish to Facebook (and other social media sites) from any web connected computer (and a pretty decent growing list of mobile phones too).
In my view, Photoshop.com will be most useful to the mobile media user as it provides a quick and easy service to share your photos and videos online, by supporting a range of web-enabled, media-equipped mobile phones. It has an appealing, professional user interface, reasonably good security options and some pretty nice slideshow options. Ultimately, it’s probably not going to put some of the more established online photo editing and sharing systems such as Flickr out of business, but it will perhaps provide a slick alternative for those wanting a more private and specialised option for showing off their photo creations. After all, it’s free to find out for yourself, so why not take a look at photoshop.com?
View the gallery of images here: (Photos of Bradford-on-Avon: Boson Media HQ)