Adobe Photoshop Elements Works For Me

It’s been many years since Adobe switched over to a subscription platform. I’m not a big Adobe user but I do use Photoshop. But I only use Photoshop to do simple modifications such as resizing, cropping, and auto coloring. I mainly use it for images I use for blogging or posting on social media. I’m not an expert at it but for my use, the subscription fee seems a bit high.

You are able to get the Photography Plan that starts at $9.99 a month. It comes with Photoshop and Lightroom. I have moved away from Lightroom and switched over to Google Photos and Apple Photos. I mainly used Lightroom for simple edits – anything that has “auto” I click on it. I also use it for organizing. I felt that Google and Apple photos does these fine. It’s free but I do pay for the storage/back up.

But what about Photoshop. What will I use for the most basic functionality? I looked at a handful of alternatives. There are a couple I tried on iOS on my iPad but it did not match my workflow and the interface did not make any sense. Again, I’m not a photographer. I just need to resize, crop, and maybe add a few text or blur. This didn’t seem possible with the iOS apps I found.

On the desktop, I always give Gimp a try but I waste so much time trying to figure out how to do the things I need to do. I’ve been so spoiled with Photoshop’s interface and short cuts that any other software does not make sense.

I pretty much gave up and logged in to my Adobe account to sign up for the subscription. For some reason, I ended up in my list of purchased apps. I found that I bought an old copy of Adobe Elements 15 from 2016. I can’t find the CD but it does give me the serial number. After a few minutes of chatting with support, they gave me the install files for both Windows and macOS.

I installed it and was surprised that it did what I needed it to do. I couldn’t remember why I never used it. My work always provided me a copy of Photoshop even before CS (Creative Suite). It’s just when they switched over to Creative Cloud that I stopped since it limits it to two devices.

Elements allows me to install and use in more than two devices. So I installed it on my PC and iMac at home and I have it on my MacBook Pro. How I miss these days. Now I can continue to use my workflow and shortcuts. I don’t need the other amazing features Photoshop has. Elements works great for what I need. And even though this software was released in 2016, it still is compatible with Windows 10. It works on macOS Mojave but it gives me a warning that the code base should be updated.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15

If you’re in a similar situation and feel that the subscription based Adobe Cloud is more than what you need, look for this alternative. It’s cheaper, works with multiple devices, and you don’t have to change your workflow. They usually have a sale, specially when a new version is coming out. Or maybe you can find an old version at the flea market.

Update – October 31, 2019: I recently upgrade to MacOS Catalina and Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 won’t launch. I tried the shortcut on my dock. I opened the app from the Applications directory. The icon just bounces and stops but does not open. I may have reached the end life of this product.

Western Digital Elements WDBU6Y0020EESN

Staples recently had Western Digital Elements 2TB on sale for $60. I just got a new 2016 Macbook Pro, I figured I need an external drive for backups (Time Machine) as well as a storage drive. Now $60 for a 2TB portable drive is a very good price. I jumped on it and received it a few days later. I had some issues regarding formatting for Mac use. Here’s the error I was getting when I tried to format it.

MediaKit reports not enough space on device

I searched around for this error and found the this article I was able to solve it by following the post by Badidar. After formatting it, I was able to use it for a time machine drive. I also did some benchmarks.


The speeds aren’t that great even when connected to Thunderbolt3/USB3.1. The reason for this is the hard drive inside is still a mechanical hard drive. With that respect, the speeds aren’t terrible. It’s primarily used for backing update. The initial back up of course will take a long time but the subsequent back ups will be quicker unless I’ve created a new project that is multiple gigabytes in size. Still no big deal.

And of course I had to get a dongle from Apple. For a limited time, they are on a discount for $9. I have a few different types of dongles. I figured I’ll pick up one of these. It’s less than $10, why not.

USB-C to USB dongle

Overall, the drive is nice. It does what I need it to do. The top part of the enclosure (where the WD logo is) gets warm but not too bad. You can hear it just like any other mechanical drive. It’s not loud but in a quiet environment, you’ll hear it for sure. But it’s not disturbingly loud. The other thing I like about the drive is it’s USB powered. It will be used with my laptop so I need something portable as well.

According to the sticker, it has a 3 year limited warranty. I’ve had to RMA drives in the past. The more recent is from Seagate and the experience was quite pleasant. I’m not too worried about failure rate as I have multiple back up sources. Remember, it’s not if the drive fails but when.